Loft conversion is one of today’s most popular home extension methods. It was barely existent before the fad started some fifty years ago in New York’s SoHo district. Back then, it was practiced secretly by interior design artists, and obscurely by those non-artistic individuals who have found out that they can make use of all the attic space.
Nowadays, loft conversion has become a far too common way to improve and increase the value of one’s home. There’s virtually no need to wonder why. Renovating the attic simply is more versatile and cheaper in terms of time and effort when compared to its alternatives like first floor extension and conservatory construction.
An Overview of Loft Conversion
Loft conversion, as we all know, is a home extension method that involves cleaning out the attic, reinforcing its structure, and touching it up in a way that it becomes a functional loft room. As the attic is the largest unused space of most homes, converting it to a loft adds a lot of square feet to your existing living space, all the while significantly raising your home’s value on the side.
Types of Loft Stairs
Access is one of the most important things to consider during loft conversion. Stairs, perhaps, is the first thing that would come to mind at this point. Indeed, it is the norm, being a very practical way to get to the top floor. The following are the common types of loft stairs:
1. Fixed stairs
Fixed stairs have the simplest design and construction and is very easy to use. This type can be practical in all cases, if not for the fact that it takes up a lot of floor space.
2. Loft ladders
This is usually collapsible ladders stored near the loft door and can be pulled down in order to access the loft. This is often used in lofts that do not require regular access, like attic storage for example.
3. Spiralling stairs
Stairs going up in a helix is a convenient alternative to fixed stairways. Although a lot harder to build, it saves a lot more floor space than the more straightforward fixed stairs.
4. Disappearing/Folding stairs
Folding or disappearing stairs are just like pull-down loft ladders, but can be folded and hidden cleverly when not in use. This can be either telescopic or accordion type. The former features steps that unfold one by one while the latter have hinged treads that unfold together, much like an accordion.
5. Alternating steps stairs
As its name makes obvious, alternating steps stairs have treads that alternate between the left and right foot. As a result, it has a steep angle, and thus takes less floor space than fixed stairs. It is easy to construct but is not guaranteed safe, especially for people with difficulties climbing up the stairs.
Building loft access is one of the most important parts of loft conversion. Stairs or any other form of loft access therefore, should be chosen carefully, with safety and practicality considered above all else.