Attic Access Ladders Lead The Way

For homeowners who do not have traditional stairs leading to the top floor, a trip to the attic can be a dreadful experience. One out of every five homeowners can only reach this space through a ceiling, whether in a bedroom or hall closet. Yet the thought of dragging around a heavy ladder can be pure drudgery. In addition, extension and stepladders are generally steeper and more risky to use with attics. Many owners simply do not feel safe. Extra loft space goes unused as a result. Permanent attic access ladders on the other hand can save time and aggravation in the long run.

Permanent attic ladders can be ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted with two popular types available: folding and drop down. Both can be self-installed as they come with pre-assembled kits to help the homeowner. However, if the homeowner is uncomfortable with a do-it-yourself project, a licensed contractor should do the installation.

Fold or Drop Down

attic-access-laddersFolding access ladders leading to overhead storage areas are space savers when traditional stairs are not an option. Ladders, wooden or metal, are generally folded in half and angle at 64 degrees. Aluminum and steel frames are more durable than wooden ones but also more costly. Aluminum is lighter than steel. Slip-resistant steps are available in various widths.

Drop down models usually angle at 40 degrees, attached to an attic hatch and pulled by a cord. These ladders have three sections with the top section attached to the spring-loaded hatch. Drop downs can hold far more weight than folding types, better for homeowners who routinely carry storage boxes up and down.

Options for ladders include handrails, foot pads and weather stripping. Attic door panels are also available with fire retardant shields and extra insulation. Some models can be ordered to fit exact height and width specifications, especially needed for odd-size access space.

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