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Old 01-02-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
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Attic door out of alignment


I'm having an issue with my attic door. It was never aligned properly since we moved in but now the door won't even close. I'm not sure what to do to attempt to fix this and I really don't want to call anyone out to look at it.

When the door is closed there is a very large gap on the left side, there isn't much of a gap on the right side. On the left side, the gap starts out small in the back and then gets wider and wider as it comes to the front edge of the door (where the pull string is).

As soon as I pull the door down it immediately pulls to the right. Then when I put the stairs back up the handrail hits the metal arm on the right. I have to push it up to get it past and then pull he door to the left to get it to somewhat close.

The piece of wood screwed to the plywood part of the stairs is hitting the "stopper" on the frame of the staricase as well. The door is so crooked I don't know what to do. I thought about shimming the frame again but I don't think that will do much good because of the wood hitting the stopper anyway.

The tension is awfully tight as well, I've tried loosening it but didn't seem to make a difference.

So my guess is that it's the piano hinge but it seems nice and tight so I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas? Thanks...here are some pics...
















Last edited by Goldglv; 01-02-2010 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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Attic door out of alignment


goldglv....with a tape measure, check the diagonal measurements of the frame (jamb). Corner to corner. Looks level on the hinge side, my guess would be out of square.

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Old 01-02-2010, 03:50 PM   #3
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Attic door out of alignment


It's square.....I think it's the pivot arm. Not a great pic but the last pic shows how they are both bent inward, it's much more noticeable in person....do you guys think this may be it?

I'm gonna see if I can find a replacement pivot arm but not sure how to install them....
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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Attic door out of alignment


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Originally Posted by Goldglv View Post
It's square.....I think it's the pivot arm. Not a great pic but the last pic shows how they are both bent inward, it's much more noticeable in person....do you guys think this may be it?

I'm gonna see if I can find a replacement pivot arm but not sure how to install them....
Just had the same problem. The rivits on the arms have worn and loosened up, allowing the arms to fold in. How old are the stairs? I replaced mine with a new metal stair made by louisville ladder. It doesn't use springs and opens and closes very easy.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:21 PM   #5
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Attic door out of alignment


check stairs for level, looks out to me. could rack it, has this always been or something new?
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:44 PM   #6
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Attic door out of alignment


Have you checked that all fasteners are secure?

Maybe watch it from the attic while someone closes it so you can watch the movement from another perspective?
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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Attic door out of alignment


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I replaced mine with a new metal stair made by louisville ladder. It doesn't use springs and opens and closes very easy.
what he said..... ^

what you show is junk... we had one exactly like it at our old place that i must have repaired 20 friggin' times... do as retiree suggests or you'll likely keep 'fixing' it over and over and over and....

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Old 01-03-2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Attic door out of alignment


I did check all of the screws, everything is tight. I did stand up in the attic and had someone let the stairs go up. The stairs just pull to the left as they come up.

From the pics I posted, don't the pivot arms look really bent?

The stairs have always been off like this but have been getting worse over time.

Now the other issue I have, I don't know the manufacturer of the staircase, it came installed with the house. I live in a townhouse, it's 10 years old.

I'm looking to stay another 2 years at the most so I don't want to put anymore money into this house than I have to. What would you guys suggest? A new cheap staircase or possibly try and replace the pivot arms.....if I can find them that is.

I've done some DIY stuff but I don't know how comfortable I am re-framing for a new staircase. Thanks....

Retiree,
Which model # Lousiville Ladder did you get? Was it expensive? I didn't see any models without springs...

Last edited by Goldglv; 01-03-2010 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
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Attic door out of alignment


Pictures #2 and #7 gave me the opinion I have: In #2 the rivet which holds the movable arm to the plate does indeed appear to be worn and is slightly out-of-line. Picture #7 confirms what I was thinking would be next, the arm on the left side is way out of alignment, the right side doesn't look much better. I had the same problem with my wooden unit when I bought this house in '86. I wound up removing all of the hardware for a rebuild. I replaced the rivets with bolts and lockwasher's setting the tension on these before re-installing. I changed out all of those 1/4" nuts to locknuts, and straightened the arms, all before re-installling. Mine even has the brackets which the springs fit into when you lower the unit, this can be a real PIA when the arms are just a little out-of-line, they miss the bracket. I've always said that the "next" time this unit gives me a problem, it's gone for newer, nicer unit. Good Luck, David
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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Attic door out of alignment


I went upstairs in the attic and re-measured again. The frame of the attic staircase is out of alignment like some of you suggested. It's almost 3/4" out of alignment. Now my question is, when I go up there to shim the frame, I'm assuming I have to keep the attic staircase down? I'm going to have to loosen up the nails on the back and right side of the staircase frame to try and get it back in alignment.

If I have the staircase up while I loosen the nails holding the frame in, wouldn't the staircase frame just collapse?
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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Attic door out of alignment


Does anyone know how to handle this?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
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Attic door out of alignment


cut some 2x braces, go up, close it, have someone below brace it, then do the shimming.

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