When you need safe and convenient access to your attic from the floor below, an attic ladder is the obvious choice. Attic ladders come in a variety of styles, but the standard design involves opening the trapdoor and unfolding or extending the metal ladder so it reaches the floor.
If you have experience with do-it-yourself projects around the house, an attic ladder might be something you could install yourself. On the other hand, a busy lifestyle or lack of carpentry skills might prevent you from performing this work yourself. In this case, you’ll need to hire a professional to install your attic ladder for you.
1.Preparation Prior to Installation
Preparation prior to installation involves selecting the installation point for the ladder and ensuring that this location will allow the ladder to swing out and down without obstruction. It will be necessary to cut through the ceiling from the floor below, which will require working overhead to plan and execute the cutting of the hole for the ladder. Before cutting, the professional will need to go up to the attic to ascertain what obstacles might lie directly above the planned opening. For easiest installation, the opening must sit between ceiling joists to eliminate the need for cutting them. In addition, the professional must ensure that no air ducts or electrical wiring sits above the planned opening area.
Measure the ceiling height prior to purchasing an attic ladder to ensure that you purchase the correct size. Higher ceilings need longer ladders, which are more expensive.
2.Professionals to Hire
A general contractor is one professional who can install an attic ladder in your home. This professional possesses the overall construction skills necessary to prepare the project area and install the ladder. A handyman is another expert that you might want to hire for your attic ladder installation. A handyman possesses general home-improvement skills that make this project possible. A handyman should also have the tools necessary to properly perform the work.
3.Skills and Tools Needed
The skills needed for installing an attic ladder include the ability to use a handsaw, a framing square, a power drill and a hammer. For some parts of this installation process, the professional will need an assistant to help with maneuvering the ladder and positioning it in place. Climbing a ladder will be necessary to enable the professional to reach the ceiling easily. As the professional begins to cut the hole in the ceiling, he will need to use the framing square to draw the planned cutting lines accurately and neatly on the ceiling.
If cutting ceiling joists was necessary for the opening, the professional will need to install boards running perpendicular to the ceiling joists for support. The professional will also need to install headers at the points where the cut ceiling joists end and stringers running parallel to the joists to frame around the opening.
A strong overall knowledge base of home construction is important for a successful attic ladder installation. By understanding the anatomy of the attic and ceiling construction, the professional will know how to install the ladder safely and effectively.
Without careful planning, it’s possible that installation of the attic ladder might encroach on or interfere with existing obstacles either above the ceiling in the attic or below where the attic ladder must fold out to extend. During the sawing and cutting stage, the professional might sever electrical cords or air ducting. If the professional does not carefully reinforce the ceiling joists and the frame around the opening, structural damage might occur.
Once the professional installs the ladder, it’s time to extend it completely into the lower room to determine the length of the legs. Attic ladder legs are designed to be cut to the length needed by each specific installation, so the professional will determine the proper length of the legs and then saw them off. Inaccurate measuring might result in uneven ladder legs or even the wrong length, which would lead to an unsafe attic ladder.
5.Cost for Attic Ladder Installation
Once you realize the extent of this project, you will see how beneficial a professional installation would be. The price to install the ladder depends on your geographic location and any special considerations or accommodations necessary for the installation in your home. The average cost to have an attic ladder installed professionally is $236, with the project ranging from $160 to $350. If you simply need to replace an existing attic ladder and it’s not necessary to create the hole in the ceiling, the price ranges from $123 to $243.
With Redbeacon’s help, you can find the ideal contractor to install your attic ladder. Redbeacon will provide you with an extensive list of possible professionals you could hire. Find the one that suits your budget and style and Redbeacon will handle the rest of the job from this point. You will pay Redbeacon after the work concludes and Redbeacon will pay the professional on your behalf. There are no worries about work quality either, when you have Redbeacon’s satisfaction guarantee that ensures you’ll be happy with the work.
Stop struggling to access your attic and make this space accessible and convenient with an attic ladder. With a professional installation, you’ll know that the ladder is safe and secure.