Attic Ladders / Loft Ladders
A ladder can provide easy and efficient access to your attic when it is needed and can easily be stored away when not in use. You do not want a normal extension or a-frame ladder to gain access to the attic. The most popular type of attic ladder allows you to fold up your ladder when it is not in use to conserve space. When fully extended it looks and is used like a normal ladder. There are also one piece disappearing attic ladders which the user can slide out of storage by pulling on a rope. This sliding attic ladder requires no folding and can usual hold more weight than the folding ladder. Folding ladders are good if the access point to your attic is in a small or confined area. If space isn't an issue, the sliding attic ladders are usually preferred.
The major materials used in making attic ladders are wood, steel or aluminum. The major manufacturers of attic ladders have shied away from using steel in making the ladders leaving aluminum and wooden ladders as the most commonly purchased. You can often find wooden attic ladders at a cheaper price than the aluminum but the durability and weight capacity will not meet the same standard of quality as the more expensive ladders. There are exceptions to each of these rules however when you buy ladders. Werner is a major ladder company that offers has steel attic ladders on the market as well as heavy duty wooden attic ladders for a good price.
Normally you will be able to install the attic ladder on your own, although it may take a considerable amount of time if you are not experienced in carpentry. If you feel inadequate to do the installation, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional. One of the most difficult steps in the installation process is making sure that you have an opening to your attic that is the appropriate size for your ladder. Your product will come with specific instructions and information for the installation of your ladder so consult your manual for specific lengths. Most attic ladders require at least an opening of 22 1/2" x 54" in order for the ladder to function properly. After you have made your opening the most difficult part of the installation is over and all that is left is to securely fasten your ladder. Most attic ladders come with hangar brackets or straps to adjust the height of the ladder to the appropriate size, then using lag bolts you secure the ladder in place.
It is extremely important that you take proper measurements of your attic height before purchasing your new ladder. While the height of most attic ladders is adjustable, it usual will not adjust very far. Most attic ladders are made for 8 foot, 10 foot, or 12 foot high attics. If you have a folding attic ladder be sure to leave plenty of "clear space" to fold and unfold your ladder before and after using it. The most common injury related to any type of attic ladder is head injuries that occur because there is not enough space between the ladder and the ceiling.
Ready to Buy?
If you have decided which type of attic ladder you would be interested in purchasing, we have found some good online dealers that will give you a good price: