Attic Pull-Down Stair Installation


Large attics in a home are the perfect place to store unneeded items. To access the attic safely, it is best to install a pull down ladder. A pull down ladder gives you easy access to the attic. The ladder is attached to a door, and when the door is pulled down, the ladder is exposed. The ladder is then unfolded using hinges, or slid down on tracks so you can climb into the attic with ease.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Chalk line
  • Drywall saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Lumber
  • Carpenter's square
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Set a ladder under the current attic access hole. Climb up the ladder and look inside to make sure there aren't any wires or duct pipes in the way of the opening.

  • Snap chalk lines along the ceiling, around the rough opening, that is the size of the ladder kit you purchased. Add 1 1/2 inches to each side to allow for enough room for the kit.

  • Cut the rough opening so it is parallel with the joists in the attic, using a drywall saw. Cut out the joists from the opening using a saw.

  • Measure the length between the joists in the ceiling for your new headers. Cut a piece of wood that is the same thickness as the joists in the attic and place on the header on the front and the back of the opening. Place a carpenter's square at the corners of the headers to make sure they are at 90-degree angles. Add three screws to the header at each point where it touches the joists.

  • Measure the length between the two headers and cut a piece of lumber that fits between them. Attach it to the headers so that the opening is only large enough for the door.

  • Add screws along the drywall opening to secure it to the joists. Screw two 1-inch ledgers on both the front and the back of the opening for securing the stair well. Let the ledgers overhang the hole.

  • Lift the stairs through the hole with the help of a volunteer, then set the stairs on the ledgers. Set shims in between the stairs and the rough opening until the stair case is even. Screw the ladder in with the included screws. Remove the ledgers. Attach the springs to the attic door using the kit's instructions.

  • Add the molding included in the door to the door frame. Paint as necessary.

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  • Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
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