Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

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dougger5
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Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by dougger5 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:20 am

For access to our attic, we have a panel in the 2nd floor ceiling that sits in a roughly 2' x 3' frame. We've decided that it's time to consider installing a folding/telescoping ladder for easier attic access, and we want to hire someone to do this.

What sort of outfit would do this? General handyman, or some other contractor that would have this in their portfolio?

We have a roofer coming over this coming week to assess a leak around our chimney flashing - which kind of renewed our interest in the attic access issue. I doubt his company does the ladders - but I'll ask anyway.
Last edited by dougger5 on Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dodgy55
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by dodgy55 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:38 am

A few years ago I installed a similar ladder in a back bedroom ceiling to get access to attic. As the common refrain goes "this is not rocket science". Any reputable handyman should be able to perform the task. If you are not acquainted with a handy person, references are always a good idea after you select the individual. I find newspaper classified ads are a good way to find individuals who are handy types. I avoid the internet sources.

If you live in a cold climate I'd suggest you ask the handyman if he/she could also insulate the ladder access so the heat does not infiltrate into the attic. For my attic ladder I built a light weight wooden box and insulated the inside. The box covers the attic side of the hole. When the ladder is dropped, the box needs to be pushed away.

good luck.
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Silk McCue
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 am

Lowe's sells and installs these. One benefit to this is that you have someone on the hook for the job that will back up the installation.

tomd37
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by tomd37 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:47 am

Seven years ago we did a major renovation to the entire first floor and the two bathrooms on the second floor. During that renovation we had our contractor replace the pull down builder grade attic step system that was in poor shape. The contractor installed a much higher grade of stairs capable of handling much greater weight. The higher quality of the commercial grade stair system was immediately noticeable and appreciated to this date as we store a lot of items in the attic space. The system has a 300 pound capacity, a much better spring and framing system, and wider steps. I am very pleased that the contractor took it upon himself to install the higher grade system. Be sure you know what you are getting and paying for when you decide to replace the stair system. A good handyman with a helper should be able to do the job for you if he knows what he is doing.
Tom D.

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dougger5
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by dougger5 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:52 am

dodgy55 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:38 am
A few years ago I installed a similar ladder in a back bedroom ceiling to get access to attic. As the common refrain goes "this is not rocket science". Any reputable handyman should be able to perform the task. If you are not acquainted with a handy person, references are always a good idea after you select the individual. I find newspaper classified ads are a good way to find individuals who are handy types. I avoid the internet sources.

If you live in a cold climate I'd suggest you ask the handyman if he/she could also insulate the ladder access so the heat does not infiltrate into the attic. For my attic ladder I built a light weight wooden box and insulated the inside. The box covers the attic side of the hole. When the ladder is dropped, the box needs to be pushed away.

good luck.
Thanks :D

Yes, not the most challenging task - but I'm an engineer. I'm better suited to produce a 3D BIM model of the work :mrgreen:

Seriously though, I could probably do it, but I'd rather get someone to just knock it out, rather than the trial-and-error and trips to Lowes that would span a day or weekend if I attempted it.

We have a neighborhood Facebook group that's surprisingly useful for this sort of thing, so that's my next stop.
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 am
Lowe's sells and installs these. One benefit to this is that you have someone on the hook for the job that will back up the installation.
Hey now...speaking of Lowes... :mrgreen:
tomd37 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:47 am
Seven years ago we did a major renovation to the entire first floor and the two bathrooms on the second floor. During that renovation we had our contractor replace the pull down builder grade attic step system that was in poor shape. The contractor installed a much higher grade of stairs capable of handling much greater weight. The higher quality of the commercial grade stair system was immediately noticeable and appreciated to this date as we store a lot of items in the attic space. The system has a 300 pound capacity, a much better spring and framing system, and wider steps. I am very pleased that the contractor took it upon himself to install the higher grade system. Be sure you know what you are getting and paying for when you decide to replace the stair system. A good handyman with a helper should be able to do the job for you if he knows what he is doing.
Good points
"I've been ionized, but I'm okay now." -Buckaroo Banzai

tomd37
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by tomd37 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:55 am

I want to amend my post adding that, as mentioned by others, it would be a very good idea to add an insulated step cover in the attic. I installed a brand called "Attic Tent" myself in a very short period of time. All you need is a heavy duty staple gun. Research the brand for details and pricing, but then buy it somewhere else for a lower price. I bought mine through Amazon many years ago. It really does keep a lot of heat and cold where they belong.
Tom D.

