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  • Lisa Gardener

Designing your loft stairs

What you need to know to get the right flight

When designing this feature, you'll need to consider several aspects. These include the best way to approach and exit the stairs, the spatial design of the existing lower level and how adding a flight might affect this, the opening that you'll be creating and how this impacts on the floorpan, plus the head height once you enter the loft.

Once you've considered the layout of your space, you can start measuring up. Getting the dimensions right is the most important part of ordering your flight. Stairbox's timber designs are created to perfectly fit the available space, so exact measurements are essential.

When planning a new staircase for a really tight area, we recommend using a six-tread winder, which requires less space than a straight flight. These designs tend to fit into an area just under 1.6m x 1.6m. Similarly, you could also add a three-tread winder to the bottom and top.

Once your design is complete, you can choose to have it in any style you like - from budget stairs with MDF and pine, to a full oak flight with glass balustrade.

Six Step Guide

To help you figure out how to get your loft flight right, here's Stairbox's step-by-step guide to success:

1. Measure the attic stair height

This is the vertical dimension from the ground or first storey floor to the finished attic floor above. if there isn't a stair opening cut in the ceiling yet, and you don't have a lofty hatch, it's best to drill a small hole into the ceiling that's big enough for you to put your tape measure through. Or, if you're at the stage to do so, you can cut the opening for your stairs.

2. Measure the room

If you're using an existing small room for the stairs to go up from, measure between the walls of the zone your staircase would rise in.

3. Decide what will work

Play around with the design options using the measurements you've taken - use specialist tools such as Stairbox's StairBuilder.

4. Check you have headroom

This is a very common problem when ordering a new staircase. You will need to make sure the ceiling can be cut away enough.

5. Order your stairs

Contact suppliers for further advise.

6. Start work

This is the point in your project when your joiner or builder will remove your ceiling, take the joists out and being your staircase trimmer in.


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