Did you know that the usable space in your roof can be up to half the floor space in your home? An attic conversion can access this space and give you valuable space for storage, hobbies, collections - or even more living space! That is arguably the smartest and cheapest way to increase your the size of your house, and it will seriously let you de-clutter your house and discover that minimalist interior deign that is hiding somewhere under all your stuff. What is really interesting is that attic ladders have one of the highest customer satisfaction levels out of any building fixture! Why is that, you ask? Because you are not only buying an attic ladder, you are regaining space in your house, and solving your storage needs forever - and probably at a price cheaper than buying more storage furniture!
There is a lot to consider for an attic conversion, including dust sealing the space, appropriate flooring, and meeting any building code requirements if you intend to use it as a living space. In this article we cover the very fist step - the ATTIC LADDER. You need to get access to the space and ceiling mounted attic ladders are a great way to achieve that. They range from cheap DIY models for occasional use to deluxe easy-gradient ladders with hand rails. You will be surprised how little it costs to gain access to a much bigger house.
5 tips on choosing an attic ladder
There’s more to choosing an attic ladder than just determining which one is the cheapest that fits your basic needs. Picking a ladder involves taking into consideration safety, style, and easy access. Here are some tips on choosing the very best attic ladder that conforms to your sense of style, your level of comfort, and your need for safety.
1. Strength for Regular Use
If you’re going to use your attic ladder on a regular basis, make sure that you are getting one that is strong enough. The kind of material used should provide long lasting durability. Look for ladders that are enforced with brackets, preferably made of galvanised steel. If you want a ladder made of wood, make sure it is made of the finest and most durable wood available. Metal ladders are available (both folding and consertina style) which provide superior strength and are even suitable for commercial applications.
2. Space Saver
Unless you need to use your attic ladder all day, everyday, you would want to have one that can easily be tucked away when not in use. Look for a ladder that folding hinges as they allow for easy storage with little effort, hence giving you space whenever you need it. Some ladders fold in three and some in two, and some metal ones concertina. This will affect the size of the ceiling hatch. Often people install them in at the end of a hallway where they will not impede traffic areas when in use.
3. Easy Access
You want a ladder that is very easy to pull down and put away. A good ladder literally is down in a few seconds with minimal effort and ready to use. Clever hinges and springs mean they slowly fold down with ease. Think about where you might install it so that it does not intrude on the liveability of your house when in use.
4. Safety, Safety, Safety
Safety should always be a priority with attic ladders, especially if they will be used by children or people with limited mobility. Aside from strength, you should only consider the actual design of the ladder. Wide treads with around a 57-degree ladder angle is ideal for safety climbing. The down-side to a gentler slope is they have a larger footprint when in use. Some features you would also want to look for in a safe attic ladder include an articulated hatch, stable load capacity, and handrails. It is also recommended that you install a guard rail around the ceiling hatch in the attic so access is only available from the top of the ladder..
5. It Should Look Good
Hey, being safe, secure, and efficient doesn’t mean it has to look ugly. Attic ladders can be as functional, comfortable, safe, and easy to use while still looking classy at the same time. There are furniture-grade attic ladders available that allow you to keep your room looking elegant and clean while providing a secure way for you to climb the attic. Also look for a ladder that protects your floor from scratches by having rubber feet. Also, some ladder kits come with pre-finished white ceiling hatches - so if you have a white ceiling you will not even need to paint it.
6. Insulated Ceiling Hatch
If your attic is not going to be a living area it is good to look for ladders with hatches that have built in insulation and quality seals. That will mean those cold drafts and roof dust from your attic area cannot sneak through the hatch seals, and you are not wasting energy with an uninsulated part of your ceiling. We also recommend that you seal the usable attic area so that drafts and dust become a thing of the past - check out the attached video.
While an attic ladder is not the first thing you would pay attention to in a home, it never hurts to put equal effort in choosing one as you would in picking other elements in your house. Good luck on your search for the best attic ladder! Let us know if you’ve already the perfect one for you in the comments section below. We would also love to know your own thoughts on choosing an attic ladder. Cheers!