Hockey10
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by Hockey10 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:41 pm

+1 for the insulated cover above the opening ; this area of the home is a major source of heat loss if you don't have it properly insulated

michaeljc70
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:47 pm

My father installed one of these last year in his garage. It wasn't complicated. If you can't/don't want to do it yourself, I would get a handyman or carpenter.

I'll add what I told my father when he said he was going to install the stairs- do you really need quick access to the space? Or are you just saving/accumulating too many things? I realize that some people are really lacking storage space too.

carolinaman
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by carolinaman » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:06 am

tomd37 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:55 am
I want to amend my post adding that, as mentioned by others, it would be a very good idea to add an insulated step cover in the attic. I installed a brand called "Attic Tent" myself in a very short period of time. All you need is a heavy duty staple gun. Research the brand for details and pricing, but then buy it somewhere else for a lower price. I bought mine through Amazon many years ago. It really does keep a lot of heat and cold where they belong.
+1 for attic tent. Attic stairs are a major source for loss of heat and cooling. Attic tent solves this problem and is an easy install for a competent handyman. I do not recall the cost but they are not expensive.

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dougger5
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by dougger5 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:57 am

Attic tent - check! :beer
"I've been ionized, but I'm okay now." -Buckaroo Banzai

FraggleRock
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Attic Experts

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:29 am

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 am
Lowe's sells and installs these. One benefit to this is that you have someone on the hook for the job that will back up the installation.
Not true.
Lowe's sells and hires sub-contractors to install these.

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runner9
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by runner9 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:43 am

dougger5 wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:57 am
Attic tent - check! :beer
I cut 2 inch thick rigid foam insulation board to sit on top of the hole, then used bungie cords held through with washers to suck it down onto strip foam insulation to make it as air tight as possible. Cost probably $15.

Silk McCue
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Re: Attic Experts

Post by Silk McCue » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:50 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:29 am
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 am
Lowe's sells and installs these. One benefit to this is that you have someone on the hook for the job that will back up the installation.
Not true.
Lowe's sells and hires sub-contractors to install these.
My statement is true. Don’t split hairs unnecessarily to point out a distinction without a difference.

Most everyone knows that Lowe’s uses sub-contractors. Whether they do or don’t doesn’t matter because you pay Lowe’s and not the sub. if the installation has any issues your recourse is with Lowe’s. They will make it right

Thus “you have someone on the hook for the job that will back up the installation”. 100% factually correct statement.

FraggleRock
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Re: big box subs

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:01 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:50 pm
Most everyone knows that Lowe’s uses sub-contractors. Whether they do or don’t doesn’t matter because you pay Lowe’s and not the sub. if the installation has any issues your recourse is with Lowe’s. They will make it right.
1. Lots of people don't know.
2. If you read numerous Yelp reviews (I read 400 per day) for both Lowe's and Home Depot, you will see a lot of dissatisfaction when the sub/installer fails. Finger pointing and angry consumers.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:04 pm

Any competent reputable (verify) "finish" carpenter will be able to do it and not make a mess.
A good journeyman finish carpenter has cross trade skills.

We installed this unit because I felt the regular panel drop down units did not seal well enough against attic drafts. This way I was able to retain the seal of the regular attic scuttle. It also took up less space and a smaller hole and didn't look ugly in a bedroom scuttle.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QETCN4/re ... 2093746865
The advantage of the regular drop down units, if you have the space, is a larger opening to access the attic. But, by themselves, have a bad seal against attic draft and air leakage.
j

indexonlyplease
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by indexonlyplease » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:13 pm

Forget the handyman. Its just not worth it unless you have someone you know and trust. Call Home Depot. You may pay a little more but you will get satisfaction even after you pay.

You may never again hear from the handyman after the work is done and you have a problem.

Eveyone has a handyman story.

sport
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by sport » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:17 pm

I had one of these installed in my garage. I went to a local lumber yard that sells and installs storm doors and such things. They sold me the ladder and one of their carpenters installed. He did a good job.

JBTX
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by JBTX » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:10 pm

Not at all an expert here, but for an existing entry point, it probably isn’t going to be too big of a deal for anybody with any carpentry skills.

As to creating a new entry point and adding ladder, I’d recommend a framer. They will be more likely to tell you if there is enough strength to support it long term. I wanted to put one in the garage but the framer I had contracted with to add support to our chimney looked at the area and didn’t seem to think it would be a great idea.

Luke Duke
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Re: Attic Ladder Installation - Whom To Call

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:36 am

I had one installed by a handyman. He did a great job. I recommend getting a wide ladder like the one below.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Louisville- ... /205180385

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