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Old 10-04-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
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how to install attic ladder


full description on how to install my attic ladder. is it safe to cut two joices under rafters to make room to install it?

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Old 10-04-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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Welcome to "DIY"!
Not enough info.
Post some pictures.

rossfingal

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Old 10-04-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
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Pheww! I just installed one of those baby's by myself and let me tell you it was not fun. And I was just replacing an old ladder so the opening was already there. To my knowledge these are made so that you only have to cut one joist to make the opening, unless you have 12" oc joists for some reason. Then frame in the cut joist sort of like you frame in a window opening on a vertical wall.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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You are confusing me (which is easy) one says cut 2 joices, another says cut 1 joist. I say do not cut any joists unless you know what you are doing, What is your ceiling joist spacing?
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Oh-Fudge View Post
Pheww! I just installed one of those baby's by myself and let me tell you it was not fun. And I was just replacing an old ladder so the opening was already there. To my knowledge these are made so that you only have to cut one joist to make the opening, unless you have 12" oc joists for some reason. Then frame in the cut joist sort of like you frame in a window opening on a vertical wall.
My hatch is 16x16. They cut a hole in the rock-lathe in the ceiling, between the rafters, and put in a scuttle port that is just large enough for my skinny body at 207-212 lbs to get through. My dad is a little larger than I am, and he can just barely get up there.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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My hatch is 16x16. They cut a hole in the rock-lathe in the ceiling, between the rafters, and put in a scuttle port that is just large enough for my skinny body at 207-212 lbs to get through. My dad is a little larger than I am, and he can just barely get up there.
Pretty sure code says 20 " wide minimum. Whenever we have ceiling joists 16" oc, we plan it out and double up accordingly.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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We are talking about a house built back in 1937. Codes have changed since my place was built. It is actually 16x20 for the scuttle going up into my attic space (just measured, before was a rough guesstimate).
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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how to install attic ladder


Unless they are making the pull downs different the rough opening should be 25 1/2" wide by 54 1/2" long. You will need to run a header at the front of the opening and at the foot of the opening and install a 2X what ever your ceiling joist are parallel to the ceiling joist that your header butts into, but be sure it is 25 1/2" in the clear.

If you have help it will be a lot easier than if you install by yourself. If you plan to install by yourself just post and let us know and we can tell you how to do that.

You will need shims and nails and 3 inch screws. Once the pull down is in place nail and screw the head piece to the header. Shim each side with the pull down closed to get your margins right on each side. Shim, nail and screw at the pivot plates, shim nail and screw at the foot. Open the pull down all the way with the ladder all the way extended. Fold the first joint of the ladder that rests on the floor, then push down on the rest of the ladder to be sure it is down as far as it go. Measure from the first joint to the floor and mark the folded part where it touches the floor, cut at an angle.

Close the unit up and run your trim, there ya go.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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jiju, excellent description, but I wonder if the original poster didn't get instructions with his ladder? Mine had detailed instructions. Yes, 2 people makes it much easier because you have to be in the attic to put in the shims and screws. There are ways of doing it alone, I put up temporary braces under the joists to hold the ladder framework up and I worked beside it standing on a stepladder to put in the shims and screws. Not to say that was easy, though!
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:36 AM   #10
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jiju, excellent description, but I wonder if the original poster didn't get instructions with his ladder? Mine had detailed instructions. Yes, 2 people makes it much easier because you have to be in the attic to put in the shims and screws. There are ways of doing it alone, I put up temporary braces under the joists to hold the ladder framework up and I worked beside it standing on a stepladder to put in the shims and screws. Not to say that was easy, though!
I was going to write out how I installed by myself but I am just too lazy to do that unless it is necessary.

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