Werner's Easy Access Attic Ladder 3 - Location

Looking up through the hatch at a worker in the attic.

In part 2 of this series on installing Werner's Easy Access Attic Ladder, you assembled all the needed tools., but they're useless without the right location for the ladder. In this part of the series, Werner shows you how to find it.

Before proceeding, you must have a suitable ceiling and joist structure, the right tools and materials, the appropriate ladder for your ceiling height, and a level and flat location in the ceiling. Your goal is to find a location free of hazards and obstructions that will provide room for the installation and use of the attic ladder.

Choose a Spot

Pick a potential location for installation. Make sure there is room for the size of the rough opening shown on the box or in the table below. If you are installing the attic ladder in a garage, don't forget to consider where cars will be parked.

Check for Swing Clearance

Check for Swing Clearance

Check that you have the swing clearance (SC) needed (see Table 1).

Check for Landing Space

Check that you have the landing space (LS) needed to let both legs rest flat on the floor (see Table 1).

Check The Ceiling

If there is no ceiling and the attic ladder will fit between the joists so that no joists need to be cut, go to the section on "Framing the Rough Opening."

If there is no ceiling, but one or more joists need to be cut, go to the section on "Cutting the Ceiling Joists."

If there is a ceiling at this location, you will need to inspect the attic area above this location as described in steps 5 and 6.

Find the Area in Your Attic

Go into the overhead space and find the area above your chosen location. This area may be located by either listening for tapping from below or measuring distances from walls or other objects common to the overhead space and the room below.

Warning: do not drive metal nails or other conductive objects into the ceiling unless you are sure they will not contact electric wires. Contact with an electric wire can be deadly.

Clear the Attic Area

At this location in the overhead space, check that there is enough space for you to safely move around during installation and whether there is storage space adjacent to the chosen location. If walking or crawling in the overhead space is desired, make sure that there is enough room to do so. Check above your chosen location for hazards and obstructions such as electric wires, pipes, heating and cooling ducts, furnaces, hot water heaters, or other obstructions.

Note: to check for hazards, you will need to move insulation away from your chosen location. Wear a dust mask, safety goggles, and gloves, and keep your body covered to prevent fine cuts from fiberglass. Push aside the insulation gently to avoid stirring up dust that may be harmful to your eyes and lungs.

Avoid or Remove Hazards

If any hazards or obstructions are present at your chosen location, look for another location or have the hazards or obstructions moved by professionals.