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jdp72 11-13-2006 07:16 PM

Attic Ladder suggestions
 
I have a weird situation. I want to install an attic ladder, but my attic access, instead of being on the ceiling is on a vertical wall. The ceilings in my home are vaulted, so there is no attic, except in one area. On a wall there is a small cut out that you have to climb 3-4 feet up in to.

I have been unsuccessful in finding an off the shelf product, but my carpentry skills are decent enough that if I draw up some plans I can build one myself. I was thinking of a draw bridge or murphy bed type concept, where if you pull a rope a set of stairs will come down. Have it counter weighted so that it doesn't drop like a stack of bricks on my head. I want it clean and professional looking... Maybe I can take photos of what I am talking about and give dimensions and post it up.

Anyone have any ideas on how to do this?

Thanks!

mdshunk 11-13-2006 09:19 PM

I'm not so sure that I'd personally go to any special effort for 3-4 feet. I can hop up into that, or grab the closest chair for a boost. Hey, post pictures if you build something.

jdp72 11-14-2006 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mdshunk (Post 23596)
I'm not so sure that I'd personally go to any special effort for 3-4 feet. I can hop up into that, or grab the closest chair for a boost. Hey, post pictures if you build something.


Actually I measured it last night. The "hop" is a little over 4 feet, and it is in a finished off area of the house where there isn't a ladder or chair (or closet to hold such items) conveniently around.

The ceiling is 9 feet in this particular room, and the opening is like 2.5ft wide x 3 ft high... the very badly needed attic space is like 16'x20'. We have a fully finished walk out basement with full bath and home theatre, so there much storage to speak of down there. Garage has 2 Harleys, a wave runner/trailer and bikes and toys for a family of 5... Most of the 2nd floor has 9'-15' ceilings, except in one area, which is this attic I would like access to.

We can cram quite a bit in 320 sq ft, so we would like to utilize it...and have easy in and out access to get at stuff, either daily or weekly.

I was thinking of a simple ladder attached to a board? Since the opening is 4' off the floor and the ceiling is 9' tall, I figured I could just cut the attic opening up a bit to the ceiling...making it a 2.5ft to 5ft opening. Then just make a 5 ft long ladder and attach it to board and hinge it to the wall (like a a drawbridge).

My 2 concerns are, how do I counter weight it? Also, is 5 ft long enough for the ladder, because I wonder if the step ladder will be awkward to climb up???

joasis 11-14-2006 08:02 PM

You can locate spring assist hinges, or even get facny and use a gas charged lift, like is used on auto trucks and hatchbacks...they are cheap and there are universal ones that you can make work, if you can design the step/stair.

jdp72 11-14-2006 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joasis (Post 23695)
You can locate spring assist hinges, or even get facny and use a gas charged lift, like is used on auto trucks and hatchbacks...they are cheap and there are universal ones that you can make work, if you can design the step/stair.


I like the spring assist hinges, and the idea of a gas charged lift. I was even thinking of something that utilizes a garage door opener, but I think that would be overkill...although the idea of it being totally automated would be cool, but I don't want to overcomplicate something simple (which is something my wife says I constantly do)... I tend to go overboard on home projects.

Are these spring assist hinges something I can get straight out of a Grainger or McMaster, I have commercial accounts for both.

joasis 11-15-2006 08:06 AM

Do a google search....spring loaded hinges, spring assist, ...that is where I would go first.


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