Getting Into Your Attic

home remodeling tid-bits

topic: attic access
by Allison B

An attic can provide a great space for storage. In some older homes, however, access is an issue. You may have a small folding staircase that does not open and close properly. The solution is to fix or build new attic stairs to do the job.
Many homes have attic stairs that pull down from a door secured into the ceiling of the top floor. A person simply pulls a handle or rope and the door opens downward. As the door is lowered, it reveals the attic access stairs.

This type of attic stairs layout is ideal, as it eliminates the need for a second staircase in the main living area. A full set of stairs built into the floor can be costly and consume lots of space. When using the pull down attic access stairs, the stairs are hidden from view when not in use. This helps make that room or hallway appear less cluttered.

If you are renovating an older attic, spends some time examining how the stairs work. Are the attic stairs sturdy? Do they pull down straight without squeaking or moving out of alignment? Do any stairs require repairs?

When adding new attic access stairs, look for a design that provides the slope you want for ease of walking up and down. There should be plenty of head room and width for walking and carrying items to store.

The door handle also should be easy to operate. You'll want the attic stairs in a convenient location that does not interfere with traffic patterns in that part of the house.


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