The following post contains excerpts and details from Understanding Loft Conversions.
When designing a loft conversion, the stairs will play an important role.
Main considerations when designing a loft conversion staircase focus on headroom. Is there suitable headroom for your loft conversion stairs? There may not be suitable headroom in all areas of the loft, and often a staircase will be designed to terminate where the highest point of the roof is, or close to it, in order to comply with the regulations.
The regulations stipulate that for a loft conversion staircase the headroom required is minimum of 2m, however, there is some flexibility. Where a stair terminates at a sloping ceiling the headroom must be a minimum of 1.9m at the centre line of the stair.
Other options for creating headroom include extending the roof to create a new dormer. Adding a roof light into the pitched roof can sometimes create the extra amount of headroom required. The roof can be adjusted to create more space – for example hip to gable or mansard extensions.
Loft Conversion Stairs Rules of Thumb
- Headroom – minimum 2m metres, or 1.9m at the centre line with a pitched ceiling
- Pitch – no steeper than 42 degrees
- Goings – no smaller than 220mm deep
- Risers – no higher than 220mm
- Winders – must be a minimum 50mm at the narrowest point and no less than 220mm at the centre
- Handrails – must be on one side minimum, to a minimum height of 900mm.
- Any balusters must not have a gap that exceeds 90mm (or that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through any openings in the guarding. )
- Landings – must be the same width as the stair. A door must not swing open directly onto a landing, unless it leaves a clear space of 400mm.
Image showing excerpt from the Understanding Loft Conversions book.
Loft Conversion Stair Ideas
Below we share some great loft conversion staircase ideas to give you some inspiration with your stair designs.