Fold-down attic stairs are a convenience for any homeowner. They fold up flat against the ceiling and are puledl down using a string when attic access is required. If it's time to replace your pull-down attic stairs, the first step is measuring the dimensions of the old stairs accurately so you can purchase new stairs that match the space size. This will make installation of the new stairs go smoothly.
Things You'll Need
Close the attic ladder up fully and place a stepladder underneath it. You can stand on the attic ladder to take the measurements if you feel it is steady enough to do so.
Place a tape measure at the left side of the attic opening, on the inside edge of any trim molding, but the outside of the actual attic ladder frame. Stretch the tape measure over to the right side of the attic ladder door, stopping at the inside edge of the trim molding on that side. Note the measurement, which is the width of the attic ladder.
Move one end of the tape measure to the rear of the attic ladder door where the hinges are located. Align it with the interior edge of the trim molding and then stretch the other end up to the front edge of the door just inside the trim there. Note the measurement, which is the length of the attic ladder.
Place the end of the tape measure flush with the ceiling directly beside the attic ladder. Drop the other end of the tape measure to the floor to determine the length of the stairs themselves. It helps to have another person assist with this step. Although attic stairs rest at an angle to the floor, the boxes they come in provide a ceiling height for installation purposes.
According to Home Addition Plus, most attic ladders have a standard length of 54 inches and a width of 22.5 inches.