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  • FIRST POST
    • zacepi
    • By zacepi 23rd Jan 19, 2:25 PM
    • 52Posts
    • 12Thanks
    zacepi
    Stairs for loft conversion
    • #1
    • 23rd Jan 19, 2:25 PM
    Stairs for loft conversion 23rd Jan 19 at 2:25 PM
    Hi all,
    Been lurking round here for a while and can see there are some pretty knowledgeable people, would be grateful for some advice.

    I want to put in a loft conversion into my small bungalow, but want to lose the minimum possible space from downstairs. I know there are options like cantilevered stairs that look amazing but probably cost thousands, and probably aren't building regs compliant.

    What kind of stairs would be building regs compliant and not take up too much space, as well as not costing the earth?

    Did consider a spiral staircase but I think that would take up more room as well as being awkward to get anything up. Perhaps a bespoke MDF staircase that a chippy can knock up?

    thanks in advance
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 23rd Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    • 26,745 Posts
    • 71,663 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 23rd Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    the key to taking up the least room is your placement of the stairs. But the first priority has to be making the most of the space gained upstairs. Sometimes there's only one option for a staircase because of the headheight constraints, some times it needs to be in the middle to be able to creat more than one room upstairs etc. There isn't always a lot of choice and stairs have to conform to building regs.

    You're roght that spiral stairs are not space saving. They're impractical to boot.

    www.stairbox.co.uk is a great place to get a bespoke, simple mdf or softwood staircase. We use them all the time.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • brewthebear
    • By brewthebear 23rd Jan 19, 2:42 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    brewthebear
    • #3
    • 23rd Jan 19, 2:42 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Jan 19, 2:42 PM
    Get an architect to come round and give you a quote You don, t have to pay and at least you,ll have an idea of where its best to go.

    Then go online to someone like stairbox and input your dimensions etc and that will give you a price .
    • StumpyPumpy
    • By StumpyPumpy 23rd Jan 19, 3:07 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,604 Thanks
    StumpyPumpy
    • #4
    • 23rd Jan 19, 3:07 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Jan 19, 3:07 PM
    Bungalows normally hunt in packs, have any of your neighbours had the attic done? Might be worth knocking on a few doors and seeing if you can persuade them to give you a quick look around to see how it was achieved.

    If nobody wants to play: check out the listings on Rightmove, Zoopla etc... and your local council planning portal, which may or may not have some details.

    SP
    Come on people, it's not difficult: lose means to be unable to find, loose means not being fixed in place. So if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose your loose change.
    • snowcat75
    • By snowcat75 23rd Jan 19, 5:08 PM
    • 1,521 Posts
    • 2,178 Thanks
    snowcat75
    • #5
    • 23rd Jan 19, 5:08 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Jan 19, 5:08 PM
    Staircases fall under part K regs, this includes hand rail heights, going/rise (the tread distances), head heights min landing sizes, widths etc its a long involved document. There are tricks to gaining headlights like Velux windows over the stairways, half landings gain room when tight but it really is what works best with your layout.


    There's no real knocking up of staircases a CNC machined MDF staircase will be the cheapest option.


    Custom staircases cost fortunes, I built them for my place myself x2 proberbly 100hrs work + if I was pricing the work you would be in the realms of 5 figures+VAT Each.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/45gG8JbthWjZayNm9
    Last edited by snowcat75; 24-01-2019 at 10:31 AM.
    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 23rd Jan 19, 6:47 PM
    • 3,690 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    Mistral001
    • #6
    • 23rd Jan 19, 6:47 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Jan 19, 6:47 PM
    You will see all sorts of staircases in fancy loft conversions, but many of those are not classed as loft conversions but non-habitable rooms in the roof space. Legally you cannot use them for bedrooms and estate agents cannot include them in their description of the property. You might also get prosecuted for breach of the Building Regulations.

    I would go for an old fashioned staircase designed by an architect or an experienced architectural technician and built by a traditional small builder or experienced joiner or handyman. The one shown in Snowcat75's post has a turn in it. However when going for open tread stairs like this remember the traditional staircase can have valuable storage space under it.

