Ask a Tradesman
Carpentry & Joinery Question
Fitting a steep staircase in place of a paddle ladder
We currently access a Mezzanine level which acts as a home office via a paddle ladder/spacesaver staircase, this is not ideal so have looked into having a staircase fitted in place of the ladder and the only way would be if it had two turns but this still has a short 3 or 4 tread length that is over the stipulated 42 degrees in the building regs.
It seems bizarre to me that a space saving stair case which is essentially a ladder can be legal where a steeper staircase cannot.
Anyway, what I want to know is does a space saving stair have to be straight? can it have turns?
If we have cutouts in the planned staircase treads would it comply?
A difficult question to answer (but a good one!) Here is my attempt.
The building regulations do I agree sound a little bit bizarre. However, the reason the space saver staircase does comply with regulations is because there are equal riser heights in the whole staircase (e.g. every step is the same height to the next). Another way of phrasing it is: "by virtue of familiarity and regular use by a building occupant", i.e. as you are using the stairs you are familiar with them. They also comply with the 100mm sphere rule set out by building regulations.
Space savers do not have to be straight to comply with regulations, they can have various degrees of turns to suit.
In my opinion, I would say that the cut outs in the planned staircase would not make a difference to the regulations but I would advise contacting a reputable stair manufacturer company on this matter - I can recommend Stairplan for example (no association with myself incidentally!) (http://www.stairplan.com). Manufacturers will always come up with solutions for problems such as tight spaces and regulations.
I hope this gives you a little bit more information and answers your questions somewhat!
Answered 17th Jan 2013