Most private houses have the attic. For some people, this is just additional storage space, for others – high-grade premises. In any case, the owners of loft can’t do without separate staircases leading upstairs. It is necessary to study all types of attic stairs and their principle of action to opt for a specific model.

Types of attic stairs

The type of ladder is chosen, guided by the frequency of its use.

Marching ladders

If the attic is frequently visited place in the house where there are small children or the elderly, you should install a fixed ladder with handrails. If you want to save space, you should choose a screw, wood, or metal type. But the screw ladder can be inconvenient for the rising. The main design is quite bulky and takes up valuable space.

Side ladders

Side ladders are the most popular and at the same time, the most inconvenient way of ascent. If the attic is rarely used, a stepladder can help to save space and money. In addition, manufacturers are producing fixtures and décor options with insulated lid in order that the ladder does not look like a foreign object in the home interior.

Outer ladders

The outer ladder is not a separate type, but as it differs from the stairs installed in the house, the model for the entrance to the attic from the street has some features. Outdoor models for roof vary by significant length and additional corrosion-resistant coatings. Catchy elements replace traditional latches for the hatch.

Convertible ladders

A convertible ladder is also a kind of side ladders. The difference is in three sections, sequentially fixed between stops. Simply put, it’s a stepladder, cut into three blocks.

Folding ladders

Folding metal design – the most complex, as they consist of many elements, which are secured to the hatch opening when folded. The principle of the folding ladder is the sequential unfolding of its parts. The most common one is the scissor principle.

Sliding ladders

Sliding models operate on the principle of the telescope, so-called telescopic ladders. Units move alternately occupying minimum space. Telescopic ladders are of any length and are suitable for the high ceilings.

It is sometimes problematic to put forward the mechanism of sliding elements; children and the elderly cannot cope with this task.

Ladders with electric drive

Electric models are connected to your home network, equipped with folding handrails and additional features. There is a large choice of loft ladders with the electric drive; they can be wooden or metal. The folding process takes only a few seconds after pressing the control button. In addition, the solver includes the ability of independent power supply and automatic security system. Attic ladders with an electric drive are the most convenient non-stationary structures, despite the high cost.

The cost of attic stairs

There is a comparative table on the unsteady ladders below

The name of the materialThe amount of water absorption, %

Temperature resistance, 0C



The folding ladder is the best option if the attic is used as a warehouse for unnecessary things.

Ladders of high-quality material and with proper impregnation of the surface will last long enough, so they cost more. Also, you can purchase a simple ladder without hatch insulated, anti-slip linings, and fire-resistant coating for temporary use.

Attic ladder with electric drive is different by the highest price. Folding structure, constructed of heavy-duty material with resistance to fire is also not cheap.

Folding ladder construction

Tips for choosing loft ladders

You will get excellent and the most suitable ladder, if you listen to our advice:

  1. If the height from the floor to the ceiling exceeds 350 cm, it is better to set a fixed ladder. Operation of the hinged or side of the structure is not only inconvenient but also dangerous.
  2. When measuring the parameters for a future mechanism, you should take into account the “departure” of the parts of the mechanism the edge of the hatch when opening and closing. A hindrance can be a reinforced concrete beam.
  3. The bigger the hatch opening is, the more heat will leave the house. The best option is 60х120 cm. Small openings will do with ladders of “mini” class.
  4. Products of standard size are always cheaper than the products made to order. But if the parameters of the opening do not fit the existing measurements even with the small tolerance, you can’t do without individual selection.
  5. If the attic ladder is installed in the house with regular tenants, it is better to choose options with insulated hatch. In addition, it can be a hatch with sound insulation and fire safety.
  6. Metal rails and steps are best suited for outdoor stairs, standing in the street. Their surface is easy to clean.
  7. There is no need to waste time looking for the wooden structures, perfectly matching interior colors. In the future, the wood can be tinted in the desired color.

In conclusion, we should say that before buying an attic ladder, it is necessary to adequately assess the anticipated load that it will need to withstand. The solution is to take the whole family, as each bearing structure has distinctive characteristics that are appropriate only to a particular situation.

If you have personal experience in choosing or even installing attic stairs, then share it with us!