One of the benefits of a loft conversion is the utilisation of what could be considered dead space – and while property owners dream of light-filled bedrooms, how you will get up to your newly converted loft space is often hardly given a second thought. However, the staircase is not only important for practical reasons, it can also be a design feature in itself. Here is our guide on how to choose a staircase for your loft conversion.
Get a designer
To make the most of the area you wish to convert, it’s always advisable to hire a qualified designer. They will be able to best utilise the space needed for stairs – making sure you don’t lose so much as a square inch unnecessarily. They will also be best placed to incorporate design features such as light wells and any ornamentation you may want. At Simply Loft, we have a team of designers, who can help you decide the type of stairs you need for your build design, circumstances and budget.
Building regulations for loft staircases
Building stairs for a loft conversion are subject to certain building regulations. Here are some of the basics:
- There must be at least 1.9m of headroom at the centre of the flight
- There must be at least 1.8m of headroom at the edges
- The maximum pitch of stairs is 42 degrees
- There is no minimum width. Though less than 600mm is unlikely to prove practical
Bespoke vs. pre-made
Naturally, a bespoke staircase is more expensive than a pre-made one. As a rule, pre-made staircases are not quite off the shelf, as they will need to be customised to the pitch, height, depth and the number of treads. Generally, they are made by large manufacturers, who can use their economies of scale to keep costs down. If you are on a tight budget, this is the best route to take and you can still be left with a stylish design. Another advantage is that there will usually be a quick turnaround time; with more employees and space, large manufacturers can generally meet tight project deadlines faster than bespoke makers.
Bespoke staircases, made to order by a skilled joiner or specialist manufacturer, do cost more as a rule, however, the results can be spectacular. Most staircases you will see in glossy property and interior magazines are likely to be bespoke ones. With a bespoke staircase, you will get something that is unique, stylish and that utilises the space efficiently. Though they can be costly, a bespoke staircase does last a lifetime and, when designed correctly, is an architectural feature in itself.
If space is tight, a spiral staircase can be a viable option. Not only do they look great, they can limit wasted landing space. They can also be a cost-effective solution, with the cheapest options starting at around £500. Remember, though there can be tight building and fire regulations around spiral staircases so do speak with your Simply Surveyor who can talk you through the options.
When buying furniture for your loft, keep in mind how you will get it up the stairs when your loft conversion is complete. Many loft steps have a curve, making it difficult to get bulky furniture up to your newly created loft. If you have narrow stairs it’s best to buy flat pack furniture if possible. If you are having bespoke furniture made, ensure you tell the maker that it will need to get up the stairs – even if that means it has to be assembled in the room.
A loft conversion is a great way to expand your home without having to lose garden space. If you want to convert your loft, contact Simply Loft today for a free site survey.Share this: