At the very beginning of the loft conversion, in the ‘ideas’ stage, after the ‘lets make the loft into bedrooms’ thought, there will be the plan to build some stairs from the current landing into the loft.
The design considerations of the staircase are possibly the main piece you have to get right. Planning rules and regulations for staircases are very specific and could force you to alter your ideas of where you can situate your new stairs.
Strangely, despite the importance and design rules of the staircase, it’s normally one of the later jobs to be started during the loft conversion. Opening a big hole in the ceiling is going to be very messy so it’s normally left until later, after the new loft floor, insulation and stud walls have been completed.
Existing stairwell design
In the vast majority of cases the existing stairwell in the best place to start thinking about situating your new stairs to go up into the loft. Using the existing stairwell and appropriate fire doors give you the protected stairwell the local planning people will insist on before they will approve your plans.
The common design layout is where there is a box room above the current stairs which lead to the landing.
New stairs with a 90′ angle from landing to save the box room
Depending on the size of your landing area, and of course your preferences, you can leave the box room alone and start with a couple of steps from the landing to a small platform and then turn 90′ and continue the rest of the steps over the current stairs into the loft.
Removing the box room creates a larger landing
If space in the landing is a little tight then the best idea may be to lose the wall separating the small bedroom to the landing and install the new flight of stairs directly over the original ones.
This option opens the landing completely and allows the extra light from the window in the box room to fill the landing.