Loft Hatches

The Benefits of replacing old for new

Replacing an old loft hatch must be done correctly, no point modifying an old push off hatch by reversing it putting hinges on and a catch without adequate draft seals, insulation and locking points. Also this wont conform to building regulation part L and will increase your U value (The unit of measurement used to represent heat loss). To conform to current building regulation the U value must be 0.35W/m²k or better, the lower the U value the better. Part L of the building regulations govern the conservation of fuel and power used by buildings

In some cases it can't be helped as you may want to preserve the look of the ceiling by keeping to traditional wood or finish to match the rest of the house. Although when done correctly it will be a little more expensive than a new purpose build loft hatch.

old hatch
heat loss

In most cases it is not necessary to do this and it's far more cost effective and makes more sense to install a brand new draft sealed, British Standards approved hinged door hatch and frame

Most of us at some point or another had our insulation updated to the government recommended level of 270mm.

This will make a vast difference to your energy bills over the years. In some cases you can get green deal grants to have this installed for free, but even if you are not eligible for free insulation it doesn't cost a fortune to buy your own, or have installed professionally.

The one thing we do forget to upgrade is the loft hatch. Old loft hatches (see picture above) have gaps and they don't seal shut properly, whistle to you on windy days and are pretty much useless to climb through to enable you to fit a ladder or use your loft for storage. It's important to consider having a brand new latest specification draft proof loft hatch installed if you're considering using your loft for storage as it may need to be done just to get a ladder in.

Hand made or reversing the door (Like picture above shows) to convert an old hatch is not recommended as this will not reach building regulation specifications and not all reliable at draft excluding or being energy efficient.

Professionally Installed Loft Hatch Replacement or DIY?

Professionally installed as it can be a pretty big and physically demanding job depending on the age of your property and location of the hatch. You could say the older your house the more difficult and expensive it can become. But it's still affordable you get a brand new enlarged loft opening and loft hatch professionally installed from only £90 on average so it is always worth considering.

The Manthorpe GL250 loft hatch that we use has been independently tested by the BRE to BS EN 13141-1:2004, and easily surpasses the requirements for air leakage which are outlined in the current building standards, certification is available.

The revolutionary design of the multi-point catch mechanism means that the GL250 door can maintain a more effective draught seal around the entire accessible opening, helping to meet the air leakage requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations and preventing the problem of moist warm air entering.

Many drop down hatches suffer from ‘sagging’ over time, a problem that can cause the middle of the door to bow away from the draught seal, creating an air leakage path. To prevent this issue, the GL250 door has 12 independent catch points located around the perimeter of the frame, operated from a single position with a unique sliding mechanism.

With the sliding cover replacing a conventional twist action locking mechanisms on the door, all of the hinge, catch and fixing geometry has been carefully located outside of the draught seal, meaning that there are no holes through the door that could pose an air leakage risk.

When the cover is located in the fully closed position it also completely conceals the hinge detail. The positioning of the doors pivot point is intended to maximise the accessible area available to the user when the door is open and the pioneering hinge design allows for it to be fully removed from the frame quickly and easily for simpler installation and better access with larger insulation options.

The fixings for the frame also screw directly up into the ceiling for easier installation, also providing pressure in the optimum direction for the frame to ceiling seal.

The back of the door panel has been optimised to increase the amount of space available for insulation, allowing the 50mm of expanded polystyrene to cover a greater area within the structural opening to create a better thermal barrier. Our expert trained installers can do most hatch replacements within a day or less and without too much fuss or inconvenience to you and your home.

new hatch

DIY on the other hand! Well, you would need to be very competent to take on this job and you must have good knowledge of general building work to understand what you can cut away and what needs to be strengthened. Cut away the wrong thing and it could weaken your ceiling and may collapse if walked upon. If you are not a 5 star DIYer I wouldn't tackle this job yourself, let the experts do it.


In most cases you cannot have a loft ladder installed if your hatch lifts off or hinges in to the loft space there will be no clearance to operate the ladder from below, also it is dangerous as the loose lid could slip through the opening and land on your head.

A new loft hatch will give you ease of use, in most cases a larger opening, no lid falling on your head, draft sealed and insulated to match your loft insulation.

Most old hatches are not draft sealed properly or not at all, heat escapes through gaps in the door and frame

A new hatch has a multi-point sliding lock and seal system so the whole seal around the hatch sealed shut.

No loft door insulation? It's great that you get the loft insulation updated but what about the loft door insulation.

A new loft hatch has built in insulation on the back of the door with just the right amount of clearance to operate a ladder.

It can be hard to insulate the loft door if you install a ladder as the insulation will catch on the ladder stowed above it and makes it more difficult or impossible to operate.

A hinged door allows the door to swing down for ease of use and so you can reach the ladder above it. If you require the whole door can be removed.

Most old hatches are simply just too small to use for proper storage access

Yes true so a new hatch will give you minimum of 726mm long by 566mm wide plenty enough to get modern suitcases, boxes and items through.

new hatch

What about a commercial grade timber loft ladder with extra long hatch?

If you want to use your loft for more than just storage, maybe a bit of eBaying or a study / hobby area or for storage of larger items then this timber combination energy efficient wood lined insulated and draught sealed hatch with wide tread three part fold out ladder would be ideal.

Fantastic option for those who are not good on ordinary runged metal ladders or for those who are struggling a little to get up the old way, why not have installed one of these very popular options.

Please do not compare these to the ones you may see in B&Q or Wickes as the ones we fit are top quality commercial heavy duty grade. Loft Boarding NW only ever fit the best well tested products we can find, NO compromise to get our prices down, we simply don't believe in cheap options.
The maximum this ladder will reach to from floor to ceiling is 3.51m with an extension section being added to the standard ladder of 2.8m.
The opening size of the hatch varies depending on the make and model that is suitable for your application. Normal load capacity is around 150kg (23.6st).
Tested to EN14915 and an energy efficient design and build with an insulated door. On the larger timber loft ladders the is door is spring assisted to help with operation and the ladder treads are slip resistant wide tread steps.
We also offer our own unique product 10 year parts and labour guarantee which replaces the manufacturer 1 year parts only.
The loft hatch and ladder are sold as one unit and cannot be separated.

new hatch

timber loft ladders

Can you do remote opening loft ladders?

Yes we can! we can design and have made in our Stira factory in Ireland a remote opening electric loft ladder.
Semi automatic electric timber loft hatch with manual ladder
Electric wood hatch and loft ladder
Remote control operated door
Insulated door and features a draught seal, this ensures the trapdoor is airtight
Solid timber construction grade frame and steps sourced from managed forests
Even works in a power cut with a battery backup system Intelligent safety awareness, by constantly measuring its progress the system can recognise when something is jamming or pulling on the trapdoor.
Extra large trapdoor opening for tight spaces where walls obstruct normal folding ladders.
Reach height from 2.44m to 3.81m measured floor to ceiling
Width all 560mm & Length from 1048mm to 1990mm
Class BS EN14975 (Max Load 150 kg / 23.5st)
Prices range from £1200
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