Loft Hatches for all houses and budgets

Sitting between your living space and your roof space, the humble loft hatch provides access to valuable storage space in your loft area. Many older houses are fitted with timber hatches which while functional are cumbersome, poorly insulated and can allow heat to leak from the rooms below into the unheated loft space above. With ever increasing energy costs and environmental pressures to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions there is a strong case for buying the most insulated and best draught sealed loft hatch you can. Increasing numbers of people use their loft space as storage for bulky, infrequently used items such as Christmas decorations and suit cases. In some cases a whole lot more!

A modern loft hatch provides easy access to the loft while maintaining draught proofing and insulation. In summer this helps keep warm air in the loft and cooler air in the rooms below, in winter the reverse happens, with cold air being kept in the loft and warm air staying where you want it, in the rooms below.

You’ll find the UK’s biggest range of loft hatches anywhere in the UK right here so whatever your needs and budget we have a hatch to suit. We control the manufacture of all our loft hatches so as well as offering exceptional value, we won't be beaten on quality either. All our loft hatches are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for a period of two years. Another benefit of controlling our own manufacturing, we’re quick to being new product innovations to your home such as the best performing airtight loft hatch on the market.

What to consider when buying a new loft hatch

 The main criteria to consider when choosing a new loft hatch are:

  • Will it fit my loft opening?
  • Ease of loft access
  • Ease of fitting
  • Insulation and Draught proofing
  • Will a new loft hatch save money on heating bills
  • Quality
  • Cost

Will it fit my loft opening?
All our standard size loft hatches are designed to fit between 600mm joist centres. 600mm is the standard width between the centre of the timber ceiling joists in the loft, this has been a requirement of UK Building Regulations for many years so applies to a good number of properties. This will give a width of something around 560mm (+ or – 5mm). You’ll notice most of our loft hatches are geared to suit a width of 560mm. If you can’t find a standard size loft hatch to fit we can make you one to measure. See further below for information on our made to measure loft hatches.

How to select the right size loft hatch for my property
Measure the length and width between the timbers which make the loft opening. It is worth noting that most loft openings are not completely square so if you measure at more than one point don’t be surprised if you get a slight difference in measurements. We list all our loft hatches by their structural opening size. In plain English, if you allow up to 5mm over the size we quote the loft hatch should fit. To give an example for a hatch 720 x 560mm will fit into an opening up to 725 x 565mm. Please note, due to most loft openings not being completely square always allow up to 5mm over to allow for this.

Ease of loft access
All our loft hatches are designed with you in mind. You’ll find them easy to open and close. Every one of our loft hatches exceeds NHBC (National House Building Council) size requirements for loft openings. 

Ease of fitting
To keep things easy, all our loft hatches utilise the same method of screw fixing. To fit, simply insert the inner part of the frame into the loft opening and screw fix into the timber. The inner part of the loft hatch frame has pre-formed fixing holes, the fixing screws are supplied with the loft hatch. Please note you may need to use packers or spacers to equal out any extreme gaps between the fame of the loft hatch and the loft opening.

Insulation and Draught proofing
All our loft hatches are insulated and are fitted with draught seals. Budget models have the least insulation with more expensive models having better insulation. For ease of understanding a graphic showing the performance of the insulation is listed with each loft hatch we sell. This is expressed by U value which is a measure of thermal conductivity. The lower the U value, the better the thermal performance. Current Building Regulations require a U Value of 0.35. All but 3 of our loft traps meet or exceed these requirements. Please note that unless you are building a new property you are under no obligation to fit a loft hatch which meets the current insulation requirements. However in some cases the increase in cost is so little the potential savings on heating bills by having a better insulated loft hatch. For more information on U Values see further down this page.

Will a new loft hatch save money on heating bills?
The answer to this is “it depends”, but potentially yes. The reason it depends is because there are numerous factors to take into account. To simplify things as much as possible here are three scenarios which may help you decide.

