View Full Version : Pull down attic stair question

Raymond Fries
12-11-2014, 10:12 PM
I have to replace the pull down stairs in my garage and I am have a real hard time finding one under $300 that does not get a bunch of bad reviews. Werner and Louisville seem to have a bunch of problems based on Amazon reviews. The rough opening is 22 1/2" x 54". Can I install a 22" x 54" stair or does it have to be a 22 1/2" x 54" model. If I can install the smaller size, this might open up other opportunities. Anyone here have a Fakro model? Not sure if I really need metal. Wood would be Ok if it was well made. The Memphis model that is installed is pretty poorly made. Must have been a factory second that the builder bought as a cost cutting measure.

Any help is much appreciated.

Lee Schierer
12-11-2014, 10:57 PM
I would think that as long as you account for the extra 1/2" with a piece of plywood or other filler there should not be a problem.

Rich Enders
12-11-2014, 11:16 PM
My suggestion would be to go the other way. Wider is better. We went for a 30inch, which is workable, but in retrospect 34 inches would have been better. More work to install properly, but bulky stuff is now in the garage attic.

I bought a Werner from Home Depot. It was the only one at the time which was tall enough.

Larry Edgerton
12-12-2014, 8:34 AM
I have installed quite a few Werners in the last few years, have one in my own house. I suspect the reviews are more homeowners trying to put one in that do not have a clue. I have not had a callback on one yet. They are a bit fussy to install correctly as are any attic ladders. The thing is, they are sold at the box stores, so there are a lot of wannabe contractors putting them in, and the first thing they do when they screw something up is get on line and bash the product. No one admits that they do not know what they are doing.

There is a really nice one I have installed a few times sold by Enviromental Technologies or some name similar. I was going to provide a link but my connection is not good enough right now. Theirs is a good one to use if it is over a heated space. They seal very well and are insulated. That being said you can do a lot to a Werner or like ladder to seal it up for less.


Dave Richards
12-12-2014, 8:48 AM
Whatever you do, avoid this kind (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqO58ATjyoc). ;)

Ole Anderson
12-12-2014, 9:34 AM
After 30 years I finally replaced my creaky, splitting wood one with an aluminum one, made by Louisville. It wasn't until 5 or 6 years ago that you could get an inexpensive aluminum one at the BORG. Until then they were in the $600- $800 range, now they are under $200. The standard is of course the one that fits between rafters 24" OC, or a 22.5" opening. Wider would be nice, but I presume a whole lot more expensive and messing with your rafters is a structural issue, not to be taken lightly. And the aluminum one has a 350 pound rating, not likely available in wood. Downside to aluminum? In the winter grabbing metal that has been in an unheated 10 degree attic, well, let's say you put on gloves first.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Louisville-Ladder-Elite-7-ft-9-in-10-ft-22-5-in-x-54-in-Aluminum-Attic-Ladder-with-350-lb-Maximum-Load-Capacity-AA229GS/100661773?cm_mmc=Shopping%7cBase&gclid=Cj0KEQiAwaqkBRDHx6rzxMqAobgBEiQAxJazJzEFKntp 6DaY356OzgAuQGUJidAnJAwJwsvO-Uc0HfMaAjoK8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

Chris Padilla
12-12-2014, 1:02 PM

I have a set I installed for my attic from this company. It has done well and I'm quite happy with it going on about 6-7-8 years now. :)

John Goodin
12-14-2014, 12:25 AM
If you have a tall ceiling make sure it is long enough as well. I would not cut ceiling structure to add a wider model.

Malcolm Schweizer
12-14-2014, 5:58 AM
Whatever you do, avoid this kind (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqO58ATjyoc). ;)

Ha! I had this same type and the first time I went in the attic it literally almost knocked me unconscious. I believe it had a spring that was supposed to make it slowly descend, but that was long broken when I bought the house.