Welcome to our post on how to build a loft ladder.
Are you planning to turn your attic into a storage area? Then, it would be best if you had a convenient way to step up in the loft.
You have two choices- you can buy an attic ladder and install it or build it yourself.
Buying an attic ladder will add cost that will vary with your specific requirements and ladder choices. However, prices range from less than $100 to more than $1600, depending on ladder materials, weight capacity, size of opening, length, and quality of construction.
So, you’re looking for something easy, safe, and inexpensive. Right?
The good news is if you’ve some basic carpentry skills and are confident you would do a great enough job, then you could do it yourself.
What you’ll need the help of some necessary tools and a few hours.
Let’s learn how to build a ladder for a loft.
How to Build a Loft Ladder – Step-by-Step Guidelines
Here, we’ll explain 10 steps for building a DIY folding wooden loft ladder that anyone can complete in a couple of hours.
Step 1: Collect the necessary Supplies and tools
You’ll need the following supplies:
- Two pieces 2×4 lumbers for making ladder rail
- 2×4 lumber for making rungs (as required)
- Nails or screws
- Measuring tape
You’ll need the following tools:
- Framing square
- Miter saw
- Circular saw
- Drill or hammer
Step 2: Measure the required height for the ladder
Before you start the process of building a loft ladder, you need to measure the required height for the stairs. To get this, measure the height from the ground to the landing level of the attic. Then, add 12 inches to this measurement. It’ll help you to determine the required length of the rails of the ladder.
Step 3: Cut the lumber for ladder rails
Cut two 2 x 4 lumber pieces to this measurement with a miter saw. Usually 2 x 4 lumber is the most common material used to make a DIY attic ladder, but you can also use thicker wood.
Step 4: Determine the angle of the bottom end of the rails.
Lean the rails against the attic from the floor. Measure the angle that the rails make with the perpendicular with the floor. You can use a framing square to determine the angle.
Or simply, you can figure out what angle it’ll require to set the ladder flush with the floor.
Step 5: Trim the bottom ends
Trim one end of both the lumbers at the determined angle. In this case, we cut the end at a 15-degree angle. These two angled ends are the bottom feet of the ladder. To trim these ends, you can use the circular saw or radial-arm saw.
Step 6: Determine the number of rungs, Mark off and cut 2x4s accordingly
At this stage, you’ll determine how many steps you’ll need to comfortably use the ladder and at what distance you’ll place them. Start by marking the bottom and top step placements on one of the ladder rails.
Measure and make a mark at 12-inch from the bottom end of both the pieces. It’s the position for the first rung.
Again measure from the top of each piece and make a mark at 12-inch for the top rung. Then measure the distance between the top and bottom rung.
To determine the number of rungs between the top and bottom rungs, divide the measurement of this distance by 10.5 (the number should be rounded down).
Mark the rails for each step. Keep in mind that you should position the steps no further than 10.5 inches apart. For example, if the total length of your ladder is 8 ft. the total number of steps would be 8 to 9.
The length of each rung depends on the space available and on the width of the ladder that you like to build. However, if you use 2x4s, the rung must ne 4-inch high and 18-inch wide.
Step 7: Attach the rungs to the side rails
For this, put the rung into position and secure each side of each single rung to the rail by using deck screw or heavy-duty nails on each end. Drive them in with driver/ drill. Repeat the process to attach all the rungs.
Building the wooden ladder for the attic is almost complete.
Step 8: Turn this straight ladder into a folding ladder
Now you have to turn it into a folding ladder with three sections. A folding attic ladder is easy to fold and store in the loft. To convert it into a folding ladder, cut it in length in half to get two pieces using a circular saw. Cut one of the halves again into two equal pieces. That means you’ll get a total of three pieces.
Step 9: Put together all the three sections
Assemble all these three pieces of the ladder by using hinges. It’ll allow you to fold the sections on top of one another in an accordion-type fold.
Step 10: Secure the ladder to the loft
Attach the ladder to the attic door. Screw the longest section of the ladder with the loft door.
Sand the ladder and apply wood varnish for a shiny looking.
Finally, you’ve made a simple, good-looking, and practical ladder!
Building a DIY loft ladder is that simple. Right?
Give a try to it!
Thanks for your time reading our article on how to build a loft ladder.