Everyone is selling the same loft ladder!
The loft ladder market may seem daunting, with so many companies selling so many loft ladders, how do you know which one to pick? In actual fact the global market is dominated by a handful of companies and there is a lot of re-branding going on, so the loft ladder market isn’t as diverse as it first appears.
In Ireland and the UK, the vast majority of installation companies are re-sellers for the major brands and are supplying one of 3 different brands. This essentially means they are all selling the same product. No matter how much they insist on having a range of superior quality loft ladders, it’s most likely the same loft ladder that the other guy is selling, pay special attention to photos used and you’ll see it for yourself. They are suppliers, not manufacturers.
They may have a large range of ladders available to them in theory, but it’s unlikely they’ll keep a stock of all those different types of ladders. They likely can order in any model they want on request, but this could incur a longer lead time or covering added shipping costs. Because everyone else is selling the same loft ladder all their talk about the product itself becomes somewhat irrelevant, because there’s no difference in the products they are selling. All you need to focus on is the reputation of the company.
They’ve all got a 10 year guarantee now
This isn’t exactly true. The company or person fitting the loft ladder for you can give you their personal assurance they will repair any defects, but most other loft ladders don’t leave their factory with a 10 year guarantee. Most have a 3 year guarantee. The fitting company is making a promise that the manufacturer won’t make. So you would need to make sure the company you’re dealing with will be around long enough to honor that guarantee.
Stira loft ladders are only sold by Stira and registered Stira distributors in the UK, we sell direct to the customer, the Stira is not available in any shops, our guarantee comes from us, the manufacturer, the Stira is independently tested and certified to ensure we meet EU loft ladder safety standard EN14975.
You may notice that other companies say they “satisfy” or “comply” with the standard EN 14975 (a European loft ladder safety standard). You will just have to take their word for that. If a company is actually independently tested to ensure they comply with the standard they are required to display the logo of the accrediting body that audits them, like the NSAI, BSI or TUV.