Installing an Attic Ladder? Here are Some Tips to Help

Are you tired of teetering on the top rung of your ladder as you try to get your holiday decorations back in the attic, where they belong for the next three seasons? If so you may want to consider installing a pull-down or folding attic ladder. This job is not one of the easier ones for the do-it-yourselfer, but by following the manufacturer’s instructions to the tee, it can be accomplished. Of course, having a few tips never hurts, so here are some things to consider when performing your own attic ladder installation.

Location, Location, Location

What good is having an attic ladder if you can never get to it? Choose the location of your attic ladder wisely, especially if it is going to be installed in your garage. You don’t want to have to pull the car out of the garage or move a bunch of boxes out of the way every time you need to gain access to your attic.

Attic Flooring

If you are installing an attic ladder, you are probably going to be using your attic for storage, right? If so, you should definitely line the floor of the attic with plywood before you install the ladder.

After that, cut away an access hole at the location where you are planning on installing the ladder. Then, you can enter the attic and put the plywood in place without having to worry about it not fitting through the hatch because of the ladder’s incline.

If you are planning on making other renovations or are having your roof replaced, do your attic stair installation concurrently so you can make all the mess at one time.


If you are unsure what you are doing, stop! Consult a professional. Cutting the wrong truss or rafter can result in a disaster.

While you’re trying not to fall through the ceiling, don’t lose sight of the fact that there are nails overhead! The only thing worse than falling through the ceiling is standing up and hitting a shingle nail with your head.

Whenever you are performing a job like installing an attic ladder, it’s important to slow down and take your time. Not only is this task physically demanding, it requires an attention to detail and unwavering concentration to go smoothly.


Follow these simple tips and always read the installation instructions at least 2 times before you begin installing your own attic ladder system. By doing things right and not making it a race to the finish, your attic ladder will be serving your needs for many years to come.

On to Part 2—Choosing a Ladder System