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How much space is needed for loft stairs?

Loft conversion stairs are a major consideration when converting an attic space to a usable room. Where the stairs go and what form they take depends entirely on a few factors, including the layout of the first floor and whether there are any obstructions within the roof that cause head height restrictions.
Read on to get a good idea of where a contractor is likely to build your new stairs.

Building Regulations

Building regulations mandate that if the loft is to be used as a bedroom, bathroom, playroom or study, it must have a permanent staircase. Therefore a majority of conversions will require stairs of some kind that are immovable. Thankfully, there are many options available to suit the majority of homes.

Spacesaver Staircases

Spacesavers are sometimes known as ‘paddle flights’, ‘alternating tread staircases’ or simply ‘loft stairs’. This kind of staircase can be used when a regular sized staircase will not fit in the available space. This is because they break the ‘no pitch greater than 42°’ rule that is followed by all other stairs.

What allows them to break this rule is that on each stair part of the tread is cut away on one side. The side alternates between right and left. This means that safe use of the stairs involves more care than regular stairs and familiarity with the design of the stairway.
It means that these stairs are steep, unfamiliar to most and are un-ideal for young children or the elderly. They can only be used to serve a single room or single room with en suite; they cannot be the only staircase in a home and must always have handrails affixed. The maximum rise (elevation) is 220mm and the minimum going (the horizontal measurement) is 220mm also.

Normal Staircases

With a traditional staircase, you have more choice in the style and the layout of the stairs, whether you require a budget option or a looking to add some grandeur. A winder staircase can fit into a minimum area of just under 1.6m x 1.6m.

Headroom must be 2m or more in the centre of the staircase and the pitch no greater than 42° like any other domestic staircase. Where the stairs reach the floor above, accomodations can be made for pitched roofs, so that the centre of the stairs gives 1.9m of headroom.

Here at NK Lofts, we’re proud to be the leading loft conversions specialist in the Leicestershire area. With projects completed in 5-7 weeks, depending on the build, and bespoke designs to maximise your investment in spacious living, you can have confidence when working with the NK Lofts team. On top of that we offer a free initial quote and a 10 year warranty on all work. Get in touch with us today to discuss your project.

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