If you are looking for a way to increase your home’s storage space, the attic ladder is one of the most efficient ways. You might be in need of a new attic ladder. But, do you know which kind to purchase?
This article will discuss how to do an attic ladder and installation & tips for your home. Attic Ladder is an attic access system that makes it possible to go up and down the ladders with ease.
The Attic Ladder also has a sturdy ladder that can be closed in order to provide maximum safety.
The most common Attic Ladder Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes that people make when installing an attic ladder is not making the opening in the ceiling large enough. Otherwise, it can be difficult and time-consuming for people to get into and out of the attic. Another common mistake is that people often install an attic ladder too low. This makes it difficult for anyone to access the attic and puts them at risk for injury.
How to Install Attic Ladder?
Make sure to install your ladder in a way so it doesn’t protrude from the side of the attic. The ladder should be installed at a height that is comfortable for you and your family while still being able to get into or out of the attic. There are many different rules for installing an attic ladder, but if you’re not sure what rules to follow, consult with a professional.
- The ladder should be able to fit your location accurately
- There should be enough room for the bottom of the ladder to move freely
- Your ladder should be matching your attic floor and roof framing
- Determining the angle of the ladder on the basis of your attic space is a must
- In case you are not comfortable with a handrail, do opt for ladder rungs
Cost of Installation of Attic Ladder:
Due to the ladder option, installing most attic hatches and ladders will cost a lot of money; In addition, you will have to pay for the labor. Installing stairs in the attic can cost between the US $ 200-650. However, the average cost is $ 450, including labor and attic sub-parts. Labor costs may vary. But the average cost for professional contractors is $ 250 per project.
Aluminum attic ladders are often cheaper than wooden ones. Aluminum frames are more durable than wooden stairs, but they can make your home look beautiful.
Guide to buying an attic ladder:
This simple buying guide will help you choose the best attic access ladder. Before making a purchasing decision, consider the following factors:
Ladder dimensions and space- Attic ladders need to have an opening in the roof. The minimum size of the opening is 22.5 x 54 inches. Therefore, the first step in choosing attic ladders is to ensure that you have enough opening space.
In addition, ensure that there is enough floor clearance below the attic opening to accommodate the fully extended ladder. The size of different attic stairs may vary. Therefore, please check the manufacturer‘s requirements.
Rough opening- There are pull-down ceiling stairs often available in various opening dimensions. But you may still need a new opening or a retrofit for the one that already exists. It is also necessary to check the dimensions of the model of the ladder you selected to see if they even fit with the ceiling opening or not. You can also frame the ceiling opening to accommodate the attic stair in case the existing opening does not accommodate the model you have chosen.
Ceiling height- This is the height of the ceiling. Each folding attic ladder has a different ceiling height, compatible from minimum to maximum height. However, you can make any necessary adjustments within this range by adding or removing steps and cutting the stairs as described in the manual. You can find the ceiling height by measuring from the attic door panel and using a tape measure.
Length and Weight capacity- When it comes to the length of the attic stairs, be sure to measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor where the ladder falls. Next, find the right ladder size. The load-bearing capacity of the model refers to the weight that the ladder can carry.
Attic access ladders are rated according to ANSI standards. Generally speaking, models with higher ratings are of better quality and can safely maintain weight. Well-known brands and manufacturers attach great importance to weight class. Before choosing a loft model, first understand the maximum weight it can carry.
For attic ladders, the load-bearing capacity is almost the same as the load-bearing capacity. Therefore, consider the weight of the user and the load of the product being transported up and down.
Insulation- Another important factor to check is insulation. The ground floor insulated wire has an R-value to indicate the efficiency of preventing heat loss. If the model you choose does not prevent energy loss, you can use a drop down attic ladder to insulate the deck from the ladder. The attic stair cover boxes can also prevent air leakage to reduce heat loss.
The insulation of the attic staircase is another factor to consider. Attic stairs can leak air, leading to household energy loss and higher energy bills. Therefore, if you want to save additional energy loss, high insulation is a priority. Check whether the attic model has tight doors and insulation materials.
Ladder material- When buying the right model, you may want to know which type of attic ladder and which material is best for your space. Attic ladders have different types of materials, such as wood, aluminum or stainless steel structures.
The wooden scissor attic ladder looks great, but is heavy and even greatly prone to potential natural disasters, susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity.They are more expensive than aluminum, but you will find that there are many types of them. Aluminum models are very practical because they are strong and sturdy, lightweight, rust-free and not affected by change in moisture levels.
They are also cheaper than wooden models. Steel stairs are beautiful and durable, but they are expensive. It would also be great if you have a fireproof attic staircase.
Quality- Regardless of the size of the attic ladder you choose, make sure it is made of the strongest material. Also, you don’t know who might use the ladder in the future. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a well-built attic ladder with the highest load-bearing capacity. Also, check the strength and durability of the ladder hinge.
Style and Design- The attic ladders have various designs and styles to choose from. The different styles combine different functions to improve ease of use and overall convenience. Telescopic, folding and scissor-style attic ladders are well suited for residential installations.
Folding attic ladders can either be folded manually or automatically. On the other hand, telescopic attic ladders slide into themselves through their connected parts. The scissor attic retractable method is different from the traditional folding type. You can choose the design and style of the attic ladders according to your personal preferences.
Special Safety Features:
- Step width and Fire Resistance– No one wants to light a fire in their house; however, most of the things in our home, such as attic doors and ladders are made of wood, and if there is a fire, it will burn quickly. However, there are several ways to be safer, such as:
- Go for 5/8 inches of fire-rated drywall for covering the opening. This eliminates any access to the fire.
- You can construct a firewall in the attic, so that it will separate the house attic from the garage attic.
- Deep and grooved steps are considered safe to use. But the angles should be taken care of as well.
- It is important to make the ladder have fire resistance ability.
- Opening and closing style- Some models fold flat, while others slide forward or backward like a telescopic ladder.
- Handrail- The handrails will make you get on and off comfortably and safely. However, you can also use the ladder rungs with one hand while carrying roofing nails and other items with the other hand.
Safety tips while using Attic Ladder:
In addition to knowing how to install attic ladders, you need to be more careful than usual when you are climbing attic ladders in tight spaces. First, make sure the ladder has been installed correctly so that all the footrests and handles are very stable. Also, the installation is considered successful only when you see that your ladder is steady and stable after installation with the hinges in place.
- Check the ladder before climbing- Loft ladders are only used a few times a year, but between these times, they may have been damaged in some way. Therefore, to ensure that there is no damage and the ladder remains safe, you should check it every time you climb.
- Watch the net weight- If you are carrying a heavier package, please consider the total weight of the package and your body. Don’t make up things that are too heavy for you, lest climbing is unsafe for you.
- Take a light with you- You can also turn on the flashlight of your phone and use it to see where you are going while climbing.
- Take someone with you- There should be someone to accompany you up the ladder. This is a necessary precaution to be taken always, so that you can get some kind of help in case the worst happens and you fall off the ladder and injure yourself.