Jill Ranford and Patrick Taggart are the proud owners of a beautiful new build home in Southern France. The main bedroom features a vaulted ceiling with access to a loft via a wall hatch located 2.7m up from the floor. Therefore, a loft ladder was required that could be easily operated at that height and could be folded behind the wall hatch door without taking up too much loft space. The Elite Vertical Loft Ladder proved to be the perfect solution for Jill and Patrick’s needs.
Here is what Jill and Patrick had to say about Premier Loft Ladders and the Elite Vertical Loft Ladder…
My husband Patrick and I own a property on the Dordogne / Lot border in southern France. Back in 2005 we decided to extend it. Due to a host of reasons, our extension project is only now approaching its final phase of construction. The outside was finished years ago and has weathered nicely, matching the old adjacent ‘gite’ building. But for years the inside remained a building site come store area. We are happy to say though that our ‘New Build’, as we still call it, has lurched back into a hive of activity this year.
Upstairs, above the second bedroom, is a loft accessible from high up on the wall of the main bedroom which has a vaulted ceiling. We’d always realised that we would need a bespoke set of steps to reach the loft door.
In March 2017 we started ‘Googling’ loft ladders but almost all the models were designed for a more traditional loft aperture in a ceiling. Our mate Nick, who often joins us in France to do some work on the ‘New Build’, alighted upon the Elite Retractable Vertical Loft Ladder distributed in Britain by Premier Loft Ladders.
“In particular we liked the fact that it operates independently of the door and its steps stack in concertina mode immediately behind the door so take up barely any floor space in the loft.”
Of course we needed a ladder that swings down from a wall opening rather than a ceiling and the Elite does just that. It seemed to tick all our other requirements too. In particular we liked the fact that it operates independently of the door and its steps stack in concertina mode immediately behind the door so take up barely any floor space in the loft. The Premier Loft Ladder website was clear and informative and from that we learnt about the Elite’s other attractive features; its sturdiness, the way it is spring-assisted, the deep tread of the steps and a telescopic hand-rail.
Above: Elite Vertical loft ladder. Sturdy construction, spring-assisted operation, deep treads and a telescopic hand-rail.
We approached Premier Loft Ladders first by phone then email. In the two weeks that followed around 30 emails flowed between Alex Wakeley and myself. Whatever question we had, he answered promptly and furnished us with extra diagrams. Alex even phoned us at home to talk through a specific technical point that I had raised, having first spoken to the team at the factory in Germany. It was then that I learnt how Alex and his father run the company between them.
“When buying from a company on-line there is always a niggling concern that your payment might disappear into the ether. However, we found ourselves reassured by Premier Loft Ladders.”
Above: Elite Vertical Loft Ladder being used to access the loft space above the second bedroom.
Alex mentioned that the Elite was going to be on display at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon from the third week of March. When I confirmed that we’d go and look at it, he arranged for a member of staff from the centre to personally demonstrate the ladder.
When buying from a company on-line there is always a niggling concern that your payment might disappear into the ether. However, we found ourselves reassured by Premier Loft Ladders; Alex’s attentiveness to detail and knowledge, the prompt replies, our NSBRC visit to see the ladder ‘in the flesh’ and that long friendly phone call one evening. While the company’s products and presentation are sophisticated, their tone with the customer is personal.
Alex had told us that the delivery lead-time was likely to be 2-3 weeks. The ladder came from Germany and was delivered to our remote hamlet in France 14 days after our payment. I heard a van driver calling me from the country road having spotted me in the garden. “Oui c’est ‘La Chaumiere’” I’d replied. He drove along the track behind our property in reverse to offload the precious ladder. We filled out a form and he returned to his cab. Suddenly he sprung back out: he’d forgotten the pole to pull the ladder up and down!
“The deep wide treads feel more like a staircase than a ladder and the hand rails offer reassuring support”
The Elite is now installed in our loft doorway and performs beautifully. It is so unlike cheap loft ladders that I’ve come across in the past where one stands below with apprehension hoping to take the weight of a stack of metal steps dropping unceremoniously in two or three stages. The movement of the Elite is smooth and controlled. When climbing up or down, the deep wide treads feel more like a staircase than a ladder and the hand rails offer reassuring support.
We are very, very pleased with our purchase. Thank you Premier Loft Ladders.
Jill Ranford, May 2017
Above: Elite Loft Ladder with large non-slip treads.
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