How To Install Attic Ladder- Easy To Follow

Are you wondering how to install attic ladder?

Want to learn how to install an attic ladder by yourself as easy as possible?

Stop worrying about.

In this article, we’ll show you the simple processes of attic ladder installation.

What Is An Attic Ladder?

Attic ladder is also known as the loft ladder. It’s a retractable ladder installed into the floor of an attic that pulls down from the ceiling.

An attic ladder is-

  • an alternative to a stairway
  • provide access to attic space
  • useful in constraint spaces
  • usually made of metal, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum
  • inexpensive
  • compact

In general, an attic ladder consists of a ladder with a steep slope and broader steps. There is a drawstring that let the ladder to be manually extended.

If your house has an attic, you certainly require an attic ladder/ stair to get there.

How To Install Attic Ladder - Important Issue To Consider

Before you start installing attic ladder, be sure you read all warning notes and safety tips carefully. You must understand them completely. Make sure that you have the right tools and the proper spot for installation.

To assure safe use, proceed according to the installation instructions of the attic ladder.

It must be remembered that an attic ladder is not safe to use unless it is completely installed according to the manufacturer instructions.

ARE YOU READY TO SET UP AN ATTIC LADDER? ?

To install an attic ladder, you must have-

  • Squaring skill
  • Sawing skill
  • Aligning skill

If you don’t have these skills or confidence in your skills, definitely you have to hire a professional.

WILL AN ATTIC LADDER MEET YOUR NEEDS?

Generally, an attic ladder is designed for home use only. Maximum load of an attic ladder is 375 pounds. You need to install an attic ladder in the room where the ceiling heights are within the range that described on the packaging. You should not set up this ladder if the ceiling height doesn’t meet the range specified on the ladder’s label. Any modification of this range can be dangerous.

IS THERE ANY EFFECT OF YOUR CEILING CONSTRUCTION FOR INSTALLING AN ATTIC LADDER?

If your house features a typical wood framed ceiling, you can set up an attic ladder. Be careful not to cut any of the constructing elements of the ceiling without prior consultation with an architect. If your ceiling has any of the following elements, you can’t install the attic ladder on that spot:

  • Drop ceiling
  • Cement ceiling
  • Metal constructions
  • Air ducts

You may need to take professional’s help in these cases.

Attic Ladders Sizes

Attic ladders are available in different lengths. You need to correctly measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor to buy appropriate size attic stairs. It’s also important to know the attic door dimensions to ensure you get the right ladder for installation. To point out, the following four easy measurements will help you save money and time:

WHAT YOUR PACKAGE SHOULD CONTAIN?

A fully assembled attic ladder

Attic rod/ rope

Before installation thoroughly inspect the attic ladder. Make sure that the wooden door panel is okay and attic ladder hinges are not damaged. If you found something isn’t right, don’t proceed with the installation. Contact the seller.

WHAT DO YOU NEED

Required Manpower

  • Two people (one people must be capable of lifting the ladder assembly into the place)

Required Tools

  • Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Slot head screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Hand saw
  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Power drill

Additional Required Materials

  • 3-inch lag screws
  • 16d nails
  • 8d nails
  • 1 x 4 temporary support slats(2 pcs 32-inch long)
  • Shims

Required Safety Equipment

  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

How To Install Attic Ladder- Step-By-Step Guidelines

If you’re looking for easy to follow instruction on how to install an attic ladder in a hallway, a closet or bedroom, hope our guidelines will help you a lot.

So, without further ado, let’s go.

Step 1: Arrange all the required tools and materials

Before start installation, make sure you have all the required manpower, tools, and materials. Make sure the construction of the ceiling is suitable for setting up the attic ladder.

Step 2: Choose the potential installation location

The most accessible spot to set up an attic ladder is the attic hatch. In general, an attic ladder occupies larger space than the original attic hatch. Make sure that you don’t need to remove any weight supporting beams or joist to install the ladder. Check the dimensions of the required opening, swing clearance, and landing space.

Your chosen spot should be:

  • Spacious enough to use a stepladder
  • Roomy enough to carry out the process
  • Free from obstruction in the ceiling
  • Free from any obstruction in the attic area
Step 3: wear safety gear

You must wear the necessary safety gear such as gloves, dust mask, and eyewear where appropriate.

Step 4: prepare the work area

Find any obstacle (such as pipes, electric installation, air ducts, cable and so on) out of the way to prevent accidents and give you room to work. If you find any obstruction, you should contact professional to remove it. Otherwise, you have to choose another spot for installation.

Step 5: Make an initial hole and enlarge it

Make an initial hole near the center of your chosen spot. You have to use a chisel, a hammer, and a nail bar to do it. Enlarge this hole by using a handsaw until you see the joist.

Step 6: Trace the cutting line

Measure out and then trace the outline of the attic ladder mounting frame on the ceiling.

Step 7: Cut out the opening

Cut along the rectangle (traced lines) and remove the part of the ceiling. Be careful, not to cut the joists.

Step 8: Frame attic access opening

Assemble the attic door surround. Keep minimum 1-centimeter gap all around between the opening and the frame of the ladder.

Step 9: Secure the attic door frame

Drill the screws into the attic door surround to ensure that it’s solidly secured in place.

Insulated attic door frame will aid in lowering your energy cost.For DIY attic door insulation, you can add weatherstripping around the opening. And cover the panel with a foam insulation board.

FAKRO LST 66875-22x31Inch insulated attic ladder is a great product that helps to reduce energy loss in a home.

Step 10: Attach the temporary support board

The ladder must be temporarily supported with two boards that extend the cross each end of the opening. For safety, the board must be appropriately positioned and fasten securely. Use three nails on each. It’ll keep the ladder rest on the batons/ supported board while the frame is attached to the surround.

Step 10: Placing the attic ladder

At this stage, you’ll need a second person to help you position the ladder through the opening of the attic spot. Position the ladder, so it rests securely on the support board.Screw the attic ladder frame to the supporting structure.

Never place any weight on the attic ladder until fully installed

Step 11: Stabilize attic door frame

Pack the gap around the attic door with shims/ timbers. It’ll help to stabilize the door frame.

Step 12: Secure attic door frame

By using heavyweight screws, screw the packing timbers and the attic door frame into the surround.

Step 13: Adjust the right length of the attic ladder

Unfold the legs of the attic ladder. Measure the distance from the bottom of the middle section to the floor on the front and back. Do this on each side of the ladder. Mark it on both legs. Connect the two marks and make your trim line.

Step 14: Trim the legs

By using a handsaw, trim the bottom of the ladder along the trimming lines to get the right length. Trim the corners of legs perpendicular to side.

Step 15: Remove the temporary support boards

Congratulations! 

Your attic ladder installation is complete!

Now, you have handy and easy access to your attic for any storage need.

Don’t have enough time to install the attic ladder by yourself?

Searching for someone to install? Worried about the attic ladder installation cost?

Relax!

There are several rated attic ladder installation service providers who will coordinate you. You can contact them to help to install attic ladders or attic stairs in your home/ garage/ hallway.

The following Werner attic ladder installation video will help you to install their ladders

To buy attic ladders read our 7 Best attic ladder reviews and Guides. You’ll find all the top rated attic ladders 

Hopefully, our article on how to install attic ladder will make the installation process hassle free.

Maria Hernandez
 

Maria Hernandez is a specialist in avionics technology. He has been involved in avionics technology since 1993. He spent more than 15 years writing about high tech gadgets. Numerous publications have interviewed him. He is very passionate about sharing his knowledge.

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