Customers Ready to Embrace Loft Storage in Redditch and Studley

Customer confidence grows for home improvements with social distancing

It’s good to be busy. For any small trader getting through lockdown has been hard and the return to a new normal has been a nervous time for both customer and business owner. We have been delighted to see trade pick up from the start of July as customers show confidence in having us work within their homes to improve loft storage.

“Over lockdown everyone has been stuck in their homes, with time to think about what they could improve,” commented Stuart Dyson, owner of Stu’s Loft Ladders. “Creating accessible storage in the loft through boarding and fitting a fixed ladder can be a small change, but one that allows homeowners to transform their living space. No more infrequently used items taking up valuable space in rooms and garages, instead they can be carried safely and easily up to the loft. Boarding also means an end to precarious balancing between joists.

“To start with trade was slow but steady; now customers are regaining confidence and want to get on with jobs.” 

Last week our team quoted on seven jobs, six of which are set to proceed. The legacy of lockdown is that customers want to think for longer before proceeding. In these strange times, we all want to be sure that we are doing the right thing. 

“Post-lockdown, people are definitely taking longer before they decide to proceed,” explained Stuart. “Normally we give customers a price when we visit and they make a decision whilst we are still there. If they say they want to think about it, it usually means a no, but that is not the case at the moment, as customers are calling back after a week and wanting to go ahead.

“We are able to reassure customers that we take social distancing very seriously and that the job is nearly always completed within the day.”

Loft boarding, ladder fitting and new hatch in Redditch 3-storey home

This week we have helped homeowners in Redditch to gain full access to their loft with the holy trinity of loft improvement: enlarged hatch, fixed ladder and boarding. In a modern property we enlarged the loft opening to fit a standard plastic surround, which leaves a neat finish on a landing where space is tight. The customer chose a lightweight, easy to operate, aluminum three-section ladder – again a great choice where space is limited.

Studley traditional semi-detached is perfect for loft storage

The enlarged loft hatch and as it was when we arrived

We also completed loft improvements in Studley in a 1930’s semi-detached with lath and plaster ceilings. This traditional style property is perfect for creating storage space as the triangular structure without additional trusses leaves a large area. In this case, we fitted a fixed ladder and loft hatch, leaving the customer the option of completing the boarding at a later date.

Having removed the old surround, we enlarged the hatch and fitted a fixed aluminium ladder

As we started by saying, it’s good to be busy. We’ve been delighted to receive four glowing reviews in two weeks on our Facebook page. For independent traders, the upside of customers homeworking is that they are at their computers ready to post reviews! 


Loft opening too small? How we fixed the problem for customers in Stratford upon Avon and Evesham

In planning to improve access to your loft you have to look at the whole package. You might fit a new ladder and even board the loft, but if the loft opening itself is too small, then getting up there is still going to be a hassle. This is a particularly important consideration if you plan to store larger items.

As part of a loft improvement job we often enlarge the opening and fit a roomier hatch and surround.  It might seem like an additional expense, but if you are spending money on a ladder and boarding you might as well spend the minimal amount extra and make the whole experience of accessing your loft much easier.

This was the case at two jobs this week –  very different properties, but with a need for easy loft access in common.

New build loft boarding in Stratford upon Avon

We fitted an aluminium ladder and boarded the loft of a new build property in the Arden Quarter, near the railway station in Stratford upon Avon.  This is a new development close to the historic town centre.

In a two-bed terrace, the loft offered valuable storage and so we boarded all of the 5m by 2.5m space. As with all new builds, we first raised the level of the loft boards to accommodate the existing insulation.

On our advice, the young couple chose to open up the loft hatch by about 5 inches and we installed a plastic insulated loft hatch.

Wooden loft ladder option in Evesham

Our second loft hatch enlargement of the week was to a 1970s four-bedroom detached in Ashton Under Hill, a Worcestershire village near to Evesham. For these customers, space in the house itself was less of an issue and the budget was larger. However, in common with our earlier customers, the existing loft hatch itself was small. The customer explained that they needed to access the loft frequently and found it rather awkward. We enlarged the loft opening by 12 inches and fitted a wooden loft ladder making the whole process stress-free for them.

“Many customers if they are choosing to improve the loft decide it is worth spending a little extra to enlarge the loft opening itself,” explained Stuart Dyson of Stu’s Loft Ladders. “We see this a lot with customers choosing a wooden loft ladder which is already a more expensive option. They are committing money to gain better loft access and so would rather complete the improvement.”

Problem Solved With A Telescopic Loft Ladder in Warwickshire

Think you can’t have a loft ladder because there isn’t enough clearance space? Many people believe this to be true or have been told this in the past, but a telescopic ladder could be the solution.

Indeed for many customers who want a fixed loft ladder, telescopic is the only option if the loft hatch emerges under a low angled roof.

