Tips for Adding a Pull Down Attic Ladder

A pull down attic ladder is a convenient way to access your attic. The ladder is designed to fold away when not in use which makes it a great space saver in the home. When you need to use the ladder, you simply use a pull string to release it from its storage space.  Drop down attic ladder kits are readily available on the market. Below are some tips to help you add one in your home.

Identify Attic Entry Point

If you don’t have an access point into your attic, you need to figure out a suitable location. You must then cut a hole in the ceiling to provide access into the attic. Make sure that the attic entry can comfortably accommodate the ladder jamb. The ladder should be able to fold easily without any obstructions. It is best to identify a location that won’t involve movement of furniture or other items whenever you need to climb up into the attic. You also need to be certain that you do not interfere with wiring or piping during installation.

Roof Trusses

Inspect your roof before you begin installation. Do not cut the ceiling joists if your home has roof trusses. It is best to consult a structural engineer before you begin. To proceed without approval may compromise the integrity of your roof.

Take Measurements

Pull down ladders come in various sizes. It is vital that you check the dimensions at the installation site before you buy a kit. This will prevent disappointments over incorrect length and size. Determine if your ceiling is 8 feet or 10 feet high. You want to make sure that you have ample room to accommodate the ladder once it opens from the attic. You also need to be sure that you have adequate space for head clearance when you enter the ladder storage area. Once you have your specific measurements, it is easier to purchase what precisely meets your needs.

Before Installation

It is best to carefully read through all the instructions in the kit before you begin installation. Cut the casing material for the ladder to size so that it can accommodate the ladder jamb. Once cut, place it aside safely for installation after the ladder has been secured in place. It helps if you check all the screws, nuts and bolts in your new ladder before installation to ensure that they’re well tightened. This contributes to a properly done job and a high level of safety. You must also check periodically after installation to ensure that fasteners remain tight.

Safety Considerations

Choose a ladder that has slip-resistant rungs. This will help to prevent accidental falls while in use. It is best to have somebody assist you during installation. This will help to ensure attention to detail which is vital for the success of this project. The installation involves several procedures and if you attempt to do it alone, you may not install the ladder properly. Safety may also be compromised. Do not attempt to use the ladder before it is firmly fastened to the ceiling joists. It can cause grave injuries to your body. All fasteners must be securely in place.