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Staircases

Staircase Design by Project 4 Loft Conversion Specialists

staircases

Loft Conversion stairs and the building regulations

Loft conversion stairs are an integral part of any conversion project

To ensure adequate fire safety for the dwelling a new stair serving the new room(s) will be needed. Where there is not enough room for a full traditional stair, it may be possible to use a 'space saving' stair.

The Regulations

The regulations regarding loft stairs are not set in stone;

Definitions

Headroom-the general rule regarding headroom is that there must be a minimum clearance 2.0metres for a staircase but, for loft stair’s, the regulations are a little relaxed and only 1.9metres needs to be achieved. Because of this, there is a slope where the stairs enter the loft then the clearance only needs to be 1.8metres and 2.0metres on the highest side.

Width of staircases

The usual requirement regarding loft stairs is that they should be 800mm wide. But even that is not cast in stone. If your new room has only one habitable room then the building regulations will allow a minimum width of only 600mm.

  • The pitch- must be not steeper than 30 degrees
  • The goings which is the main part of the tread must not be less than 220mm
  • The risers which is the vertical part of the step must not be higher than 220mm

Height of Handrails

Approved document K states that a flight should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than one metre wide, on both sides if they are wider. Minimum handrail height of 900mm with no openings in any balustrade to be more 100mm sphere.

Types of Staircases

There are three main types of staircases; the traditional and most common type is the straight staircase although depending on the space available they can be split up into quarter or half turn and winding variations.

Compact or 'space saver' staircases are only used in severely restricted areas; they can be very steep and unsuitable for young and old. They can only be used as straight flights and must be fitted with handrails.