Loft Ladders: The Choices That Can Make or Break Your New Space

When most of us start to plan our loft conversion, the majority of the questions focus around the placement of windows, or what colour the wallpaper is going to be. Those who venture into more technical subjects might analyse the type of roof they have, but something that is often ignored is the access into this space.

Most people don’t pay much attention to their loft ladder, even though it can make a considerable difference to the space all around the new area. Choose one that’s too cumbersome and it will eat away the area on your first floor, while one that’s too basic might just scare some people from entering the new room of your home.

Taking the above into account, we’ve put together this guide. We’ll now take a look at some of the main types in detail to ease the buying process when looking at loft ladders to purchase.

Sliding Loft Ladders

The sliding loft ladder might seem to be the definition of a space saver and in some cases it most definitely is. As the name suggests, this is a method of access which involves the ladder sliding into the loft when it is not in use. As such, it means that during the day (or at any point where the loft is out of action), the rest of your house doesn’t have to be cluttered up by a means of access into your top floor.

While the above sentence might sound perfect in some regards, we should issue a word of caution. In some ways sliding loft ladders really do save space, but at the same time you do need a lot of room in your loft to be able to fit the full length of the ladder once it is “put away”. It goes without saying in some smaller loft conversions, this simply won’t be possible.

Folding Loft Ladders

Again, the name gives plenty away with this next type of ladder. Unsurprisingly, the folding loft ladder folds up into sections which can again make it something of a space-saver.

The major benefit with this option, when compared against the previous one, is the fact that the folding mechanism means you don’t have to boast as much “ladder storage” space in the attic. As a result, you can save on space both on the ground and in your loft; you get the best of both worlds.

Concertina Loft Ladders

This is perhaps the most technical out of the three options we have mulled over, with the typical concertina option appearing “scissor-like” on first look. The design of the ladder means that it can be condensed into tiny form when it is out of sight, with most just attaching to the hatch itself. As such, for those households which have very small loft spaces, the concertina version is something that could most definitely be considered. Of course, if we were to draw on the negatives, some would suggest that it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the other options – or the obvious fixed ladder which we have purposely excluded.


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