Loft Ladder Installation and Fitting a Loft Hatch
We know from the Ladderstore loft ladder buyers survey that we just completed that getting the right ladder, checking all the measurements and getting it safely delivered to your home is just the first part of what can be a tricky project.
Unfortunately many customers wrongly assume that most loft ladders will fit into most people's loft hatches and that installing a loft ladder is akin to assembling flat pack furniture.
Certainly most manufacturers take great care to make the process as simple as possible but because everyone's loft hatches vary in size, depth and height from the ground care has to be taken to ensure the loft ladders are installed safely and correctly.
As always you can call Ladderstore on 01204 590 232 if you need any help or advice installing your loft ladders. We thought that it would be useful to bring together some of the best resources on the internet to help you plan and complete your loft ladder project.
So, your loft ladder has arrived and is waiting downstairs ready to start. First thing is first....do you know how much it weighs? Many aluminium loft ladders weigh in between 5 and 15kg but most timber loft ladders are well over 20kg and if they come with a frame attached then they could weigh up to 40kg or more. So the first loft ladder 'gotcha' is do you have another pair of hands to help you with the heavy lifting jobs - getting the ladders to the hatch and lifting them into place when its time? Plan ahead and don't strain you're back trying to do it all yourself.
The next job most people have to complete is modifying the existing loft hatch to fit the dimensions required by the ladder that they have bought. This usually means enlarging the loft hatch. Usually the loft hatch is fitted between the ceiling joists, and these are normally wide enough to accommodate a person and a ladder but frequently they are not long enough. If this is the case you will need to enlarge the existing hatch.
There a couple of really simple guides to enlarging a loft hatch and making your own loft hatch below. We have a couple of tips and warnings. First the warnings. Be careful! Don't cut through any pre-fabricated roof trusses they support the structure of the roof so don't meddle with them. Do make sure that you have a good, safe light source a portable light source is best if you do not have a light in your attic. If you don't have a light in your attic consider getting one fitted by an electrician. Presumably you are going to use your loft ladders to access the attic so why not make it safer to do so.
Most of the respondents in our loft ladder buyers survey had issues with making a loft hatch. Some even said that it took longer than it did to install the ladders. It can be very tricky. At Ladderstore we would always recommend that you either buy a separate loft hatch or buy a loft ladder that comes with a frame and hatch included. If you are lucky enough to have a loft hatch that your new loft ladders will fit without modification you can also buy a conversion kit that changes a standard removable cover to a hinged cover. In fact check the product information before you buy as some ladders are supplied with a conversion kit.
Remember Ladderstore operate a 'Guaranteed Fit' service on the Ladderstore.com website and by telephone where a Ladderstore expert will check a customer's measurements and specific requirements and issue a list of the loft ladders that we guarantee will fit. Free of the worry about choosing the ladder that will fit it allows customers to focus on the ladder quality or ease of use, or what it is made of - timber or aluminium. There is more on our website about loft ladder guaranteed fit so please click through and send us your measurements today.