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Attic access ladder

Installing a attic access ladder to slove storage problems

By: Editor

Before you install an attic access ladder, choose a spot for your stairs, climb into the attic to look for possible obstructions like ductwork, electrical boxes, and cables.

This project involves cutting a hole in you're ceiling, so it is essential to measure and mark accurately for all cuts. Move electrical lines if they are in the way. Mark the rough opening for the stairway assembly and cut it to size with a drywall saw.

Attic access stairs come completely assembled at the factory. All you have to do is work the unit into the opening and rest it on the cleats. Stairways normally come in two basic length: one for ceilings that are between 7 feet and 8 feet 5 inches high, and another for ceilings up to 10 feet high.

With a reciprocating saw, cut the joist 3 inches back from the rough opening for the ceiling. Make sure the joist is supported by a wall below or braces in the attic. Frame the opening, using lumber the same dimension as the existing joists. For added strength and stability, nail in metal corner hangers, on all four corners of the newly framed opening.

Position the completely assembled new stairway, as it came from the factory, into the rough opening. Screw temporary cleats to the new framing to help hold the unit in place as you work. Shim the frame until it's square with the opening. Fully extend the stairway. Measure along each leg of the ladder folding attic to the floor in case the floor is slightly irregular.

The legs must make even contact with the floor to prevent strain on the hinges. Trim the opening of the stairway with door or window casing to match the trim in the rest of the house.

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