A man heads up a steep ladder into loft or attic space
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Double Check These Items Before Buying A New Attic Ladder
A safe and durable ladder helps you get the best use out of the additional attic space, so choose one by considering your home's dimensions and the local building codes.
First, measure the ceiling height for the room below the attic to know the ladder's required length. A ladder that is safe to use reaches the floor rather than dangles in mid-air.
Note the opening size of the attic door and the ladder's swing clearance, which is the width of space your attic ladder needs to release from its shuttered form to its full size.
The ladder should also be sturdy enough so that you and other residents can safely climb in and out of the attic, so check the ladder's listed weight capacities before buying.
Additionally, consider the local climate while buying a ladder to ensure durability. A steel or aluminum ladder will suit homes in wetter, humid climates more than a wooden ladder.
International Residential Code (IRC) may not cover attic ladders, but it offers general regulations pertaining to attic access and openings.
The IRC permits attic openings for spaces measuring at least 30 inches in height or 30 square feet in area, with these openings measuring at least 22 inches
by 30 inches.