Loft Conversion Stairs: The Complete Design Guide

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The positioning of your staircase within your loft conversion is easily one of the biggest and most significant design decisions there is.

Despite this, all too often the details of how to design your loft staircase is overlooked and with great consequences. It’s often assumed that there is only one place to put the new stairs to a loft conversion too and to many homeowner’s surprise, this isn’t actually the case, especially when you can have an expert take a look with their experienced eye.

There are numerous new staircase options when it comes to a loft conversion, and it all simply depends on budget and of course, the space you have available.

You may find that there are a number of different alternatives that you never even considered, that could completely change your loft room and its entire layout for the better.

Loft Conversion Staircase Design Options

Let’s consider the different types of staircases suitable for a loft conversion and which provide the most benefits. Whatever design you do choose, ensure they meet the up to date building regulations and give you enough room to comfortably access your new loft space.

Stairs Above Stairs

Loft conversion stairs with white banisters and cream carpet

It’s perhaps one of the most commonly used methods – stairs above stairs.

Loft stairs can often be placed directly above your existing staircase as a straight flight and for most, this is a great option. It’s effective and also the most efficient if space allows.It can sometimes mean that natural light is blocked off at the bottom of the stairs which can cause problems to the overall design.

Loft conversion stairs with large glass side panel and white cupboards underneath

Despite this, it’s still very much worth speaking with an architect who specialises in loft conversions and take note of their expert advice.

This will allow you to find out whether there is a better alternative that can help to ensure you’re making the most of your space. They will often make the new stairs a design feature, if that’s what you’d like, or extend on the current main staircase where space allows.

Go Outside To Go In

Landing at the top of loft conversion stairs, a small space with wooden floor and white walls

If you have the space, it may even be possible to go outside in order to go in.Some of this will come down to the interior design of your loft conversion, the possibilities around position of the stairs and the best location for the stairs that gives you the right amount of headroom.

It could be as simple as a rather strategically placed dormer that can house a staircase, allowing the headroom of the staircase to come up and off the left or right of your loft room, which leaves the entirety of the converted loft space for you to enjoy as a larger master bedroom and ensuite or even a huge playroom and/or office.

A straight staircase, situated in this way is the best way to make the most of the space and take advantage of the highest part of the loft. It also allows you a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing how you use this new room.

Consider Independent Stairs

It’s something that many don’t consider but placing your stairs away from your home’s existing stairs could actually be the best option for you.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. In fact, every single property is different which means every single property will have an option that’s best for them.

The only issue that needs to be considered is where best to leave the lower floor and where best to enter the upper floor and of course, how those two points can be connected most effectively so you can make the most of your new loft space.


Private Stairs For Your Private Use

Loft conversion stairs leading to a private room

If you’re enjoying the luxury of a loft conversion simply to provide your master bedroom with an ensuite, then you can enjoy a private staircase from your own master bedroom straight into your loft.

You’ll also find that there’s no need for fire separation either.

Ask An Expert

What’s most important when it comes to your stairs is knowing your regulations and what’s best for the loft conversion in hand. To really get the best out of your loft conversion with an effective and efficient staircase, it pays to speak to the experts like Clapham Construction Services, London’s leading loft conversion specialists.

Spiral Staircases

If you only have a small space to play with, and need to get access from the first floor to your new loft conversion, a set of spiral stairs is an amazing space saver. It’s a staircase solution that suits many homes and can be a striking design feature too. The important thing to bear in mind is who will use them. Whilst it’s one of our favourite space saver staircases not all family members enjoy using them. Consider how young children and older people will access your new stairs and if they’ll feel safe.

Staircases for a Small Landing

Most of us have a small landing space at the top of our loft conversion stairs but as long as you have enough headroom, and space for your type of staircase then you should be find.

Retractable Ladders

A great way to access any loft space is by using retractable ladders. There are many types on the market and if you want a temporary and cost effective solution these are a viable option. Long term they’re probably not sufficient as a loft conversion staircase, and whilst they don’t take up much space, they aren’t practical.

Loft Conversion Staircase for a Tight Budget

New installation of loft conversion stairs during the building phase

When budget dictates your choice of staircase my advice is to evaluate all types of stairs, all layout options and how you can achieve access to your new space the most cost effective way.

Do you need a Bespoke Loft Conversion Staircase?

The answer is no, you don’t need one, but if budget allows, and you don’t like the idea of a conventional staircase why not create something unique for your loft conversion project.

What are the benefits of a Loft Conversion?

If you’re looking to turn your loft space into a habitable room, you’ll be wondering if the benefits outweigh the cost and time to convert your loft.

We converted our loft into a master bedroom and en-suite bathroom over 7 years ago, and it was the best design choice we made on our home renovation journey.

A completed loft conversion showing large window wooden floor, dressing table and yellow blanket on the bed

Why? Whilst loft conversions can cause some tricky spaces to decorate, a good architect will ensure you make the most of the area. Whether you want a bedroom, office, playroom, music room or guest room, there are so many solutions.

The overriding benefit has to be the addition of another room to your home. It completely changes the way you use the house, from the top to the bottom, and gives growing families some much needed space.

Then don’t forget the impact to the value of your home, which can’t be underestimated.

Do you need a fire door on your Loft Conversion Stairs

The building regulations change frequently on this position. At the time of building our loft conversion stairs there was no requirement to have a fire door at the bottom of the stairs. We did need to install a special fire alarm system throughout the house though to give us maximum safety in the event of a fire. Take advice from your architect and builder to ensure adequate fire safety when undertaking a loft conversion.

How much does a Loft Conversion Cost?

We highly recommend using an experienced loft conversion company to tackle your renovation project. It’s a good idea to discuss the details of what you require at every design stage, and thrash out great loft conversion ideas from the beginning. The more accessible your architect is, and the more open to ideas around the loft’s development, the more successful your loft conversion will be.

Costs for a loft conversion vary depending on the extent of work needed, where you live in the country and what kind of interior design you want too.

Ours cost over £50k in a Victorian semi.

I’ve made a video detailing how much our loft conversion cost and where we spent most of our money.

YouTube video

How does a Loft Conversion affect the Rest of the Home?

I can’t overestimate the impact our loft conversion had on the rest of the house. It meant we could turn our box room into a home office. Our youngest daughter was able to move to a larger bedroom, and we moved up into the converted attic bedroom. We also gave the home a second bathroom, which was incredibly useful as our daughters became teenagers. The attic bedroom is now the largest room in the house. In terms of the space, we added a dormer to create a spacious bedroom, and small en-suite. We also made use of the dead space in the eaves to create a small storage area for things like Christmas decorations.

Loft conversion bedroom with sloping attic ceiling and velux window, double bed with blue bedding, dark wooden floor with a sheepskin rug and flowers on a dressing table

There are countless loft conversion stairs ideas, and in an ideal world we would all choose the one that makes the most of the available space, looks aesthetically pleasing from a design perspective and falls within our price range. As with any renovation projects there are usually compromises, and so we take into account the most important factors, choose the design that gives us sufficient headroom in the loft where the outcome is a successful loft conversion.

If you liked this post then do check out our Loft Conversion Reveal and How a Loft Conversion Changed our Life plus How Much a Loft Conversion Costs.

Then please don’t forget to save this pin to your Pinterest board:

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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1 Comment

  1. Nitin Gupta
    August 6, 2021 / 6:35 am

    very helpful post a detailed guide

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