Cost of Installing a Loft Hatch
A guide of the process of hiring a joiner or builder to fit a loft hatch, including the costs of labour and materials.
If you have a loft in the attic area, or higher level than the ground level of your home, a loft hatch is a perfect addition to access the loft. The hatch will not only make it easy to climb up and down to the loft but is also a superior option to install a pricey staircase so you can access the loft.
It is easy to fold-away and store when it isn’t in use. The hatch is also ideal for smaller apartments or homes, where a staircase would be too large. And, the hatch is a much cheaper option, if you are on a tight budget, and requires less time to install, than a brand new staircase in the home.
What the job entails
Installing a hatch is a simple job if you have the experience. A contractor should be hired for this type of project. It requires cutting a hole in the ceiling, which will lead into the loft space of the home. Of course, you have to properly measure the entryways, and points where you will cut the ceiling, for proper placement of the loft hatch.
Once measured and cut, you must determine the access system to the loft space. Whether this is a traditional staircase, ladder, or hanging stairs, you have several options from which to choose. Depending on the budget, the type of access chosen will differ in each home. The loft hatch also requires a mechanism which will allow it to remain shut when not in use. Whether this is a spring mechanism, lock, and key, or other pulley form system, will be determined at the time of installation.
Potential installation issues
If there are roof concerns, problems with the ceiling, or if you have limited crawlspace available, these are a few of the possible problems which will cause minor setbacks in installing the loft hatch. It is best to fix these problems prior to installation, to ensure a stable starting point for the loft hatch installation.
If you are on a limited budget, the issue of quality materials is something to consider. You want a stable loft hatch, so you should use the highest quality materials, and a sturdy ladder, so you can gain access to the loft. You should appropriately budget for this project, in order to avoid issues with shoddy workmanship, or potential problems with the hatch jamming, or otherwise damaging areas of the home.
Other projects to complete
If you wish to do any work in the loft space, this is as good a time as any to do so. Whether it is upgrading the flooring, install new windows, or otherwise paint the space, you will have full access to the loft once your new hatch is installed. If you plan on utilising the space for a room, or guest area, you can do any upgrade work as you are having the new loft hatch system installed.
If you need to upgrade the roof, repair shingles, or if there are issues with the ceiling, from inside the home, this is the time to address such concerns as well. Consider having a survey conducted, to ensure the home is stable and can actually handle the addition you are going to make to it. Not only from a safety vantage point but also to avoid potential breakage after the new loft hatch is installed on the home’s ceiling.
Doing additional interior work in the home, whether that be painting, installing new windows, or even upgrading the furniture throughout your home, are some of the tasks you might choose to conduct at this time. It is easier to do everything at once and will require less time and effort, and it will probably end up costing you less money to do the work as well.
Costs & Duration
A professionally installed loft hatch can cost as low as £150. This is, of course, going to use the cheaper material finishes. On the higher end, expect to pay around £450-£500, which will usually include the cost of labour, as well as the materials used to design and fit the hatch.
Depending on the complexity of the project, the loft hatch can be installed in as little as 2-4 hours, or require up to a day for completion. For these reasons, homeowners should get a few quotes prior to choosing a company to install the hatch. Not only to find the cheapest pricing but also to choose the company which can complete the installation and design aspects, in a timely fashion.
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Here is a list of commonly asked questions in regards to having a loft hatch installed.
Q Can I install the loft hatch?
This is not as simple a DIY task as most people believe it to be. It will require the use of power tools, lifting equipment, and you are dealing with a ceiling, which is at least 2 metres high. Most people don’t have the equipment to do the work or experience with similar projects.
Q Is this a quick installation?
If no issues are present, a professional can typically install a new loft hatch in 1-2 days. For something simple, it might require only 1-day to complete the design and installation.
Q What stairs do I have to install?
A ladder, hanging/floating stairs, or another access system can be used to reach the loft, once the loft hatch is installed. It is up to you, and the budget you have set aside for the project’s completion.
Q Do I have to do repair work prior to installation?
If there is damage to the ceiling or roof, it is highly advised to address these problems before you do install the new loft hatch. Since you will be placing weight, and pressure to these points, you don’t want to cause further damage, so you should consider addressing problems prior to construction.
Q Do I need a loft hatch?
No. other options include a staircase, or utilising other entry systems. A loft hatch is however cheaper, and it is easy to store away (as it will fold back into the ceiling) when you aren’t using it.