The problem of rational use of space is relevant for all owners of private houses. There are many options for its solution, and the most popular of them is the use of attic space. However, before turning the attic into a living room or pantry, it is important to ensure free access to it. The attic staircase with a hatch will be a literal way out – an obvious, but practical way to save space and combine rooms.
Main types of garret ladders
Depending on the design, there are several types of attic or, as they are also called, attic stairs:
- monolithic (stationary);
Monolithic (marching and spiral staircases) are a stationary structure. This is the most traditional form of attic stairs – solid, aesthetic, comfortable, safe, but its significant drawback is its massiveness and high cost. Such stairs take up a lot of space and are not suitable for small rooms.
Portable ladders (side ladders and ladders) do not take up much space, after using them, you can simply put them in the closet. They are cheap and easy to use, but are temporary and not a safe solution. They are used only during construction work or in small summer cottages.
Folding ladders combine the advantages of the first two types and, at the same time, are devoid of their disadvantages. They are safe, easily fit into any design, allow you to save space, are extremely easy to use, and the completely affordable price of attic stairs with a hatch will be a pleasant bonus when buying.
Folding stairs are made of aluminum, wood (for example, Faqro’s attic stairs are made from selected pine beams, other manufacturers also use beech, maple and oak) or both of these materials are combined in the design. In this case, wooden steps make it possible to reduce the weight of the structure, and the metal mechanism and fixtures give the staircase additional strength.
Helpful advice! Aluminum folding attic stairs should be chosen if they are to be used frequently. These ladders are more durable and durable, which greatly facilitates their operation.
There are several types of folding attic stairs:
- retractable (scissor);
Retractable attic stairs often made entirely of metal and resembles an accordion with oval or diamond-shaped sections. This type of staircase is extremely compact and gives a minimum load on the hatch, but it has one serious drawback. Over time, retractable ladders begin to creak, so they will have to be lubricated periodically. Cheap poor-quality material or improper assembly can also lead to the emergence of squeaking.
Sliding or telescopic attic stairs are not particularly popular in the domestic market. They are made of aluminum, and they have the form of individual metal tubes that fold into each other. The steps of the ladder when folded fit tightly against each other, and in the opened form they are clearly fixed at a certain distance from each other. This design has weight limitations and is not particularly stable.
Folding ladders consist of two to four sections, the first of which is firmly fixed in the hatch cover and fully coincides with its size. The remaining sections, opening up, take the form of an ordinary staircase. Such mobility is due to the presence of hinges or carriages. This species is not very compact, but it is very popular. They produce folding ladders made of metal, wood and combining these two materials.
Important! Because of the large, compared to other types, size and weight, when choosing a combination of folding ladders should prefer the lightest materials – aluminum or pine.
Folding ladders are distinguished by a rather complicated construction, but provide maximum space savings and perfect order. When folded, such a ladder is mounted on the wall. Steps are fixed on a bow with card loops. Folding ladders do not depend on the hatch.
Folding attic stairs are equipped with a hatch in which the whole mechanism is hidden. The hatch carries out not only aesthetic functions, but also allows to provide reliable sound, steam and heat insulation. To this end, the manhole cover is warmed with foam polystyrene or mineral wool, the vapor barrier film is fixed on top and a finishing decorative coating is applied. For greater effect, the hatch is often understaffed with a gasket.
The dimensions of the attic staircase with the hatch are very varied. If desired, and additional funds, you can order a ladder by an individual design, or you can buy an attic ladder with a hatch in one of the standard sizes presented in hardware stores. However, there are a few general rules for choosing the optimal attic staircase:
- the height of the folding ladder should not exceed 3.5 m, since due to excessive massiveness the structure will lose the necessary rigidity, and its weight will complicate the process of operation. In this case, you should prefer a stationary staircase, refusing to save space;
- The most comfortable is considered the width of the flight of stairs about 65 cm, the height of the steps – about 20 cm, and their number should not exceed 15;
- It is worth paying attention to the angle at which the staircase is located. Ideally, it ranges from 60 to 75 degrees. If the angle is larger, the staircase will become dangerous to operate; if it is smaller, it will take up too much space;
- it is important that, for safety reasons, the steps are parallel to the floor and equipped with anti-slip grooves or linings;
- the dimensions of the attic staircase with the hatch must ideally correspond to the dimensions of the hatch. If the staircase is too wide, it will constantly get stuck in the hatch. If the stairs are too narrow, then you will have to forget about any heat and sound insulation.
The advantages of using attic stairs with a hatch in the house are obvious. The first and foremost of these is the significant savings in space. This staircase allows you to easily climb to the attic, but it does not take up much space, even when unfolded. Due to the large variety of types (which, respectively, affects the price) attic stairs with a hatch fit harmoniously into any interior, and when the stairs are folded, all the unsightly parts of the mechanism are hidden in the hatch cover.
An important fact in favor of folding ladders is their safety. Such ladders usually have special notches on steps that prevent sliding, and even railings. In order not to allow the staircase to unfold arbitrarily, and without injuring anyone, it is equipped with a special locking mechanism and an additional locking bolt. In order to ensure greater safety, ladders often have anti-slip tips on the legs.
Attic stairs with a hatch are of great strength and reliability. They can withstand weight up to 250 kg. They are easy to use and open (close) with a flick of the wrist. This is true both for the ladders opening manually (they are often equipped with a special load, which makes it easy to lower the ladder or lift it) and for ladders with an electric motor.
The price of an attic staircase with a hatch (photos of stairs and price lists can be found on the Internet at specialized sites) depends on its type, selected material, number of sections and technical characteristics, but, in general, it is quite affordable. The simplicity of the design allows you to build an attic ladder with your own hands (the drawings are set out in detail in the references), which also contributes to its popularity and helps to save a lot.
Of course, you can buy an attic staircase with a hatch in a hardware store or order it on a specialized website. However, the simplicity of the design allows you to make and assemble a folding attic ladder with your own hands.
The best choice in this situation would be a tree. This material is the easiest to process at home, it is distinguished by great aesthetics and good performance, and with proper processing it can last for many years. The most common option is pine. It meets all the requirements listed and is not expensive, therefore it will be an excellent choice for anyone who wants to make an attic ladder with their own hands.
The simplest option of an attic ladder for a private house is a one-step staircase. Detailed videos and drawings of the attic stairs with your own hands can be found in large quantities on the Internet. To make it, you will need 2 boards with a thickness of about 50 mm, steps can be fastened with a bowstring (grooves made with a router in a side board) or kosour (special horizontal platforms cut into the board on which steps are laid).
Separate steps are fixed by a screw stud. For a monolithic staircase on one or two sides, it is worth making a railing of a polished timber, giving them greater reliability with the help of vertical beams.