Loft ladder for thatched home near Stratford-upon-Avon

This was the case at a thatched property in Broom, Warwickshire, near Stratford-upon-Avon.  The hatch accessed the loft space at a point under the roof where there was not adequate stowage space for an aluminium ladder. Whilst a wooden ladder is also suitable where space is tight, timber ladders require a loft hatch of at least 1m in length. For these homeowners, this was not an option as the hatch was located in the bathroom.

It is not uncommon for hatches to be located in the bathroom or bedroom – in fact we regularly move loft hatches for customers. On this job, the customer preferred to leave where it was and instead opted for a 3ft by 2ft plastic hatch and telescopic ladder.

Using a telescopic ladder couldn’t be easier

A telescopic ladder is not a budget option, costing more than a wooden one, but for many customers who cannot accommodate a 1m hatch, it is the best choice. This does not mean that it is second best – a telescopic ladder is a high-end, quality product and will take as much weight as a wooden version

Using a telescopic ladder couldn’t be easier – you use the fitted nylon strap to pull the ladder down before sliding it into position. It is both lightweight and sturdy once in place.

To talk through the options for loft ladders or boarding, please use the contact page accessed here.

Loft storage makes sense for our customers in the Midlands

We all have items that we don’t use everyday, but want to keep. The loft is the often the prime area we use to store these belongings. Not everybody has a garage and sheds are often too damp for precious items.

Recent finished loft boarding job in Wellesbourne

Boarding the loft makes sense – an average house in the UK is 68m2. By boarding the loft, you will most likely be adding the same as one storey of storage– that’s the potential for an extra 30m2 of space.  When related to the cost of property per square metre that is a significant gain, particularly in the West Midlands in areas where property prices are high like Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

Average cost for loft boarding and storage space

We are often asked to give an idea of cost on the phone or through a message. Like most home improvement firms, we like to visit to ensure that our quote is accurate, but as a ballpark figure, £40 per square metre is a good indication of cost. This price includes upgrading the floor to accommodate insulation, pipes and wires. For a customer who really only needs extra space in their homes for storage that is an extremely cost-effective way of creating extra space compared to extending, but one that can have a similarly dramatic effect when it enables them to re-organise the space they have. Of course you don’t have to board the entire area and many customers choose to do a section of it, on average 10m2 to 15m2

Preparation to raise boarding above insulation

Loft storage top ten for Midlands customers

Our customers always have ideas for how to use the storage area we create by boarding their loft and often share their plans with us. The top ten most quoted items destined for loft storage are:

  • Christmas decorations
  • Suitcases
  • Clothes that are out of season – many people don’t have room in their wardrobes and swap over their summer and winter attire
  • Equipment for occasional or lapsed activities and hobbies – from golf clubs to skis
  • Books
  • Photos
  • Children’s toys and baby clothes/equipment
  • Sentimental items that customers don’t want in their living space but can’t quite part with
  • CDs and records – for customers that stream their music but like to know their collection is safe
  • Boxes left for safe-keeping by a family member – most often children who have flown the nest but still want the benefit of a free storage facility

Top tips when creating loft storage space

  • Think about the ladder – it will need to be sturdy enough to take the weight if you plan to store heavy items
  • Consider enlarging the hatch- many housebuilders fit a small hatch as standard, which can make taking items up and down awkward
  • In a new build you will need to consider the insulation. We create raised boarding that allows you to keep your current level of insulation and even adds additional thermal properties.

Bespoke shelving

As part of a wider job we can build in dedicated storage shelving. We are skilled and experienced carpenters and can create bespoke shelving to fit boxes, suitcases or whatever you need to store.

So, if you want to make the most of the space you have, consider looking upwards in your home and get the loft boarded.  We provide advice and no-obligation quotes – contact the team here.


Lightweight and economical – why these homeowners in Stratford and Redditch chose an aluminium loft ladder

Whether for cost reasons or space considerations, aluminium is the often the best option for a loft ladder. Not only are aluminium ladders more economical than timber or telescopic, they are also incredibly lightweight.

We’ve written before about the reasons many people choose a wooden loft ladder, but as in everything in our homes, the choice depends on the setting and the usage it will receive.

This week we have fitted aluminium ladders in two different settings that perfectly illustrate this point.

Aluminium loft ladders ideal for smaller space in Stratford-upon-Avon

In Stratford-upon-Avon, we fitted an aluminium ladder in a three-storey modern property. Space on the landing was tight and this fact, coupled with the need to keep costs down, led the homeowners to choose aluminium.

Keeping costs down with an aluminium loft ladder in Redditch

In Astwood Bank near Redditch, the owners of a four-bed detached did not have the same space considerations, but also chose aluminium. Their choice was once again budget led. As they only needed to access the loft infrequently to fetch Christmas decorations etc., aluminium provided the quality that they needed at a price that would also match their budget.

