How to Replace Attic Ladder: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have an attic at your lovely home, you probably also have an attic ladder for it because we don’t use lifts to get into it! Jokes apart, by the way. Replacing an old attic ladder would be more functional to access your attic more easily.

If you are thinking about how to replace attic ladder of your home, and already you are starting to read the article, you have come to the right place. This guide will help you on how to replace pull-down attic stairs at your home.

Things to Keep In Mind before Starting

Before replacing the attic ladder at your home, there are things to remember for the sake of an efficient pull-down attic stair. Here are some facts you should keep in mind.

  • After bringing the pulling stair, read the manufacturer’s instructions attentively. Ameature and improper installation could be the reason for vital injury.
  • Be assured that you brought the ladder with the right size that was previously installed. Otherwise, you have to drill or resize the hole of the attic door. Ensure that the size of the ladder complies with the spaces and height of your room ceiling when you fully open it.
  • Check the attic ladder if any damages exist. If any cracks, bends, splits, or warps are found, inform the vendor immediately. Check the fasteners and rivets are adequately tightened.
  • Check the pulling rope is okay.
  • Ensure the presence of all necessary tools needs to replace the attic ladder.

Removing the Old Attic Ladder

When looking for how to replace the attic ladder, you should know how to remove the old one in your attic first. While your old ladder is not functioning correctly or has any safety issues, there is no way to keep the old one.

So, to replace the old one, you have to remove it first. One or two assistants have to assist you in removing and replacing the ladder. Here is how you could remove the old attic ladder of your attic.

  • Use a pry bar to unfasten the frame of the attic ladder around the openings.
  • To reach the floor, open the attic ladder. 1 by 4-inch wooden stripes should be placed around the frame’s apertures on the back and front sides. For the time being, use screws to keep them from falling while removing the permanent screws and nails that connect the ladder to the attic.
  • Remove the permanent fasteners that hold the attic ladder frame to the attic using a portable ladder beside the attic ladder stairs. Utilize a hook-sled or claw hammer to eliminate the trims and nails.
  • Stand firmly on the portable ladder after removing all holding accessories. Push the attic ladder up from the bottom. Your old attic ladder will be removed from the attic. Now take the old one down via the attic entrance on the floor.

Attic Ladder Replacing Process

After successfully removing the attic ladder, it’s time to install the new attic ladder stairs in the attic. Check if the attic opening has a 2’x6’ header, which is a little larger than a classical attic ladder. Here are the following procedures to successfully install the attic ladder in your attic.

Preparing the Environment

  • Use temporary support boards for supporting the attic ladder during the installation. Keep the width at least 4 inches more than the openings of the attic. Use 3” deck screws to hold the attic ladder frame. The support boards will be having the ladder stairs in place when you fasten the screws of the ladder to the headers and joists. Keep spaces so that you can open the ladder door.
  • Attach supplementary structure in intervals of 1-1/2-inches and 3/4-inches thick with 3-inches deck screws if there is a 1-1/2-inches gap between the ladder and the size of the attic opening. Alternatively, use 16d nails at a distance of 12″ in the middle spot. You must minimize the gap to 3/4″ so that you may use shims to fill it.
  • Install the pulling cord of the ladder on the ladder door by threading it through a hole in the door. Pull the rope till it comes to your desired length. Tie a knot with the cord after penetrating it inside the washer that comes in the ladder box.

Installing the New Attic Ladder

  1. Keep the hinge side of the ladder. Keep pulling it upside of the opening. Ensure the hinge side exists in the correct position.
  • Maintain the ladder’s position on the supporting boards once it has been raised. Align the attic ladder according to your requirements. The hinge side of the attic ladder should be against the heading brace. Ensure that the ladder door is not obstructed from being opened by the supporting boards.
  • Secure the attic ladder with two 3-inches screws on the hinge side and open the ladder door by pulling the rope.
  • By calculating the attic ladder askew, you can ensure that the corners are square. To approach the corner to corner aspects, add shims. Secure the ladder with two more 3-inch screws, this time on the other side of the hinge.
  • Drill and attach the attic ladder to the header side with four 1/4-inch x 3-inch hex lag bolts after establishing the appropriate location. If necessary, add shims into the space between the frame and the opening.
  • Insert another four hex lag bolts by pre-drilling the sides of the ladder frame. Now, remove the supporting boards from the sides of the attic opening.
  • Fold the straight legs till they reach the floor if the ladder’s legs are long enough to extend from the ceiling to the floor. Then cutoff the extra length portion of the ladder’s legs. With a wrench, reattach them to the floor so that they are straight fit to the floor.
  • Redesign and reinstall the trims on the exterior of the ladder frame with nails. To match the ceiling, paint the attic ladder door the same color as the ceiling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are The Models Of Pulling Attic Stairs Available?

Answer: Numerous companies make attic ladders. But, not each of them deserves the top place. Also, every model of the leading company is not the best. Here is a list of the top 10 attic ladders based on their overall performance in 2021.

  1. Louisville AA2210 Aluminum
  2. Fakro LMS 66866
  3. Louisville L224P
  4. Werner AA1510
  5. Louisville 16 AL228P
  6. Fakro LST 860432 Steel Scissor
  7. Fakro LWP 66802 Insulated
  8. Fakro LWT 66893 Wooden Thermo
  9. Louisville Ladder S305P
  10. Louisville AA229GS Elite Aluminum

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Attic Ladder?

Answer: If you are in the USA, the cost for installing an attic ladder could range from $200 to $650 would. The cost varies from place to place and product to product. An average cost would be $450, including labor and other necessary parts.

Can You Replace An Attic Ladder As Your Own?

Answer: If you are experienced enough with crafting and woodwork, you can do it yourself. But, it is wise to hire a professional while you are asking this question.

Final words

We hope you have gotten the ideas on how to replace attic ladder from the article. It would be enjoyable to install a new attic ladder if the old one has outlived its usefulness or if you want to upgrade to a new one with additional features.

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