Without question, installing the loft access stairs is the most crucial factor both as an aesthetical and functional sense, of your planned conversion.
Planning the loft staircase and access accurately will have an enormous end result on the success of your conversion. It also needs to be remembered that building regulations specify a number of matters that will need to considered and adhered to, when planning your staircase to the loft.
Adding a new floor to a house requires a permanent staircase. In a very few instances, a fixed ladder can be used. But in many cases of loft conversions, a permanent staircase would be more desirable. Anyway, it is extremely improbable that you would even contemplate using a loft ladder.
The customary answer is a conventional staircase. Installation of this type of access is generally quite easy, although the building regulations specify that there must be a clear two meters of headroom while 1.8m may be accepted.
There isn't any common width although the staircase requires should be large enough to insure safe access. In the event of an emergency you should actually be considering a minimum width of 600 - 800mm.
Alternative design of stairways frequently considered when planning the conversion of the loft is a spiral design. They look good and at first thought would seem to be space saving. But frequently will use more space than a conventional staircase. Actually using spiral stairs can create problems, particularly when transferring larger items and articles of furniture.
Determining exactly where to situate the staircase, constitutes a major part of the planning and design and may require some kind of compromise on your original concept, because it's improbable that there will be sufficient space on the second floor landing to install a staircase.
Most houses have little space for a second staircase, as access to bedrooms and bathrooms normally utilize most of the available floor area.
As a result it maybe necessary to forfeit a second floor room or part to allocate space for the new staircase and maybe construct a larger, or perhaps, even two rooms, in the loft space.
The actual loft staircase can be assembled on site or, a more efficient way, is to choose among the many designs of prefabricated staircases. Also what needs to be considered when planning your loft stairs is how to utilise the space under them.
The space under the preferred staircase shouldn't be forgotten and could have numerous uses such as extra storage, or a small work area for example. Remember, you are converting your loft space to create extra space, so there's no reason in not utilising the total available space. So consider using the area below the stairs in your design and planning.
As for the loft stairs themselves there are numerous choices.
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