Having your own loft space to store things you don’t use that often can be great, but you really need an easy way to actually reach that space. Of course, your best bet is loft ladders. These ladders can either be foldable, fixed in place, steel, wooden, and everything else in between. All you need to do is decide what fits your needs and what fits the space you have.
How to choose loft ladders
Before you get started, you will need to work out the dimensions of the ladder you need. Grab your trusty measuring tape, and work out the height between the landing site and the top of the roof joints. Most loft ladders reach heights of up to seven feet, so keep this in mind. Remember to measure your loft hatch as well, as the ladders need to fit there. No matter what kind of ladder you go for, it will need to be attached to the hatch, and once you pull it down the ladders will pop out, ready to be used. Some ladders have handrails attached, which makes climbing upstairs much safer. When you decide what kind of ladder you want, make sure it will fit your hatch. Remember to take the pivoting height into account too, which shouldn’t measure more than four feet above the floor of the loft.
Types of loft ladders
The most common type of loft ladders is definitely the sliding variety. They are attached to the inside of your hatch to the joists, and they either have two or three sections. Don’t worry about not being able to fit the ladders inside the loft, as most are made to fit the standard house sizes. And even if your loft is not standard, the ladders can be altered to fit it. The cheaper sliding ladders are made out of aluminum. These ladders are lightweight and easy to set up, but they are rather noisy. The noise doesn’t affect their function though, so if you don’t mind the rattling and screeching they create, go for aluminum ladders. On the other hand, the fancier timber ladders are sturdy, heavy, and pricey. They will look much better once they are folded out, and they won’t make that much noise, but they will chip your budget significantly.
The variety does not stop here, however. The sliding loft ladders have three different types, the most popular being the concertina sliding ladder. This variety is the best choice if you don’t have plenty of space. They can be folded in the smallest of spaces, but this kind of technology requires plenty of engineering, so they come with a price. Cheap concertina ladders are not safe and should be avoided at all costs.
Folding ladders do just what the name suggests. They fold in on themselves, usually in two or three sections. These sections are stacked on top of each other once you close the hatch. The most popular choice is the timber folding ladder. Aluminum folding ladders exist as well, but the flexible nature of aluminum makes the bend and warp, which is not what you need when you climb steep steps.