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Do-It-Yourself Pull-Down Attic Stairs

December 10, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Pull-Down Attic Stairs

Attics are the most under-utilized room in a house. The main reason why many homeowners do not use them regularly is because they are quite difficult to access. You can take advantage of your attic for home storage, however, by using pull-down attic stairs.

The following are steps for how to make your own pull-down attic stairs:

  1. First, inspect the dimensions of the area. Make sure that your attic has enough space to install the ladder. Also check to be sure there are no plumbing pipes or electrical wires that could be disturbed during the installation of the pull-down attic stairs.
  2. Decide where to place the access ladder. The opening can be anywhere in your home that is directly under the attic. Mark the locations of the two adjacent ceiling joints to ensure that you will be placing the opening and the ladder in an area where they will not disturb or damage the aesthetic of your home.
  3. Cut out the ceiling drywall using a saw, remove the cut rectangular part, and set it aside for later.
  4. Nail ceiling joists at the top and bottom ends of the attic opening. Measure the lengths of the lumber locking in the joist hangers and attach them to the side joists by nailing it them in. This creates the rectangular opening.
  5. Cut two lumber boards to the same length as the blocking. Cut another two 3-foot pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch boar. Nail the boards to the inside of the rectangular opening and align the lower ends with the lower edges of the ceiling joints and blocking.
  6. Cut a ¼-inch piece of plywood with the same dimensions as the rectangular opening. Fasten the cut plywood to the back of the drywall. Cut another two rectangular pieces of insulation foam and attach them to the top of the plywood.
  7. Cut two 3-foot long and 12-inch wide pieces of ¼-inch plywood. Add two more pieces of 12-inch plywood. Nail those to the outside of the joists and blocking.

Chris George
Oklahoma City Realtor

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