1)      If your loft is well insulated it is wise to ensure your loft hatch is well insulated to avoid the loft hatch acting as a cold spot which will concentrate any heat loss

2)      If your existing loft hatch is a piece of timber there is a good chance that it won’t be well draught proofed or insulated

3)      House built prior to 2006

How much of a saving you can expect depends on a number of factors. To get a firm answer requires some fairly geeky calculations. But as a general rule if you can answer yes to at least one of the above questions there is a good chance of reducing heating bills by replacing your existing hatch with a more up to date model which should help by reducing draughts and improving the insulation. 

Quality
We sell thousands of loft hatches every year, our customers range from leading house builders through to private individuals. Each of our loft hatches has been extensively tested and is guaranteed against manufacturing defects for two years. Please note some of the plastic hatches do have some “give” when not fitted, this is because they are designed to utilise the rigidity of the ceiling once fitted to eliminate most of this flex.

Cost
As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. Every one of our loft hatches represents exceptional value for money, the differences in price reflect the cost of production. The lowest cost are the budget plastic hatches with the highest cost being our steel made to measure hatches which are hand made to order.Can’t find a standard size loft hatch to fit your loft opening, we’ll make one to measure

If your property has a non-standard size loft opening you need not worry we can make a hatch to your precise requirements. Naturally a hand made bespoke product comes at a higher cost but costs less than paying to call out a joiner to make a timber one. You’ll also find a made to measure hatch offers unrivalled levels of draught proofing and insulation. If you’d like more information on our range of made to measure loft hatches, click here to see what’s available. Delivery time is listed on the product but as a general rule allow 2 weeks for delivery.

More information

Loft Hatch types/ styles explained

There are two types of loft hatch available, hinged or push up. With a hinged loft hatch the lid hinges down, this is a very convenient style of hatch as the lid can be opened and lowered out of the way with the use of a pole. The hinge provides a pivot point so when the hatch is closed the action of the latch applies compression to the seals around the door to aid draught reduction. A push up loft hatch is a two piece assembly, the frame is separate to the lid. Opening is slightly more difficult as the lid needs to be lifted up and into the loft space. The advantage being the removal of the lid maximises the clear opening of the loft hatch which can be useful. Generally people want to use the loft hatch in conjunction with a ladder so a hinged loft hatch is more suitable for use with a loft ladder.

Fire rated or non-fire rated

In most cases for a normal two-storey residential house with normal occupancy there will be no need to fit a fire rated loft hatch, however if you’re uncertain please check with your local building control department. Generally if you have an existing wooden or plastic loft hatch a non-fire rated product will be suitable for use in your property.

Part L Building Regulations and Loft Hatches
Part L of the Building Regulations govern conservation of fuel and power or put another way, energy efficiency. As heat rises, in an uninsulated property 25% is lost through the roof. Insulating the loft helps reduce this but as the loft hatch is a similar area to a window it is important not to underestimate the role a well insulated and draught proofed loft hatch plays. It is pointless having a well insulated loft and a poorly performing loft hatch.

In new properties Part L requires the overall U value of the loft is 0.35 W/m2K. Most of our loft hatch range meet or exceed this with some models having U values of 0.25 and even 0.15 (lower is better).

U Value explained

U-Value is a measure of heat loss through a structure. It reflects the rate at which heat transfers through 1 square metre of the structure where the temperature difference between the inner and outer faces is 1 degree Celsius. This is expressed as Watts per Metre Squared Kelvin.

Lock options
Our hinged loft hatches are fitted with twist catches. On plastic loft hatches the twist latch has a slotted head which can be turned by hand or using one of our poles if you’re unable to reach. Metal hinged loft hatches have a triangular insert key for opening. Again a pole is available to enable opening from floor level. Where specified in the product descriptions most twist catch loft hatches are available with a key locking option for additional security. The use a generic lock and key so if you have multiple installations the same key will work on all hatches of the same type. Spare keys are also available.

Push up loft hatches have no lock options.

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