Have you ever lived in a cramped house or one that is low on space? If you have, moving into an apartment that has an attic can seem like hitting the storage jackpot. Aside from the space under your stairs, an attic also provides ample storage space. What’s more, the attic can be used for a ton of other things. With a bit of creativity and the perfect décor items, you’ll be able to squeeze in an extra bedroom, transform it to a luxurious spa retreat or a home gym.
But if you want to make maximum use of your attic, then you also have to find a way of accessing it without too much hassle. This is where attic ladders come in. If you don’t like the idea of storing a regular ladder in your shed, you should consider getting the best attic ladders, which can be attached to the opening.
The best attic ladders
What is the Best Attic Ladder?
The best attic ladder is one that will make each trip up and down from your loft much easier. In fact, this ladder determines to what extent homeowners make use of their attics. Besides, installing most attic ladders is a pretty easy DIY project. And, it’s cheaper than installing another stairway.
For a long time, Louisville Ladder has been making some of the best home equipment and their AA2510 Attic ladder is no exception. This ladder boasts numerous user-friendly features. One distinct feature is the wider access clearance door. Contrary to traditional ladders that use spring mechanisms, this one uses gas cylinders, which provide more clearance space. This in turn, allows you to transport big-sized storage boxes to your attic in a safe manner.
Louisville AA2510 is also one of most the stable attic ladders. It has 3-1/4 inch deep steps to provide maximum stability. Apart from the wide steps, another feature that boost the safety of this ladder is the fact these steps have slip-resistant cross treads. The attic ladder can support weights of up to 375 pounds.
If you’re looking for a ladder that can fit into a small opening, the Werner Ladder AA1510 makes a strong contender. The AA1510 weighs in at 15.5 pounds, making it very easy to handle and install on your own. Other attic ladders weigh 50 lbs. or more.
Unfortunately, it has a maximum weight limit of just 250 pounds. So it might not be the best option of heavy users.
The Werner AA1501 is a telescoping attic ladder. It means that the ladder is capable of sliding inward and outward, allowing users to decide just how tall the ladder is. It’s also a very affordable attic ladder, which makes it ideal for persons with limited budgets.
Fakro LST 860432 is another high-quality ladder worth considering. This ladder has two main features that make it stand out from the crowd. One, it’s built using highly-durable steel. And two, it has s-shaped rungs that give it a really stylish look. These rungs are not only decorative but also functional. They provide safety railing to help users climb up or down.
Furthermore, the ladder is fitted with rubber gasket insulation in between the boards. This comes in handy in preventing heat loss. And the best part is that it has a high weight limit. The Fakro LST 860432 can be used by persons weighing up to 300 pounds. With all these bells and whistles, it is not surprising that this ladder is pricier than most ladders.
If your primary concern in an attic ladder is the weight limit, then you’ll be pleased with the Ohuhu telescopic ladder that supports 330 pounds. Being made from aluminum alloy, this ladder strikes a good balance between strength and stability. The aluminum construction also translates to a lightweight ladder that’s easy to handle.
But the one thing that draws lots of customers to this attic ladder with extension legs is its decent pricing. Its price is 1/3 of what most telescoping ladders cost. Also, this ladder has rubber feet to prevent it from scratching your floors. When it’s fully extended, the ladder goes up to 12.5feet.
For those who want a ladder that is taller than the Ohuhu telescopic ladder, then Xtend & Climb is the unit to go for. When fully extended, this ladder reaches 15.5 feet, making it ideal for 10 foot ceiling or one that is much higher. It can also be folded back down to a compact unit that will fit in most closets, garages and other tight spaces. Apart from its height, there are other features you’ll love about this ladder.
For one, it’s constructed using airplane-grade aluminum, resulting in a highly sturdy ladder. Two, this ladder boasts 16 non-slip tread rungs to guarantee users’ safety. Plus, it comes in a nice finish, so it will make a great addition for garage tool collection.
When using this ladder, you can easily lock it by the foot before extending it one rung after the other. Xtend/Climb comes with red and green indicators to notify you when the ladder is locked in place and safe for use.
What Is An Attic Ladder?
Put simply; this is a retractable ladder that is incorporated into an attic. It’s usually installed on the attic’s floor and the ceiling of the room underneath. An attic ladder is the best substitute for pricey stairways, which ascend to the attic of a home. Since this ladder doesn’t take up too much space, it’s also great for buildings with space constraints.
An attic ladder looks slightly different from a regular one in the sense that it has much wider steps to provide maximum stability. It also has a very steep slope. Attic ladders could be made from a range of materials including wood, aluminum, fiberglass or metal.
