New stairs - what should I consider?

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I have purchased a house from an Estate. The previous owner has part converted the loft - there is dormer conversion with a bedroom, shower room, and separate landing, however it is only accessible via pull down stairs.

I would like to have proper stairs fitted, but not sure where to start. I've received mixed advice re: whether I need an architect (I don't think I do?), though I do think the floor space may need to be widened by stealing space from a bedroom, which may be a load bearing wall.

Should a good builder be best placed to steer me? Or do I need to speak to to a structural engineer etc? What considerations should I make at this stage before I start to speak to builders?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Has the loft been converted with any kind of rational thought ie upgrading the structure, insulation etc? Or is it just a big bodge and he's stuck some chipboard on top of the existing joists and thrown a few partitions up without any consideration for how this kind of thing ought to be done?
 
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Thanks for your reply. It's a very good question, and I'm not entirely sure of the answer yet (I've not got my keys yet to get really stuck in about it). At first glance, it looks like it's been done fairly well, but I definitely want to have it all checked over to make sure it meets building standards. Unfortunately as the previous owner has died and didn't have any dependents, no one else seems to know the background.

Are there any key things I should look out for to find out the answer? Or which trade would be the right person to get in to check it all?
 
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