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What sort of staircase does your loft conversion have?

(22 Posts)
MrBennOfFestiveRoad Fri 30-Dec-16 18:02:00

We're considering having a loft conversion but not sure what sort of stairs would look best - does anyone have any examples that they can show/recommend? Our house is fairly old/rustic.

Also, am I correct in thinking that we would only need fire doors on those doors bordering the area where the stairs are? We have original stripped pine doors that we would like to keep where possible and due to old fashioned layout of our house, have rooms that lead off other rooms rather than a conventional hall/landing.

Thanks smile

SocksRock Fri 30-Dec-16 18:05:14

We have a normal flight of stairs up to the loft. We had to have fire doors to all habitable rooms opening onto the stairwell, which is pretty much all of them in our house, we were not allowed to keep our original ledge and brace ones as they were too thin and couldn't be made to fit regulations.

TheHiphopopotamus Fri 30-Dec-16 18:08:52

When we had our loft conversion done, we had to have all fire doors that were on the 'escape route' as it were, so that included the door to the living room downstairs and bedroom etc. and also had to have the cellar fireproofed as that was directly underneath the stairs.

As our normal stairs just came out into our living room, we also had to have a hallway put in from the stairs to the front door.

Without seeing your house, I don't think anyone can tell you exactly what you need to do. If you are wanting to pass building regs and do it 'properly', I think you need to speak to your builder or architect.

Brontebiscuits Fri 30-Dec-16 18:16:30

Our stairs are just a slightly narrower version of our 1930's semi main stairs. We opted for mains wired fire alarms in every room rather than replacing all our original doors.

Toomanycats99 Fri 30-Dec-16 18:19:43

We have just had a loft conversion done and we didn't have to replace our doors with fire doors. However we did have to have wired in smoke alarms installed in all habitable rooms. We also had to replace a door on the living room as you have to have a clear path of exit from the loft without going through any living space.

MrBennOfFestiveRoad Fri 30-Dec-16 18:59:26

Thanks, we intend to have it done properly, with building regs, just preliminary thinking at the moment, before we get some builders in for quotes in the new year.

Toomanycats99 Fri 30-Dec-16 19:47:26

For stairs the shape of them was obviously determined by the design from the architect but for the banisters I looked on Pinterest - there were more variations that I had even thought about. We had quite traditional spindley ones - I don't think my husband liked them so much after he had painted them all!

HiDBandSIL Fri 30-Dec-16 23:43:08

We were going to have a double winder staircase but are now getting a single winder with a half turn landing at the top. All so we can keep the airing cupboard!

We are also going the route of mains wired smoke alarms in all habitable rooms which means fire doors only required in the loft.

TheHiphopopotamus Sat 31-Dec-16 00:08:29

We are also going the route of mains wired smoke alarms in all habitable rooms which means fire doors only required in the loft

Sorry, not doubting you at all but has this changed in recent years? We had our loft conversion done in about 2008 and had to have both firedoors and mains wired smoke alarms and fire proofed cellar. The fire doors & cellar were a right ball ache to sort out too. It would have made it a lot easier (and cheaper) to just sort out the fire alarms. Does it vary from council to council?

Toomanycats99 Sat 31-Dec-16 06:43:29

Hiphop- think it may have Changed in recent years - we just had smoke alarms but a friends sister that did theirs a couple of years ago needed fire doors. Same council area.

HiDBandSIL Sat 31-Dec-16 08:22:31

Hiphop - We have just signed the contract to get the work done so will be dealing with the latest regs (assuming there has been a change). We're using a loft conversion specialist who use a private company for the building regs sign off.

GU24Mum Sat 31-Dec-16 09:33:44

We had ours done last year and we've got loads of smoke alarms but the only fire door we needed to put in was the one between the kitchen and the hall. It's been signed off by Building Regs.

Frazzled2207 Sat 31-Dec-16 09:39:53

Instead of firedoors you can also get special
Fireproof paint to paint on normal doors. Only cost about £100 for loads of doors.
The only new doors we had were the door to the loft itself and the kitchen door as it is glazed.
Signed off by building control earlier this year.

Frazzled2207 Sat 31-Dec-16 09:41:14

Also think there is still a way round the issue with alarms but fireproof paint was easiest for us

Blacksox Sat 31-Dec-16 09:43:52

You can do either fire doors or hard wired smoke detectors, with some exceptions.

SuperFlyHigh Sat 31-Dec-16 09:50:43

I'm getting my attic converted now and decided I wanted spiral staircase (mostly from spending time at family friend's very posh house in Cheyne Walk with spiral staircase). I probably also have visions of me wafting down the spiral staircase in a kaftan or something...!

Anyway that's been fitted now.

I've done hard wired smoke detectors - didn't need fire doors but did get a fire door (eg replacement) on main point of exit. The new doors I have are the ones to the attic itself from spiral staircase and then separate doors to bathroom and toilet (both separate).

MiladyThesaurus Sat 31-Dec-16 09:51:41

The rules in the mid-2000s were nuts. I lived in a brand new build flat from 2006-2008 and it had been fitted with fire doors with a (super annoying) self closing mechanism throughout to meet building regs. I had to buy a lot of doorstops to prevent the dark hall of doors effects.

MrBennOfFestiveRoad Sat 31-Dec-16 15:32:45

Thanks again, all very helpful and has given me some ideas. The staircase will be adjacent to the existing one - on a galleried landing that overlooks it - so I'm thinking that maybe it may look a bit odd if they're too different. From reading around, I'm thinking (hoping) that we will only need fire doors on the rooms bordering the exit route from the loft to the front door; I think that hard-wired smoke detectors could be difficult to fit due to the age and layout of the house.

Iggity Sun 01-Jan-17 09:12:32

We did our loft this year on a 1930s semi in London. Choice was fire doors on all habitable rooms or smoke alarms in all rooms. We went the fire door route as we needed new doors anyway. in hind sight I wish I had chosen both. We have a smoke alarm on the loft conversion level which is linked to the first and ground floor alarms. We also changed our smoke alarms as they only have a ten year shelf life which we didn't know.

LynetteScavo Sun 01-Jan-17 09:21:09

Does anyone know where I can find out about current regulations regarding doors? As we've no intention of selling DH won't put in fire doors.

We have paddle steps to our loft room.

geekaMaxima Sun 01-Jan-17 09:23:33

You can do radio-linked smoke detectors rather than hard-wired and still meet building regs. They're still mains-powered and interconnected so all go off when one is triggered.

I'm sure you're going to anyway, but make sure you get several builders in to quote. Our house has a slightly unconventional layout and 2/5 loft conversion specialists we had in were completely wrong about how to meet fire regulations. One crowd even tried to convince us we would have to build a wall through our living room 🙄 Hopefully you won't have the same problem!

MrBennOfFestiveRoad Sun 01-Jan-17 13:22:31

I wasn't aware that you could get radio-linked smoke detectors, that may be a useful possibility. Although some of our interior walls are a few feet thick and we struggle with wifi, so that could be a problem!

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