Removing/Replacing old attic ladder


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Old 12-01-14, 12:39 PM
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Removing/Replacing old attic ladder

Hi,

One of the arms on my attic ladder completely bent in (it was bending but today it bent in such that I had to remove the spring and hammer it back just to get the ladder sort-of closed) and I'm thinking of replacing the ladder. The current ladder is old, I don't know the maker or the model number, so not sure if I could even get replacement parts...Plus it isn't insulated and leaks air around the opening.

What is the best way, with limited tools, to remove the old ladder? I saw one video where the guy cut the nails with a reciprocating saw but, since I don't have such a beast, I'm thinking that trying to remove as much of the ladder prior to trying to pry the frame loose is probably the way to go. Does that make sense?

Thanks,

Rob
 
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Old 12-01-14, 01:18 PM
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Ladder

Attic ladder or attic stairs?
 
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Old 12-01-14, 02:50 PM
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Makes no since.
A recuperating would have the whole thing out in a few mins. with two people.
Handy tool to have around and not all that expensive to buy.
 
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Old 12-01-14, 04:32 PM
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Makes no since.
That statement makes no sense.

A recuperating would have the whole thing out in a few mins. with two people.
A what? Recuperating is what I am (trying) to do since getting out of the hospital last week. I have never heard of the word recuperating used in any other way.

Handy tool to have around and not all that expensive to buy.
What tool would that be?
 
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Old 12-01-14, 04:33 PM
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Yes, that makes sense. Take as much weight off as you can before removing the frame that's inserted into the attic opening. Be very careful of any springs and understand what you are doing before disconnecting any spring.
Temporarily support frame with 2 x 4's or other. Use a cat's paw to remove nails and bring frame down.
A heads up. It's much harder to install a new ladder than remove old. We'll be here
 
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Old 12-01-14, 05:29 PM
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Do your shopping to be sure you can find a new one to fit and be prepared to adjust the opening if necessary. For insulation and air sealing, they will often install a 12" or 16" box around the entire opening on the attic side. That allows the insulation to come right up to the box without falling onto the ladder. Then a plywood cover with a good layer of insulation on top is placed over the box. Add a foam seal all the way around to prevent air leakage. More details if you go this direction.

The reciprocating saw is indeed a great tool to have and I like buying good tools when I have a need for them.

Bud
 
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Old 12-02-14, 02:52 AM
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I like buying good tools when I have a need for them.
..... and sometimes when I don't need them

I assume Joe meant a reciprocating saw and as mentioned, the cheaper ones aren't very expensive and are good enough for light diy work.
 
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Old 12-02-14, 09:40 AM
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Hi,

I measured the rough opening and it looks like it's 25 1/2" x 54". Is that a standard size?

Thanks,

Rob
 
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Old 12-02-14, 01:15 PM
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Rough Opening

Rough opening for attic stairs is usually 22 1/2 in. x 54 in.

The 22 1/2 in. is the standard inside width between roof trusses installed on 2 foot centers.
 
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Old 12-02-14, 01:48 PM
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The opening that you have should accommodate about anything that you want. 54" is good, and it's easy enough to bring in either or both sides with a 2x if the one you choose wants a narrower opening. I'm pretty sure that the one I put in our ceiling is a little wider, right around 25" RO, so best to buy what you want before changing anything in that regard. Easiest way to support it for removal is with a couple of cleats screwed to the ceiling from below, but you could lay some 2x's on the attic floor and support it from above if you're worried about damaging the ceiling. Any that I have put in are held to the framing with lag bolts, so you can just back them out with a socket and ratchet or even a wrench. Reciprocating saws are handy, but, as mentioned, you should be able to get any nails with a cats paw. Just make sure that it's supported, so that nobody gets hurt, but it's otherwise scrap anyway, so you don't need to be fussy about how it comes out.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 03:50 AM
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' recuperating ' ? ? ? reciprocating saws're cheap - ck any pawn shop
 
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Old 12-15-14, 06:29 AM
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Quick update...I got a 300 lb rated Louisville CS254P (25 1/2 x 54). I was able to remove all of the ladder pieces leaving just the frame and the cover. I don't have a cat's paw, but I was able to pull all of the nails out with my hammer and a little "persuasion". I pushed the old ladder up into the attic figuring that trying to pull it down would be more problematic. Once it was free of the old spray foam insulation and out of the rough opening, I then lowered it through the rough opening.

After cleaning up a bit from removing the old ladder, I put the new ladder in place and it's working great. It's a much nicer ladder than the old one. I sprayed in some new foam insulation to seal the cracks, and I'll probably want to build some sort of insulation box over it, but it's installed and working great.

Thanks for the help.

Rob
 
 

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