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Attic Access & Loft Ladders

Storage Loft Ladders

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Attic Access & Loft Ladders

Loft ladder hatch door
Loft Ladder

At Boarshurst we only provide a ladder installation service during a loft conversion project, for example improve access to a garage loft.

Where lofts are used only as storage areas there is no legal access requirement, this allows you greater choice of access i.e. a ladder or fixed stairs.

If you use your loft frequently then a fitted, pull-down extension ladder may be most convenient.

These are available in metal or wood. Meal ladders have either a pull down sliding mechanism (pictured) or concertina/folding system.

The extraction of the sliding loft ladder
Sliding ladder extraction

The advantage of attic ladders over stairs is in keeping landings clear of obstruction, taking-up no floor area.

Some loft ladders are spring assisted for easy stowing and control when lowering and retracting. Other ladder options:

  • Lightweight or Heavy duty
  • Aluminium or wooden
  • Concertina or extending
  • Wide or narrow
  • Short or long
  • With / without handrails

Handrails, for example, allow you to ascend and descend backwards - facing the ladder more easily.

The extracted sliding loft ladder
Ladder extracted

Aluminium ladders may be more compact, whilst wooden ladders tend to be quieter, and feel more sturdy and comfortable to use.

If you intend to use your loft to store large, bulky items and to use it frequently then a heavy duty ladder may be more suitable than a lightweight one.

Fitting a Concertina Loft Ladder

Folding, concertina styles are generally more compact, taking up less hatch and loft space but are less convenient than sliding ladders.

Higher priced options may include handrails, be easier to use, have better sprung mechanisms; have a greater load capacity and a quieter operation.

The Extended sliding loft ladder
Extended loft ladder

Pull-down folding steps retract to fit within the hatch access area. This may require some opening up of the existing hatch to accommodate the assembly.

The concertina ladder can prevent insulation of the hatch itself, so a cover box can be fitted into the loft to insulate around the ladder.

An insulated cover-box has a hinged hatch lid so it can be pushed up and out of the way for loft access.

Fitting a Sliding Loft Ladder

Sliding ladders are less compact, but have handrails and an easier operation.

Ladders are fully retractable using hand-held rod to push up the condensed ladder around a pivot point and to close the loft hatch.

Ladders need adequate clearance within the loft; during installation we ensure clearance and soundness of existing hatch area.

We insulate the attic using foil backed insulating board on the hatch. This creates a thermal barrier between your living areas and loft area and retains house heat.

If required, we seal around the perimeter of the loft access with an air seal gasket. This gives a tight fit, eliminating heat loss and drafts.

Loft Security

If the loft access point is in a garage or porch you may want to consider securing it against potential break-in.

We supply and install a wide range of lockable catches and bolts designed to increase loft security.

Built-in Loft Stairs

An alternative to loft ladders or a full flight of stairs is the space saving 'alternating tread staircase'. Alternating tread staircases are a specialist staircase slightly steeper and narrower than normal but useful where there are physical constraints to a traditional staircase.

Alternate steps are broader and narrower on respective sides to allow easy climbing.

Alternating tread staircases are constructed more steeply and narrowly than normal steps and require a handrail for safety.

Lighting and Safety

For convenience, unless you have loft windows or skylights installed in the storage area to provide natural light you are likely to require electric lighting and switch with an 'on' indicator. This allows a safe, lit, exit from the loft and provides a prompt to turn off the light.

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