For homeowners who only want to go up to the loft a half a dozen times a year and who will not be carrying particularly heavy items, an aluminium loft ladder is a great choice.

Plastic loft hatch adds space

In Astwood Bank the customer decided to spend extra money on improving the overall loft access by replacing their old hatch with a new plastic one. This change increased the loft opening by four inches making the whole process of accessing storage more comfortable.

A plastic loft hatch appeals to many of our customers as it provides a totally finished appearance with no future painting or repainting required.

You can find out more about the full range of loft ladders we fit here.

Enlarging loft hatch opens up possibilities in Shipston-on-Stour

Reasons to consider enlarging the loft hatch

If you are considering boarding your loft and fitting a fixed ladder you might also want to think about changes to the loft opening itself. Many people don’t realise how easy it is to enlarge the loft hatch.

We often see older style hatches which aren’t big enough to accommodate larger items. By enlarging the hatch you create new possibilities about what you are able to store. Suddenly you can take up those bulky items. Even bringing down smaller boxes becomes easier and safer when there is more space around the ladder.

With a skilled carpenter carrying out the installation, the integrity of the timber joists is maintained by inserting the proper supports as we cut a larger space. Re-plastering around the new opening leaves the ceiling looking as if the hatch was always meant to be there.  A responsible contractor will leave the site, painted to your specification and neatly finished.

If your preference is for a wooden hatch surround, then you will almost definitely need to enlarge the opening, as the smallest wooden hatch is 1m long – larger than most people’s current loft hatches.

New loft hatch in Honington

In Honington, a hamlet just outside Shipston-on-Stour, we improved the loft access in a barn conversion with a large attic space.

Half of the loft was already boarded but, as is often the case, the family’s circumstances had changed and they now wanted to board the entire area.

The owner’s elderly father had come to live with them and they required more storage space to accommodate his belongings. As some of these were bulky, we recommended enlarging the loft opening as part of the job, which also included fitting a wooden ladder.

Repositioning loft hatch

Not all properties allow as much space as this barn conversion, however enlarging the loft hatch is not the only option for improving access. Where space is tight, for example on a landing, we can reposition the hatch to make it safer and more convenient to access.  This often involves a change in its orientation so that the ladder descends safely away from the stairs.

Whatever kind of property you live in, we can suggest ways to make the most of your loft. Message us to request a no-obligation visit.

Wooden Loft Ladders proving popular in Warwickshire and Worcestershire

Five years ago our customers were shying away from wooden ladders, preferring the more cost-effective aluminium option.  Recently this has changed, so that in 2019 we have been installing more wooden loft ladders than any other kind. This shift in customer choices led us to wonder,  why the change?

In uncertain times we all know that people favour staying put and investing in what they have rather than moving house. In what has been a turbulent 2019 this must surely be a factor in people committing to top of the range ladders.

Add to this the fact that homes are getting smaller, particularly when you compare the living space in new build homes today with that of previous decades.

Whatever period of house we live in, we all have so much more stuff.  Most customers who contact us want to clear their loft to create more storage space and streamline their living spaces.

For many people this concerns items that they only use at particular times of the year or equipment for occasional hobbies. Some customers like to swap over their winter and summer clothes to create wardrobe space. When it comes to carrying heavy items up to a loft people prefer the sturdiest timber ladders.

Wooden Loft Ladder in Warwickshire

This was the case at a recent installation in the Bridgetown area of Stratford-upon-Avon, where we boarded the loft of a detached 1970’s family home. At 35m2, this was a larger than average installation taking two days in place of the usual one.

Storage space at a premium in Stratford

The customer planned to  move items from both the garage and bedrooms freeing up valuable space in the home – at a premium with three children. The family enjoys camping in the summer along with all the equipment involved and planned to store items in the loft.

In order to comfortably and safely take larger items up to the loft, their preference was for a wooden ladder.

Timber loft hatch

To further ensure easy access, we enlarged the loft opening fitting a new timber hatch.

The customers were delighted and as soon as we finished were planning to spend the weekend de-cluttering and creating more space in their home.

“On average a wooden loft ladder costs £180 more than an aluminium option,” commented Stuart Dyson, owner of Stu’s Loft Ladders. “Whilst there are jobs where a lightweight aluminium or telescopic ladder are the best option, many customers, particularly those with larger loft areas, are choosing wooden. Fitting a loft ladder is something that you will most likely only do once whilst you live in a property and so people want the quality and strength of timber.”

We are always happy to advise on the best loft ladder for your home and to provide a no-obligation quote. Call us on 07712 327 889 or message us.

Custom-made in Studley – the bespoke benefits of having skilled carpenters board your loft

One of the benefits of having experienced carpenters board your loft and fit a loft ladder is their ability to create a bespoke installation to your exact requirements. This was the case at a recent installation in Studley, near Redditch, for a customer whose mobility issues meant that accessing the loft had been tricky.

