Attic door springs help secure the ladder in the attic and prevent it from swinging too far out when it has been opened. The springs keep the ladder firmly connected to the attic door.
Springs for the ladder can usually be bought from local home-improvement stores or hardware suppliers, but there are also plenty of places on the Internet that can supply attic door springs. Installing them or replacing them is not terribly difficult if you follow these handy tips and take care.
Step 1—Remove the Old Hinge
Whether you have previously fitted an attic door spring or not, remove the hinge that is currently connected to your attic door. This is found at the far end of the attic door, connecting it to the floor above. Hold the door in your left hand and unscrew the hinge with your right. Keep your hinge, as you will need to re-install it at the end of the project. Move the door out, and leave it to one side.
Step 2—Remove the Old Spring
Once the door has been removed, insert your stairs. If you are replacing the attic stairs, unscrew the springs. Do this by removing the screws from the ladder side first and then folding the spring back so that it is level and not about to snap down. Then, unscrew the spring on the attic floor joist. Clean around the area where the new spring will be fitted and then bring up the new spring.
Step 3—Add the New Spring
The spring needs to be attached to the attic floor first, so pull the latter fully down and lay the spring along the line of the steps. Measure where the spring will need to be fixed to the opening. The spring should be fully extended and reach down such that you can fold and unfold the ladder.
Next, mark on the attic door opening where the spring should go. It will usually attach to a piece of the floor just above the opening. Mark on the ladder where the other end should be fixed.
Step 4—Add the Spring
Make sure you are fitting the spring the right way around (it should extend outwards over the top, as a book does, being opened, rather than from beneath the body of the spring). Take your screws and screw them tightly into the attic flooring where you made your marks.
Fold up the ladder and screw on the spring at the place where you have marked on the ladder itself. Repeat this procedure for the other side of the ladder. Test your ladder to make sure that it unfolds in the correct manner.
Step 5—Add the Hinge
With the ladder in place, reinstall the door using the hinges you removed earlier. Once the door has been put into place, fix the ladder to the door on the side facing into the attic. This will allow you to reach the ladder without having to stretch or use a pole to get it to descend.