Attic Ladders, which are also known as Attic Stairs, Pull Down Attic Stairs, Ceiling Ladders, and Attic Steps, are an excellent way to increase the amount of storage space available in your home. On the other hand, just like the majority of other things, they will eventually become worn out and need to be replaced. My house had an attic fan when I first bought it, but when we realized we needed more room for storage, I had the fan removed and used the aperture it left to install a wooden attic ladder. In order to keep up with the wear and tear that time and use inflict, I have had to replace my wooden attic steps three times: first with identical wooden steps, then with similar wooden steps, and most recently with an aluminum attic ladder. After putting in and utilizing an aluminum attic ladder, I will never consider going back to a traditional wooden one again. My prior ones were made of wood and performed okay, but they were not near as stable as my new ones made of aluminum. When I use the aluminum one, I have a far better feeling of security, as I know that the steps on the ladder won’t break when I climb it or descend it.
Advice on How to Determine Which One to Purchase and How to Put It Together
1. Rather than purchasing one made of wood, as I mentioned earlier, opt to purchase one made of aluminum. (Although aluminum ladders have a higher purchase price, the assurance of safety that they offer makes the additional cost worthwhile.)
2. It is extremely important that regardless of whether you are purchasing the ladder in-person or over the internet, you take the time to open the packaging (either in the store where you made the purchase or as soon as you get it in your home) to check that the ladder is in good condition and that all of its components are present (INCLUDING BOLTS AND NUTS). The experience of having a couple of friends show up to assist you in installing the attic ladder, and then opening the box to discover that the ladder is broken or that some of the parts are missing, is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. There are few things that can be more frustrating.
3. Manufacturers will claim that the installation process can be completed by two people, and this is true. (I have completed it in this manner in the past.) But if it’s at all possible, you should try to get three people to help you if you can. One person should go up into the attic, and the other two should help hoist and secure the ladder. If you have three people helping you install something, the process will go considerably more quickly, your assistants will have a lot simpler time of it, and you will be able to produce a much higher quality result.
4. I would suggest buying either a standard ladder with a load rating of 300 or 350 pounds or a telescopic ladder with a load rating of 250 pounds or more. Both types of ladders are available for purchase. You want to be sure that it can sustain not just your own weight but also the weight of whatever it is that you are transporting up or down the ladder. Because there is less of an angle to climb on a telescoping ladder (in other words, it is more of a straight up and down climb), I do not believe that you require a load rating that is as high as what you would require on a standard ladder.
5. If you are replacing an existing ladder, the size of the rough opening where the old ladder was will very much determine the model of the new ladder you install, unless you are willing to spend time expanding and reframing the opening. For the purpose of convenience, I would suggest that you select a ladder that will fit (closely) into the place that the ladder that you are replacing occupied previously. Simply take the dimensions of the rough aperture (width and length at both ends of the opening) and determine which models will work with the dimensions of the rough opening that you have.
6. In a similar manner, the height of your ceiling will determine which model of attic ladder you will require. The majority of ceilings will be between 7 and 10 feet high; however, you may have a ceiling that is between 10 and 12 feet high, in which case you will need to buy a model that has a longer ladder.
7. Adjustable legs are another another characteristic that, if at all possible, should be included on your stepladder. Not only will having adjustable legs make the installation process a great deal simpler, but they will also assist to ensure that the legs of your ladder have a close, snug fit on the floor, which will offer your ladder an additional level of stability.
8. If your current attic ladder is particularly restricted for room, you might want to consider replacing your conventional size attic ladder with a telescoping attic ladder when you replace your attic ladder. The use of a telescoping style attic ladder is not without its share of advantages and disadvantages. The fact that an access ladder to your attic can be installed in an area that is significantly less expansive is a significant advantage. They are also given very excellent ratings by people who have had them installed in their homes. It is possible that you will need to use smaller storage boxes due to the smaller size access hole, and the fact that you will be going straight up and down on a telescoping ladder (rather than at more of a 45 degree angle with a conventional attic ladder) may make it more difficult to carry items up and down the ladder. In addition, telescoping attic ladders might often have a height range that is insufficient for particularly high ceilings.
9. Once you have successfully placed your ladder, the last step is to remember to insulate the attic ladder door as well as the area in the attic that is located around the attic doorway. If you do this, it will assist reduce the loss of warmth and cooling through the area of the attic ladder door.
We sincerely hope that the preceding ideas and recommendations will assist you in arriving at an informed decision regarding the purchase of an attic ladder.