If you’re planning to use your loft as a more functional space to store your personal belongings, you’re going to want quick and easy access to it with a suitable loft hatch.
What are the different types of loft hatch?
Push up – These loft hatches are ideal for homeowners with less space to access the loft from below because the door is pushed up and into the loft space instead of hanging down, making it great for people with a loft hatch in a prominent place that gets a lot of foot traffic or doesn’t have much space.
Dropdown – This style of loft hatch is better for people with less loft room in their loft who want to maximise the storage space available. They are easy to operate as gravity does most of the work for you, all you need is your hand or a pole to twist the latch and gently lower the door. Often made from plastic or wood, you can paint the hatch to seamlessly match the ceiling and home aesthetics. The dropdown style is generally less expensive than push up hatches as they are typically not as well insulated, but with modern innovations and DIY methods, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Things to consider before changing your loft hatch
How big of an opening you will need?
Depending on the size of your loft opening, you may need a frame installed around the edge of the hole to allow it to fit, or the hole might need to be re-cut to suit the hatch.
What loft hatch material is best?
If aesthetics are important to you, a timber dropdown hatch might be for you. They’re more versatile allowing you to easily paint them to match your home’s colour and style.
However you may want to make sure that it is also fire rated to a good standard to offer fire resistance when closed and provide you with peace of mind.
A fire rated loft hatch will have a high level of thermal insulation, but even those that are not come with some form of insulation, although it will vary depending on the type you have gone for. It is a straightforward process to insulate a loft hatch yourself by securely attaching your preferred insulating material to the top of it.
To prevent draughts, you will want to create an airtight barrier around the edge of your loft hatch. You can do this with either a compression seal or foam strip installed on the outside perimeter on top of the loft hatch.
Commonly loft hatches are opened from below either using your hand or a pole to release the latch and pull down or push up the door. It’s important to assess how much clearance space you have beneath the hatch for the ladder and inside the loft for when the ladder needs to be stored.
How to use a loft hatch properly
Visit the LoftZone YouTube channel to see informative videos on creating a cost-effective storage solution and if you need any professional help transforming your loft entrance find your nearest approved installer today.
Once you have your new loft hatch installed it’s important to consider how to access your loft safely. Here are several things you might like to consider to ensure the safest use of loft ladders and hatches.
- Swing the hatch open freely
- Hang from the hatch frame
- Store belongings or loose items on top of the loft hatch
Whether you need a replacement, enlargement or even relocation of your loft hatch, you should be fully equipped with everything you need to know to get started.