The Lowdown On Buying A Loft Ladder

The Lowdown On Buying A Loft Ladder

18th February 2014

If you have an attic or loft in your home, then you have a load of extra space that could be used for storage or even for extra living space.  However, if you plan on using the loft on a regular basis, then a dedicated loft ladder is definitely a must buy.  It is the safest way of gaining access to the loft, especially if you’re regularly carrying stuff up and down.  Using an ordinary ladder or even a step ladder is not ideal – in fact it can be downright dangerous as one of our previous blog posts reveals.

If you’re looking to buy a loft ladder, then there are so many models available that it can be confusing to work out which would best suit your needs.  We’re taking a look at loft ladders today with some tips on how to buy the best loft ladder for your home.  Obviously, personal preference is going to be one consideration – what would look best in your home and what sort of ladder best suits you and the way in which you intend to use it.

There are two main types of loft ladder – the sliding ladder and the folding ladder.


SLIDING LADDERS
 

Sliding ladders are the easiest to install and use – they can usually be attached to the joists inside the loft and are comprised of two or three sections.  Your loft opening will need to be large enough to accommodate the size of the ladder (you may need to enlarge the opening).  Budget sliding ladders are fabricated from lightweight aluminium and are designed for light use only.  A timber ladder will be more expensive, but much more durable and will last longer.

Sliding ladders come in two types – the concertina ladder and the telescopic ladder.  The concertina loft ladder needs very little clearance or storage space but budget models will be difficult to install and use.  Telescopic loft ladders, although more expensive than concertina style ladders, will use up the same amount of space as a concertina ladder, but offer a much more convenient access solution.  They are usually very durable, whether made from metal or timber (which is the most expensive option).  Most telescopic loft ladders have a handrail which is an added safety feature that will come in handy, especially if the ladder is to be used on a more frequent basis.


FOLDING LADDERS
 

Folding loft ladders are fairly straightforward to use, with the whole unit folding into two or three sections which stack on top of each other when in storage mode.  A timber folding ladder is usually smoother to operate than an aluminium one and will feel much more secure and robust.  A good quality timber folding ladder will come with a frame and a loft hatch attached and ready to install into your loft opening.  Locks will hold the ladder in place during use, offering an added safety feature that will bring peace of mind.  You may need to enlarge your loft opening to accommodate the size of the hatch supplied.