I would like to add a telescoping ladder to access my attic. Currently the only real access I have is through a return air vent, but that is less than optimal. The house is a 1930 flat roof rowhouse, so the ceiling joists just support the ceiling and don't play a role in supporting the roof. The are ceiling joists are true 2x6 spanning 15'. The main reason for the access is to allow me to get up there and install additional insulation, rework some of the ductwork and update some of the electrical. The highest section of the attic is about 4'6" and I would consider some light storage there.
The Werner Televator
seems perfect for my application, requiring a rough opening of just 22"x22". Given that our joists are 16" OC, I am going to have to cut one ceiling joist regardless of whether I install the ladder parallel or perpendicular to the joists.
included with the ladder calls for a double header to be installed at the cut locations (page 27). Is this sufficient? I was under the impression it was necessary to double up the joists on either side.
Also, can I use the attic for light storage? I've looked at some of the ceiling joist span tables online and I know that for most modern dimensional lumber 2x6 is not sufficient for a 15' span with no load, but my joists are 75 year old true 2x6s. Can I get away with a couple of boxes of Christmas decorations and some camping gear?