Tapping into unused loft space can be a game changer. Whether you create a home office, a bedroom, TV room or craft room, this new space can really transform a home. Often our lofts are simply jumbled store rooms in the sky, stuffed to the edges with the obsolete, unwanted and the unused. Let’s work through the key points that make or break a loft conversion.

PART 1 – Stairs

Without stating the obvious, if you lose a room downstairs in order to create a new stairway to your loft, it’s not ideal. The best outcome is to create a new stairway without losing a room or a chunk of a room on the floor below. Sometimes it is simply impossible. In this scenario you need to consider if the trade off is worth it. If for example you lose a box room on the first floor but gain an ensuite double in your loft, then the loss is outweighed by the gain and it’s probably worth doing.

The point at which the stairs land in the loft is also a key consideration. The most important factor is the headroom. There will be an area in your loft with the required headroom, work it out and shade it on your plan. This is your starting point and your stairs can land in this zone (unless there are structural issues/other factors). The next consideration is how you want to use/split your loft. How does your stair landing affect your intended layout ? Working your layout with your stair landing point is critical and often choices are very restricted. Play with it on paper before you commit to professional plans.

Now throw into the mix the legal requirements for pitch, tread and rise and you have a mathematical challenge and a lot of screwed up pieces of paper !

Last but not least, remember headroom requirements above sets of stairs ! Once you work out your viable options, work them and rework them in scale on paper until you have the best option. Get that pencil and scale roller out and make those stairs work for you.