Measure the width of the attic ladder with a tape measure and mark it on the ceiling with a pencil. Outline the size of the ladder at the desired spot on the ceiling. Cut along the outlined mark with a hacksaw. Remove all of the drywall and clear out the opening.
Place the ladder in the opening and verify that it fits between the ceiling joists. Measure and cut two 2-by-4 pieces of lumber with a circular saw to fit along the width of the horizontal joists. This will prevent installation directly into the joists. Screw the two pieces of 2-by-4 into place using a power drill.
Install the four metal straps provided with the attic ladder. Screw two equally spaced straps into the front of the frame and one along each side. Place the ladder up into the opening and screw the straps to the 2-by-4 pieces of lumber attached to the joists.
Add shims to fill gaps between the joist and the frame of the attic ladder. Hammer the shims into place to help level it out, and cut off the excess shims with a utility knife. Set a level on top of the ladder to check periodically if it is square and plumb.
Drill in screws through the sides of the attic ladder and into the vertical ceiling joists. Space out three screws equally on each side of the ladder. Insert an extra screw directly in the center. Close up the ladder and come down to the floor below. Open the ladder back up and make sure it is working properly. Climb up and down and verify it is stable.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- 2-by-4 lumber
- Circular saw
- Utility knife
- Safety goggles
- Pick a location to install the attic ladder where there is room to open and close it, and also space in the attic to climb up. A hallway is a good option.