Loft Ladder Installation and Fitting a Loft Hatch

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Unfortunately, many customers mistakenly believe that most loft ladders will fit into most people's loft hatches and that installing a loft ladder is comparable to assembling flat-pack furniture. Choosing the right loft ladder, double-checking all of the measurements, and having it delivered safely to your home is just the start of what can be a difficult project.

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.

How Many People Are Needed? 

So, your loft ladder has arrived and is waiting downstairs ready to start. The first thing is 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 it's time? Plan ahead and don't strain you're back trying to do it all yourself.

Loft Hatches

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 are 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.

Here's a guide we found on DIY Doctor for Enlarging a Loft Hatch. They've also got a good Making a Loft Hatch guide from Ultimate Handy Man. If you don't want to make your own, we have a full range of loft hatches for all sizes.

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