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need new attic ladder - 8'2" ceiling, 25.5" x 66" rough opening

need new attic ladder - 8'2" ceiling, 25.5" x 66" rough opening

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  #1  
Old 04-01-14, 09:16 PM
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need new attic ladder - 8'2" ceiling, 25.5" x 66" rough opening

Hi

I have a dilemma because my rough opening and ceiling height don't match any standard size attic ladders. My opening is 25.5"x66". The few ladders they make for that rough opening size are for 10'-12' ceilings, and I have an 8'2" ceiling.

They make a 25.5x54" / 8' ladder. But I would need to figure out how to close off the extra 12" of opening that I have right now. Would that be easy to do with some basic lumber and maybe some paint? I don't much want to plaster. I would also need it to be safe and long-lasting.

Right now I have a rickety old wooden non-folding ladder (it slides up into the attic in one piece), and a pull-down door on a hinge that covers the entire opening.

(Another possibility: I could buy a 10'-12' ladder like the Werner AH2512 and chop off the lower 2' of it, but I don't know if that would make it unsafe. They say not to use that ladder with <10' height.)

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-01-14, 09:55 PM
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There are plenty of 25 1/2" ladders made for ceilings in the 8' 2" range, so there is no reason to pay for a longer ladder and then try and modify it to work. Also patching the ceiling with wood is possible but it would look pretty ghetto if you ask me. But yeah, you could cover the hole with some nice AC plywood instead of drywall and then cover the perimeter with casing. You'd trim the edges where the new attic door meets the AC plywood with a piece of lattice (1/4" x 2") that would fit between the casing on the sides.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 10:52 PM
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Thanks for the ideas.

If I were going to patch it right--so it didn't look ghetto--would I need to go through the whole song and dance of cutting sheet rock to size, and then screwing it to framing I'd have to add, adding joint compound, and then plastering and smoothing it, etc., to patch the 12"x25" hole? That seems laborious. Or is there an easier way?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 06:23 AM
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That is the process.

 
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Old 04-02-14, 09:45 AM
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In terms of expense/effort, have you considered getting a new "non folding one piece ladder"? I had that set-up in an earlier house. Admittedly, it is not as easy to bring things up into the attic as on the "steps" of a folding ladder, but it worked. I even "Rube Goldberged" a system to make it easier to deploy and stow the ladder.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 10:05 AM
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Why not just build the opening down to size...but keep the larger door? It will cover any rough framing when closed won't it?
 
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Old 04-02-14, 10:09 AM
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Werner makes such ladders specifically to be shortened to suit, with instructions on doing so, in your case an 8-10' would work. As far as the opening, yes, I believe you will find that it is longer than normal, regardless of the brand you buy, and the correct way to proceed would be as you described, ie. frame, drywall, mud, and paint. On the other hand, I cannot think of any reason that you couldn't replace the plywood that comes with the ladder with a longer piece, or maybe add a single piece to what you get, as it shouldn't interfere with the operation of the ladder. Not sure how it would interpreted to affect the fire rating of the ceiling though.
 
 

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