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.
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
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
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."