Top tips for installing loft ladders safely
While it might seem like a daunting task, many keen homeowners often decide to install a loft ladder themselves. But whether you’re mad about home DIY or a professional tradesperson, installing a loft ladder can be a very tricky task. Throw in the added pressure of getting the task completed in a short block of time during your busy weekend and the whole process can turn into a nightmare! However, getting yourself properly clued up about the correct process to follow before you begin the job goes a long way. With the right tools and the right procedure to follow you can say goodbye to DIY stresses as we make this common DIY task easy…
Step 1: Choose the right loft ladder
As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised at how many people get this wrong. Measuring correctly for a loft ladder can be tricky, which is why we've already written a guide on how to do so here.
Once you’ve got your measurements, choose a durable, high quality loft ladder that’s suitable for the job.
Step 2: Position your loft ladder
A crucial part in fitting your loft ladder is positioning it in exactly the right place. We recommend you do this by getting someone to lift the ladder up to you through the ceiling opening so you can assemble it squarely in the ceiling opening. When doing this make sure it is supported by the battens, nailed to the sides.
Double check that the box frame is flush with the ceiling around the opening and if not, adjust to make level. Placing a spirit level on a tread is a great way to check this. You’ll also need to check that the ladder will open in the correct direction for ascent when installed.
Step 3: Fit the box frame
Drill holes in the ends and sides of the box frame – ideally two holes in the shorter sides and three in the longer sides. Countersink the holes and fix the box frame with steel or brass screws, as advised by manufacturer instructions.
Step 4: Fit mitred architrave
Apply mitred architrave around the edge of the box and frame and fix to the frame with 25mm panel pins. Punch the nail heads below the surface of the trim.
Step 5: Check all fittings are secure
With your loft ladder in place, make sure all fixing are secure, as well as the handrail. If you’re concerned about any of them make sure to tighten them before finishing the job.
Step 6: Continue to look after your loft ladder
Once you’ve gone through the process of fitting a loft ladder, it makes sense to look after it to ensure longevity. Only use your loft ladder for its intended purpose and only load it with its maximum load. This will not only ensure a great product life, it will also keep you safe during use.
For more DIY tips and advice browse our blog.
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