Keys to a successful loft conversion – Part 1: how to get the stairs right

Would you like to raise your loft conversion to a whole new level? If so, read on – and we’ll help you raise your roof!

Loft conversions: a game changer for your home

Tapping into unused loft space can be a game changer. Whether you create a home office, a bedroom, TV room or craft room, a loft conversion can really transform a home and can be one of the most rewarding home improvement projects.

Often our lofts or attics are simply jumbled storerooms in the sky, stuffed to the edges with the obsolete, unwanted, unused and unloved. Decluttering and turning that lost space into a usable room can add value to your home and definitely your lifestyle, so let’s work through the first of the challenges that can make or break a loft conversion.

Solving the stair puzzle in your loft conversion – without spending a fortune!

Without stating the obvious, if you lose a room downstairs in order to create a new stairway to your new loft conversion, it’s less than ideal. The best outcome is to create a new stairway without losing a room or a chunk of a room on the floor below; this is easiest when you have a landing that is large enough to accommodate your new stairs.

But sometimes it is simply impossible to achieve. If this is the case, 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 en-suite 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. Most importantly, 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 the floor area of your loft conversion. 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.

Keeping the stairs in your loft conversion legal

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, 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.

Once you’ve got a good idea as to how the space might work and that it’s a worthwhile investment, it’s time to get professional advice on the structural and planning issues that may affect your loft conversion to make sure you comply with all the regulations designed to ensure your loft conversion is a safe, workable space.

Call our expert builders at A. Mann Building Contractors to discuss your loft conversion in Kent and Sussex: 0330 128 1021

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