    A simple staircase with a turn in it is probably going to be the staircase that takes up least room. Spiral staircases may look compact, but ones that meet the Building Regulations can take up more room than a simple traditional staircase.
    Last edited by Mistral001; 23-01-2019 at 6:50 PM.
    • snowcat75
    • By snowcat75 24th Jan 19, 10:28 AM
    • 1,521 Posts
    • 2,178 Thanks
    snowcat75
    • #7
    • 24th Jan 19, 10:28 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Jan 19, 10:28 AM
    You will see all sorts of staircases in fancy loft conversions, but many of those are not classed as loft conversions but non-habitable rooms in the roof space. Legally you cannot use them for bedrooms and estate agents cannot include them in their description of the property. You might also get prosecuted for breach of the Building Regulations.

    I would go for an old fashioned staircase designed by an architect or an experienced architectural technician and built by a traditional small builder or experienced joiner or handyman. The one shown in Snowcat75's post has a turn in it. However when going for open tread stairs like this remember the traditional staircase can have valuable storage space under it.

    A simple staircase with a turn in it is probably going to be the staircase that takes up least room. Spiral staircases may look compact, but ones that meet the Building Regulations can take up more room than a simple traditional staircase.
    Originally posted by Mistral001
    Part K does make some allowances for loft conversions, over new builds it also is slightly ambiguous on certain points using terms as "Its advisable" rather than must. The main thing BC wants on domestic sets is correct going and rise, "sensible" head heights and no breach on the 120mm gap rule.


    My staircases wouldn't suit a normal dwelling IMHO I designed them as a one off for a barn, Likewise I thought standard domestic sets would look stupid ironically though although the scale of the place is big, It was still a struggle to fit and design the staircases to work and that complied with regs, I was about 20mm under on the head height and 60mm two narrow on the half landing, however building inspector new it wasn't a corner cutting exercise just how it had to be so allowed it to be.


    As for storage long term I'm going to build some cupboards under the half landing just not sure on what materials to use yet, I'm a fan of spraying MDF for ultra shine modern finishes I'm yet to convince Mrs Cat that what she wants though!, luckily im in the position that I can make/build most things myself labour and bespoke=.
    • Howard_B3
    • By Howard_B3 17th May 19, 10:09 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Howard_B3
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 10:09 AM
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 10:09 AM
    Hi all,
    Been lurking round here for a while and can see there are some pretty knowledgeable people, would be grateful for some advice.

    I want to put in a loft conversion into my small bungalow, but want to lose the minimum possible space from downstairs. I know there are options like cantilevered stairs that look amazing but probably cost thousands, and probably aren't building regs compliant.

    What kind of stairs would be building regs compliant and not take up too much space, as well as not costing the earth?

    Did consider a spiral staircase but I think that would take up more room as well as being awkward to get anything up. Perhaps a bespoke MDF staircase that a chippy can knock up?

    thanks in advance
    Originally posted by zacepi
    Bungalows can be tough as you are often fighting with limited headroom (I think it's 2m under building regs).

    But a good idea is to check out the likes of mrstairs.com or stairbox. The online tools allow you design within specified building regs so you can play around with a few ideas and visualize them.
    • Waterlily24
    • By Waterlily24 17th May 19, 11:40 AM
    • 1,123 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Waterlily24
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 11:40 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 11:40 AM
    We had a few problems with the staircase when we converted our bungalow to a chalet bungalow. Not just a normal conversion as the whole roof and rafters had to come off - there was a groundfloor extension too. We had the choice of putting the staircase in the living room, dining room or utility room We decided on the utility room as I didn't really want it in the others.


    Because of the space they allowed us to have the each stair slightly narrower (very slightly lol). We also had to make the headspace better by putting a slanting bit on the ceiling of the lower bit of the stairs. Had to change it because the original inspector had allowed what we had but on the final inspection we were told that it had to be changed. The original paperwork didn't go through for some reason!!!!! Anyway bearing in mind that my son is 6ft 3ins and he never had any problems with it seemed a strange rule to us.
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 17th May 19, 12:21 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 619 Thanks
    ed110220
    It doesn't make any difference downstairs, but our stairs have a sloping ceiling over the lower part that cuts into the room above which makes the room a bit bigger than it would be if the stairwell was open.
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 17th May 19, 3:49 PM
    • 2,946 Posts
    • 699 Thanks
    theGrinch
    The paper plans and reality are often different
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
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