Our essential staircase guide to loft conversions



If you’ve outgrown your home or you’re looking to make the most of any unused space, why not look up! A loft conversion is the perfect opportunity to add valuable extra living space, and what’s more, it can also provide a great return on investment too.


What often proves to be a stumbling block for a number of projects, though, is the staircase. So, to put you a step in the right direction, we’ve put together a quick, handy guide with what you should know.


Building regulations


Staircases are a tricky part of a loft conversion – not just in terms of the space available, but also compliance with UK legislation. If you want to make a habitable room, you must have a permanent staircase that meets the following criteria:


  • Minimum 1.9m headroom in the centre, reducing to 1.8m at the side

  • No more than 16 steps in a straight line

  • Maximum step rise of 220mm and minimum depth of 220mm

  • Minimum 900mm above the pitch line for balustrades

  • Spindles must have a separation distance that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through


Positioning


Generally, the most efficient position for the new staircase will be above the existing structure that links the ground and first floors, as this is the most likely area to make the staircase look like a natural part of the house. There are no set rules, though! Every home is different and the issue at hand is all about creating an effective transition.


However, for loft conversations, space limitations may mean that placing the staircase over the existing stairs is not possible. As a result, the only option is to alter your existing floor plan by taking space out of a section of a current room.


Design


When it comes to the design, a concern that people often have is that the addition of a staircase can make their existing landing quite dark. In the case of our previous projects, we’ve found that clever use of materials and style choices can make all the difference to create a bright and open space. Glass and open risers, understandably, are some of the most popular options for creating a striking feature.


If your new staircase will be in an open area that links with the rest of the home, don’t fret, there’s no need to carry out an entire renovation! The existing style and components can be matched to create a seamless flow between floors, making it appear as if the new structure has always been there.


It's the perfect time to consider your upcoming projects for the year. If you’re in the process of planning your loft conversion, get in touch to discuss your requirements with one of our expert team.

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