More than just a loft ladder for Studley customer

The customer approached us for a quote to board and fit a wooden ladder to her home, a three-bedroom semi-detached. As she was happy with the price, the deciding factor was whether we could create a safety balustrade for her around the opening in the loft as she had some balance problems.

We crafted a strong wooden balustrade around three sides of the loft opening in order for her to safely and confidently access the loft.

Safety rails and loft storage – our carpentry skills make the difference

Other add-ons we can provide are grab rails for older adults or built-in storage for suitcases, books etc.

Stu Dyson, founder and owner of Stu’s Loft Ladders explains, “ Because we are experienced carpenters, we can work around whatever issue the client has, whether that is adding grab rails or balustrades, or building in storage to make the most of a newly-boarded loft.  It makes sense to have this work done at the same time as part of the loft improvements. We are not just fitting a kit, we are shaping each installation to the customer’s needs.”

For more information or to arrange a free quote, please call us on 07712 327889.

Why the perfect loft ladder depends on the setting

Aluminium just the job in Bidford whilst wood is the way in Shipston – why the perfect loft ladder depends on the setting

One of the questions we are most frequently asked by potential customers is which type of ladder we recommend. Our answer is always the same – it depends on the setting. The type of ladder that will work best is dictated by your budget, the space available and your personal preference. Here we look at two loft ladder installations in Warwickshire, one using a wooden ladder and another with an aluminium ladder – both of which were perfect for their location and the house owners.

Wooden Loft Ladder in Shipston-on-StourWooden Loft Ladder in Shipston-on-Stour

In Shipston-on-Stour, we were asked to fit a ladder in the bungalow of an older couple. As is not uncommon, they had been told that gas engineers could not service their boiler in the loft without the presence of a fixed ladder. The requirements here were for a solid ladder to enable easy and safe access to the boiler for gas engineers and for the couple themselves. Although more expensive than aluminium, wooden ladders can support weight up to 160kg and the team from Stu’s Loft Ladders recommended one for this installation.  The couple also chose a wooden hatch surround. Wooden frames are available in a variety of sizes and so are suitable for customers who wish to have a larger loft opening –perfect for gas engineers carrying awkward tools and equipment. Another benefit of wooden loft ladders is that our team can cut them to the precise length according to the ceiling height, up to 3.2 meters.

Aluminium Loft Ladder in BidfordAluminium Loft Ladder installation in Bidford-on-Avon

In some cases, a heavy duty loft ladder is not always required.  At a recent job in Bidford-on-Avon, the customer preferred a lighter option and chose an aluminium three-section loft ladder for their three bedroom semi-detached.  Aluminium ladders are our most popular option as they come with a ten year guarantee and are light and easy to use.  For this family, wanting to store children’s toys and Christmas decorations, this was the perfect loft ladder option. We were also able to relocate the hatch which was previously in one of the children’s bedrooms – a totally impractical location. We boarded and plastered the original opening and cut a new loft hatch in on the landing – ideal for sneaking Christmas presents up to the loft when the children are asleep!

Every loft ladder installation is different

As well as asking which ladder we recommend, customers often ask for a cost over the phone or via Facebook. We are always happy to give a guide figure, however we prefer to visit, so that we can provide advice based on the customer’s exact requirements. Every installation is different and we can talk through the best option to make loft access safe and hassle-free.

Barford installation proves space needn’t be an issue thanks to a telescopic loft ladder

No space for a loft ladder?

Sometimes we find that customers have long harboured a belief that they do not have space for a fixed ladder to access their loft space.

This was the case at a recent installation in Barford, near Warwick, where we were asked to come up with a solution for easy loft access.

The homeowner of a detached house on the high street had been unable to use his loft due to a combination of a hatch positioned over the stairs and a lack of space in the loft for the traditional type of fixed ladder.

The solution: a telescopic loft ladder

Barford Telescopic Loft Ladder

We recommended a telescopic loft ladder, which once folded only extends by 12 inches into the loft space.

In half a day, we were able to fit the ladder as well as change the orientation of the loft opening, repositioning it over the landing. In this case, the homeowner chose a plastic hatch surround, preferring its neat profile and finish.

“We find impractical loft hatches to be a common problem for house owners, particularly in older properties,” commented Stu Dyson, owner of Stu’s Loft Ladders. “The openings are often in a dangerous location over the stairs. We can advise on the best place to reposition it so that the loft can be accessed safely and easily. With the addition of a telescopic ladder, the customer was delighted with the solution we provided.

“We leave every job finished to a high standard, sealing and repainting around the hatch so that it looks as if it has always been there.”

With a no-obligation visit our team can advise on the best combination of ladder and opening to suit every home.