If you want reliable loft access, you’ll need a loft hatch and a loft ladder.

But before you can choose the right options for your loft and purchase them, you’ll need to find out more about UK loft hatch sizes.

The question is:

How big does a loft hatch need to be for a loft ladder?

You’ve come to the right place!

At Insulation Superstore, we took a deep dive into loft hatch sizes, the process of measuring for a loft hatch and much more.

Let’s crack on.

Table of contents

What is a standard loft hatch size?

There are a few standard loft hatch size options in the UK. The most common one is 562mm x 726mm. This is sufficient to give you comfortable access to your loft, however, you’re also likely to come across the following sizes (most often, but not limited to):

  • 450mm x 600mm
  • 542mm x 645mm
  • 600mm x 700mm
  • 700mm x 900mm

An opened loft hatch.

And that’s not all! Nowadays, many manufacturers offer bespoke, made-to-measure loft hatch solutions.

So, how small can a loft hatch be?

While there’s no minimum size per se, loft hatch size regulations recommend that your loft door be at least 530mm x 530mm.

What other relevant regulations are there?

That’s exactly what we’re going to find out next.

Loft hatch building regulations

There are several Building Regulations which apply specifically to loft hatches.

These are:

To find out more about U-values, head over to our in-depth guide.

How to measure a loft hatch

Measuring up for a loft door is very simple. All you need is:

  • A reliable step ladder
  • A tape measure

When you have those tools handy, just follow these two simple steps:

Manthorpe Drop Down Fire Rated Loft Door

Step one: Measure the Loft Hatch Opening

Climb up the ladder and carefully measure the length and width of the loft hatch opening – i.e., the distance between the timbers.

Step two: Determine adjusted dimensions for loft door

Next, subtract around 5mm from the total width and length to allow for the thickness of the loft door. So, for a standard 562mm x 726mm hatch to fit comfortably, for instance, the opening should measure approximately 567mm x 731mm. This is your rule of thumb for all loft hatch sizes.

But what do you do if your opening is too small?

Let’s find out.

Can a loft hatch be made bigger?

If the loft ladder you intend to fit requires a bigger opening, you’ll have to widen it. When doing so, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t cut through any support structures, such as beams and timber lintels, as well as any pipework or wires.

So, before you actually get to the point where you start cutting through the ceiling, you’ll need to examine your home’s building plans carefully and have a good understanding of the structural layout.

A woman climbing up a loft ladder.

The process itself is quite delicate and requires excellent DIY skills. For a detailed discussion of the ins and outs, check out our step-by-step guide on how to widen your loft latch.

Final thoughts

Loft sizes in the UK are fairly standard, and the good news is that there’s no shortage of viable options.

So, you should have no trouble finding the right size loft door for pretty much any opening.

What’s more:

Made-to-measure solutions are also readily available on the market, even if they’re typically more expensive.

And if your loft opening is too small, you can always enlarge it.

The bottom line is:

Measure up carefully, consult our Loft ladders & hatches buyer’s guide, and you’re good to go!

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