How Do I Know What Size Attic Ladder I Need?

How Do I Know What Size Attic Ladder I Need?

If you’re considering installing an attic ladder in your home, it’s important to choose the right size.

If the ladder is too small, you may not be able to reach your attic, and if it’s too large, it will be difficult to use and won’t fit. Having the right size attic ladder will make the installation process much easier. It will also ensure that you can use the ladder safely.

How Do I Measure the Correct Attic Ladder Size?

How Do I Measure the Correct Attic Ladder Size?

The first step in determining the attic ladder size you need is to identify the type you want for your home.

There are two common materials for these devices: aluminum and wood. Aluminum is fire, rot, and rust-resistant, and weighs much less than its wooden counterpart. On the other hand, wooden steps can take more weight and are generally more durable.

You can also choose between folding and non-folding styles.

Once you’ve decided on the ideal stairs for your house, it’s time to get the correct dimensions. This process is relatively straightforward, but it’s best to do it with someone else who will record the measurements with you.

If you have an existing stairway, measure from the outside to the outer box of the frame — not the inside. The latter does not represent an accurate rough opening measurement.

If you don’t have one yet, follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1

Get a regular ladder and place it under your ceiling hatch. Secure it in place, open the hatch, and climb up.

Step 2

Afterward, it’s time to measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor. Extend your tape measure toward your helper to ensure accurate floor level measurements. This process determines the ideal size of your folding attic stairs.

Step 3

Place the tape measure on the top of the opening of the attic. Again, extend the device toward your helper. The space between the attic floor to the floor below determines the measurement for non-folding stairs.

Step 4

Next, it’s time to determine how wide your stairs can be. This process is the same for folding and non-folding styles. Measure the distance between the inside width of your attic’s rough opening. This figure represents the width of the stairs you should purchase.

How Much Room Do You Need for an Attic Ladder?


How Much Room Do You Need for an Attic Ladder?You need 22.5 inches by 54 inches of clear opening in your ceiling for most attic ladders. If you have less than this, you may be able to make it work with a special installation. Still, you will likely need to make some modifications. It’s best to consult with a professional to see what your specific situation requires.

Are All Attic Ladders the Same Size?

Are All Attic Ladders the Same Size?

No, they are not. Attic ladders come in various sizes to accommodate different ceiling heights and door opening widths. With different sizes, they also come with a different weight limit. It is important to choose the right size for your needs to avoid any accidents.


When it comes to attic ladders, size does matter. Be sure to measure your space before selecting a ladder to ensure you get one that will fit properly and work efficiently. With a little planning and the right ladder, you’ll be on your way to making the most of that extra space in no time.