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Space Saving (Paddle Stairs) Guide


Posted: 19th February 2020 in Advice

What are paddle stairs?

Paddle staircases also known as “space saver stairs”, “loft stairs” or “alternating tread stairs” are manufactured using alternating paddle treads.

They get their name from their unusually shaped treads which resemble a paddle, they’re often referred to as space saving stairs due to the fact they take up a lot less space than a conventional staircase.

What are they used for?

Space saver stairs should only be used in scenarios where it’s not possible to use a normal staircase they should also only serve a single room in a loft.

How much space do they save?

Space savers stairs will be roughly half the length of a conventional staircase, this is because they use overlapping paddle treads, which means you can get the same number of treads in roughly half the amount of space.

The diagram shows how a conventional straight staircase compares to a space saver staircase, based on a 2600mm floor to floor.

Want to know how much space a space saver would take up based on your floor height?

Use our tool by clicking here.

Space Saver Construction Options

Space savers can be manufactured the same as any other staircase we manufacture, this means you can have them in a variety of open riser options as well as exposed back.

We can also supply space savers with spindles or glass balustrade the same as any other staircase we manufacture.

What do building regulations say?

Part K of the building regulations, for England and Wales say’s the following:

  • Meet the conditions of the diagram as shown
  • Have handrail up both sides of the staircase
  • Have slip resistent surfaces
  • Minimum headroom 2000mm measured to the pitch line.
  • Only in a loft conversion
  • Only where there’s not enough space for a normal staircase.
  • Only when the stair is for access to one habitable room and/or a WC (although this must not be the only WC in the dwelling)

The going (aka tread length) is measured from the front of the matching treads, as shown in the diagram.

You can configure a space saver on our website which will comply to regulations in terms of rise and going.

With space saver stairs however we recommend checking with your building inspector before ordering that they’re happy for you to use one.


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