How to Repair an Attic Ladder

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Screws

  • Several 2-by-4s

  • Saw

Image Credit: David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images

Many homes are built with convenient storage space either in the form of a basement or attic. The access to an attic is most commonly built with an access panel door and a set of folding wooden stairs. Over time the attic ladder can become worn, particularly around the steps, which take the brunt of a person's weight. When these steps become loose, it is essential to repair them to avoid the possibility of personal injury or further damage to the wooden ladder.


Step 1

Open the access panel to your attic. The attic access panel is normally connected to the folded wooden ladder. Stand out of the way in case your ladder unfolds abruptly as you open the door.

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Step 2

Extend the ladder fully into a climbable position. The ladder should be pointing at an angle ascending up into the attic.


Step 3

Locate the loose steps on the ladder. Try to walk or put weight on the steps to see which ones are loose.

Step 4

Identify the screws or nails that are keeping a loose step in position. Remove the nails or screws using the claw-end of a hammer or a suitable screwdriver. Remove the step and inspect it for any cracks or splintering. If the wood is cracked or splintered, replace it by cutting a 2-by-4 to fit the dimensions of the ladder step.


Step 5

Screw the ladder step back on to the ladder frame using wood screws. Place the step into the correct position and use a level to check to see that it's flat. Screw three screws in both sides of the frame through the step.

Step 6

Cut a 2-by-4 into two small brackets with dimensions to fit underneath the ladder step and corresponding to the dimensions of your particular ladder frame. Screw the brackets into place underneath the step using two wood screws on each bracket.

Step 7

Place a screw through the top of the ladder step into the top of the bracket. This will add extra security to your new step.


You can use wood glue before adding screws to the new ladder step for added security.


Use caution while cutting wood and removing nails. Wear appropriate safety equipment such as glasses and gloves while performing this task.


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