Step by step: how to make sure your loft can be accessed safely

2 min


It’s probably not hard for you to recall occasions when you’ve needed to fetch something from the loft – and, as a result, ended up going into the shed to fetch an old, unwieldy ladder you have needed just to get yourself into the loft space. Would there be a better – and safer – way of getting into it?

Yes, there would. Here’s how you can go about fitting a staircase or ladder that would enable you and any other members of your household to ascend to the loft without risking breaking a neck. 

Should you choose a staircase or ladder?

No, “staircases and ladders” wouldn’t be a new take on that well-known board game “Snakes and Ladders”; rather, it summarizes the loft access options from which you could choose. Though you could opt for fixed stairs or ladders, these would permanently take up space on the landing and so blight its appearance. 

Therefore, you might prefer to opt for a folding ladder that, though attached to the loft, could be tucked out of sight when not in use. Loft ladders like this would, however, require skill to build, warns DoItYourself.com – a good incentive for you to have a company like Instaloft visit your home to fit the ladder on your behalf.

What type of loft ladder should you choose?

Loft ladders can vary significantly in how they look, fold and unfold. For example, both wooden and aluminum ladders are available for lofts, while you can even find ladders designed specifically for use with small hatches and lofts where space is at a premium.

If the ceiling opening is relatively small, a concertina ladder could do the trick for helping you to gain entry as and when necessary. Meanwhile, a telescopic ladder could be the shrewdest choice if it’s actually inside your loft where space is an issue, with potentially too small a floor in that loft for a “normal” folding ladder to be kept there.

In some instances, though, your struggles to get into a loft could have little to do with the loft itself. For example, if you have a physical disability that would hamper your ability to pull down a manual attic ladder, you should look into getting an electric ladder you could raise or lower just by pushing a button.

Such a ladder could become part of a wider-reaching “smart home” solution, with the Bob Vila website noting that some high-end models of electric attic ladder can be operated via a smart device.

What else do you need to consider before you buy a loft ladder?

You will need to measure the width and length of your loft opening, as well as the distance between that opening and the floor below, so that you can choose just the right size of ladder. 

Fortunately, when perusing the market for a loft ladder online, you should find that many models are listed with details of their opening length and opening width, making it easier for you to find the right match.


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