Loft stairs protruding in front of bedroom doorway


17 Aug 2006
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United Kingdom
I'm having a loft conversion done and today the stairs were installed. There are 2 steps then a winder coming off the 1st floor landing. On the plans the edge of the bottom step was in line with the edge of the existing bedroom doorway but I've come home to find the new stairs protruding approx 15cm in front of the bedroom doorway.

Obviously I'm going to speak to the builder about this tomorrow but in the meantime, is that even allowed by building regs? Not only does it look stupid but anyone leaving that bedroom could trip over the edge of the stairs. If the doorway was narrowed to fit the gap then it would be approx 65cm wide which is far too narrow for practical use.

Illustration below - the stairs are perpendicular to the doorway. Door opens into bedroom.

| doorway |---------------
landing | | |
landing | | |
landing | | |
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I wouldnt think it'd be allowed. Especially not that far! Its a trip hazard if nothing else!

Either the doorway moves or the stairs get steeper - you'd need to get a new set of steps.
The reg's only state that a landing has to be provided at the top and bottom of flight and the width and length should be at least as great as the smallest width of the flight. Doors can swing across landings providing 400mm (full width) is left between the door swing and the last riser.

So providing you satisfy the above, then it's not a BR issue (in my opinion). However, it then comes down to health and safety from an owners point of view. You're saying the stair protrudes 15cm (i.e. 150mm/6 inches) across the doorway? :eek:

Who was the person(s) responsible in signing off the new staircase? Usually, you provide the manufacturer with the dimensions for them to produce a layout. That is then approved by the client/builder but "usually" the manufacturers visit site and take check dimensions to make sure there are no last minute issues and this should have been picked up then.

As mentioned above, can the door be moved or made smaller?
this doesn't contravene building regs but is not very good practice and bad design, where unavoidable the offending treads are usually oblique from the edge of the door frame. If it doesn't show it like this on the drawings then it ain't right , and your builder should have alerted you to any problems with the design before ordering the staircase.
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I'm sure you could make the situation a little better, without having to re-design/locate the stairs (mass expense) or start to mess with the door. How about filleting the corner that crosses the doorway to make it less intrusive?


Obviously your stair/door layout may not be like that above, but you know what I'm getting at.
Problem solved! It's been interesting to learn that despite paying an architect £600 to draw up plans the builders are unable to follow them exactly. Silly old me thought that the architect would have taken things like available space into account when drawing the plans but apparently not. By all accounts I could have drawn a rough outline in crayon and the builders would have been able to work off that - anything they see in the plans that they think is daft (or are too lazy to do?) they change!

The stairs couldn't be made any steeper according to the stair man :?: so the doorway is going to be moved instead. This means knocking down part of a wall that wasn't originally supposed to be altered but I'm happy with the solution. :D
Every set of loft conversion drawings need to be taken as approximate where things are a tight fit such as stairs, the roof/walls/rooms/floor will all be out of square unless the house is very new. Any builder with half a brain will also know to measure up and check things fit and would have predicted the clash and talked to you about it prior to appointing the stair supplier, ordering the stair, approving the stair drawing, taking delivery and then finally fitting the stair not in accordance with the drawings. Before you go pointing at the Architect you want to have a chat with your builder who has no doubt blamed the Architect aswell.

BTW £600 for loft drawings is Sweet FA!
I agree your builder should have alerted you as soon as the problem became apparent there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
I have come across this problem more times then I can remember and only twice was it unavoidable.
The stairs could have been made to a completley different configuration with maybe more turns in it and openeng into the loft in a different way or many other variations.
I hope your builder is carrying the alterations out FOC as he should have told you of this problem weeks ago, before the staircase was made.

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