Werner's Easy Access Attic Ladder 4 - Cut Hole in Ceiling

A ladder leading up to an attic opening.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,000
What You'll Need
Safety goggles
Dust mask

In part 3 of this series on how to install an Easy Access Attic Ladder by Werner, the topic was how to find the right location for your attic entrance. This section details how to cut the necessary hole in your ceiling.

Before Proceeding

You must have a location that is free of hazards and obstructions in the overhead space and is free of hazards in the ceiling. It must also provide enough room for installation and to use the attic ladder.

Your goal is to cut a hole that is the correct size at the desired location in the ceiling.

Step 1—Prepare the Room

Prepare the room by moving furniture, covering flooring with a drop cloth, and moving children and pets to a safe distance.

Step 2—Prepare Yourself

Put on safety goggles and a dust mask. These will keep pieces of ceiling particles and dust from falling into your eyes, mouth, or nose as you make a starter hole and cut into the ceiling.

Step 3—Cut a Hole

Step 3—Cut a Hole

With a hammer and chisel, make a starter hole near the center of the chosen location.

Step 4—Make it Bigger

Enlarge the opening with a saw until you can see a joist.

Step 5—Draw and Outline

Draw a rectangle the size of the rough opening in the ceiling, with one edge parallel to a joist. You can do this by sawing until you reach a joist and using it as a frame of reference.

Note: locating at least one edge of the opening along a ceiling joist will allow the joist to be used as a side of the frame you will build. This will simplify framing the rough opening.

Step 6—Remove the Ceiling

Step 6—Remove the Ceiling

Cut out the rest of the ceiling within the marked outline following these instructions. Do not cut any joists at this time. Cut through the ceiling only. Remove the ceiling in small pieces because ceiling material can be very heavy.

Step 7—Continue from the Right Point

If no joists span the hole in the ceiling, go to the section on "Framing the Rough Opening." If any joists span the hole, go to the section on "Cutting the Ceiling Joists."