Making the most of your home with a loft conversion
June 11, 2021
Loft conversions are one of the most popular home improvement projects. They enable you to add extra space to your home without increasing its footprint… making them perfect projects to undertake if you’re running out of elbow room. And the value they add will provide an immediate return on your investment.
Call in the professionals
Loft conversions are generally taken to be an easy project, but you’ll need support from either an architect or structural engineer if you want to fully realise your dream. A professional will have the necessary experience to maximise the possibilities of your space while taking into account the limits set by the building regulations.
Pay attention to that staircase…
You have a variety of different staircase design options and your architect will include a staircase layout in his or her drawn-up plans, but it’s a good idea to scribble down your own ideas before you approach them. The stipulations of the building regulations provide a handy checklist that you can use as a ‘prompt sheet’ to help. They specify:
– Minimum 1.9m headroom in the centre of the staircase, reducing to 1.8m at either side
– A maximum of 16 steps in a straight line
– Maximum step rise of 220mm and minimum tread depth of 220mm
– Any balustrade to have a minimum height of 900mm above the ‘pitch line’
– Balustrade spindles spaced by no more than 100mm
Step 3: Measure up
Stairs can often be the trickiest part of any loft conversion, with much of the difficulty lying in how to create a safe and easy area without compromising your living space. If you’re not sure where to put your loft conversion staircase, the simplest solution is to usually adopt the ‘department store’ model – that is, put it where the existing stairs are, but one floor higher!
If you can’t fit the loft stairs above the main set, make a photocopy of your floor plans. You’re going to be using space from another room, so take plenty of time to work out how to do so without impacting your present living arrangements.
The default construction for any staircase is ‘all wood’. It’s a good all-round choice… but don’t overlook the alternatives.
All-wood construction, with solid wooden treads and risers, is the traditional staircase construction method. Our wide range of timbers and sophisticated construction methods give you excellent flexibility in achieving the look and features you want, and of course provide the perfect backdrop to a well-fitted carpet.
Open riser designs omit the risers, so that the space between adjacent treads is left open. This allows in more light while creating a strong visual focus. If an inexperienced carpenter executes an open riser design the result may be a weak structure, but Multi-Turn’s open riser stairs are designed to conform with all building regulations and easily meet safety requirements.
Glass risers create a really striking feature while ensuring that your landing still gets plenty of light. And, if you’ve opted for carpeted stairs in a dark landing, a glass balustrade will brighten things up.
Many people opt for a loft staircase that contrasts with their existing interior. But, if you prefer to blend in with the rest of your home, our team will be happy to advise you on the best way to match styles. Their advice might extend to choice of timber, and the use of oils, stains and varnishes. (After all, we’re specialists!)
Ready to make a start on your loft conversion project? Find out more about our made-to-measure staircases or give us a ring on on 01962 712299.