Apart from homes, attic ladders are also common in fire departments, where they’re used for carrying fire apparatus and accessing attic spaces so they can put out fire. For such situations, adding hinges for the rung ladders is an important factor to consider. Besides, these rungs can be folded in such a way that one beam rests on another. Foldable ladders are available in different lengths starting from 8 to 16 feet. Attic ladders are also equipped with footpads on the rear to prevent slipping.
Types of Attic Ladders
If you’ve been shopping for an attic ladder, one thing you might have realized is that they come in different designs. Before buying any of these units, you should read reviews of the different types of attic ladders. This will help you know the options to choose from, and the merits of each kind. For small-sized houses, telescoping ladders are the most recommended. These ladders help you make maximum use of your attic and access it safely. Other types of attic ladders include:
A pull-down ladder is one descending from the attic hatchway in one piece. This ladder is usually attached to a rectangular-shaped hatch door. Pull down ladders are known to provide more stability than folding ladders. Another perk is the attic ladder pull down cord. This cord makes it easy to grab and pull down the ladder for use. However, some users don’t like these cords hanging from a ceiling. Another thing to keep in mind is that installing a pull-down ladder is more difficult than a installing the folding ladder system. So if you can’t get help, you may have to hire a professional to do the installation.
The name is self-explanatory- this is simply a ladder system that can be folded. Since it’s foldable, it can easily fit inside a ceiling hatch. Folding ladders are recommended for small attics that have limited entrance space.
And they are available in either wood or aluminum material. Although wooden ladders are easy to work with, the aluminum ones are the most preferred. Unlike wooden ladders, aluminum ones are not susceptible to rot and splinters.
Regardless of the material you go for, you should check the maximum load capacity of the attic ladder. We recommend choosing one with between 250 to 300 pounds weight limit.
Different states will have different regulations and fire codes. As such, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the local laws governing the installation of attic ladders. It’s also crucial that you check the dimensions of the ladder system. While some manufacturers indicate dimensions starting from the floor to the ceiling, others indicate only the distance from the floor to the attic floor.
What Are Buyers Saying?
There are a couple of factors to take into consideration before purchasing an attic ladder.
One key advantage of having an attic ladder is that you’ll be able to access that hard-to-reach elevated are of your apartment. What this means is that you can finally utilize your attic in any way you deem fit; be it a storage unit, a serene master suite or a colorful guestroom. By using it as a storage room, you’re able to keep your other rooms less cluttered and more organized.
As mentioned earlier, installing an attic ladder is a piece of cake. In fact, you can use this opportunity to bond with your family through a fun do-it-yourself project. One other investment you’ll need to make is purchasing a pre-assembled ladder kit. Luckily, there are tons of them on the market. So, if you can’t find one in your local hardware, just order from online retailers.
Although a majority of attic ladders fit nicely into the attic opening, some don’t. In such instances, homeowners have to widen the space on the opening. It is why you need to have some power tools at your disposal. However, cutting through truss roofs is highly prohibited due to their interlocking systems. But if your home has the conventional rafter framing, then there’s no problem in cutting it. To make the best use of your attic ladder, ensure that the opening is 22.5” by 54”.
Other Installation Considerations
One other feature you need to account for when setting up an attic ladder is the landing space. Ideally, one should have ample headroom once you get into the attic. You shouldn’t have to bend your knees or hit your head on the ceiling.
Furthermore, remember to check the dimensions of the attic ladder to avoid getting one that is too long. You’ll need to determine the distance between the ceiling and the floor so that you can get a ladder that fits nicely.
Apart from size, consider the sturdiness of the ladder. If the ladder will be used by numerous people, then ensure you get one that is stable and sturdy. Also check the ladder’s recommended weight limit.
Manufacturers use different types of materials when making attic ladders. Some use wood while others use aluminum or steel. Aluminum is the most preferred because it offers sturdiness but is still lightweight. Also, aluminum is a rust-resistant material and it cannot rot like wood. It means that aluminum-made attic ladders last a long time as they can withstand extreme temperature changes.
Other Buying Considerations
There are other features of the attic ladder that you should keep in mind. For instance, does the ladder consist of steps or rungs? Also, how steep is the angle of the stairs or steps? Finally, do you prefer a folding or a telescoping attic ladder system?
The Bottom Line
Have you been reluctant to use your attic because you cannot access it? With the best attic ladders, you can now make maximum use of this space. Attic ladders come in different designs; from folding systems to pull-down and telescoping ladders. But regardless of the design you go for, you should pay attention to several factors such as the ladder’s size, weight limit and durability.
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