Loft ladder Project - small hatch?

maximise
maximise Posts: 141
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Keen to install a folding retractable loft ladder, so I can begin to scope out insulating the loft. My first time, although confident I can do it, with the right tools.



Currently have no ladder. Can I use the retractable ladder before it's secured to the loft timber? 

If not safe, would a step ladder be suitable for initial access/ future installation of retracting ladder?

found a step ladder in argos 7 tread "platform height of 1.49m enables a safe working height of 3.24m* " sounds plenty enough for accessing my 2.3m ceiling height loft.

|*Edit* just seen there is such a thing as a telescopic ladder, perhaps this could be my best option vs. a step ladder?




After that, where should I begin? loft opening looks quite small,

the opening of the loft hatch is 52 cm x 62 cm



Will I need to install a larger opening/ hatch surround?

Have read others experiences, finding their timber supports are in the way.



Currently looking at getting a werner ladder from toolstation.










Comments

  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,613
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    edited 11 January at 12:04AM
    maximise said:

    Currently have no ladder. Can I use the retractable ladder before it's secured to the loft timber?

    I used mine many times.

    the opening of the loft hatch is 52 cm x 62 cm. Will I need to install a larger opening/ hatch surround?
    Depends on the ladder you want. My hatch is 37x70, but I think 37x62 would be enough for my 2-section ladder. See the specifications.

    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse. :(

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
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  • Ganga
    Ganga Posts: 4,033
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    You only need a ladder narrower than your hatch ,my son and i fitted mine with a set of step ladders ,best thing we ever did as i fell out of the loft using step ladders that were not tall enough :'( ,do not use the hand grip on the top of the step ladder as a rung to stand on.
    Also when we fitted the 2 section ladder we added extra brackets to the loft beams to support the ladder plus my weight but then realised the ladder actually rests on the floor of the landing so no extra weight on the beams.
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,048
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    do not use the hand grip on the top of the step ladder as a rung to stand on.

    Good advice, a hard way to learn though !

  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,482
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    maximise said:
    Keen to install a folding retractable loft ladder, so I can begin to scope out insulating the loft. My first time, although confident I can do it, with the right tools.



    Currently have no ladder. Can I use the retractable ladder before it's secured to the loft timber?
    It depends on the make/model of the ladder.  Some make the assumption that the ladder will be fully fitted before use as some of the load will be transferred from the top of the ladder into the ceiling structure.  Using a loft ladder like this before the top is fully fitted may mean the lower parts (particularly the latching mechanism/s) are loaded beyond their design... i.e. the ladder could collapse on you.
    maximise said:
    If not safe, would a step ladder be suitable for initial access/ future installation of retracting ladder?

    |*Edit* just seen there is such a thing as a telescopic ladder, perhaps this could be my best option vs. a step ladder?

    Personally I'd buy a stepladder* as well, particularly if it is something you could normally store out of the way up in the loft.  I'd also go for the longest one that would fit in the loft (within reason) as the temptation always exists to use stepladders which are too short in dangerous ways (with a nod to Ganga).

    I've never been a fan of telescopic ladders.  They are expensive compared to standard types (so again the temptation to go too short) and having had a ladder accident in the past I would only be confident with a ladder which is 'solid' below my feet.  The telescoping ones have too many potential failure points for my comfort.

    *In truth I'd probably go for a conventional 'double extending' ladder instead. One of these extended through the loft hatch avoids the problem of wobbly stepladders, and has more functionality for outside jobs.
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