The product includes an Autosteps feature that grants this model the ability to be collapsed and closed down automatically. The steps lock automatically, leaving clearly visible markers on every single thread. Thanks to the telescopic retraction technology, you can extend this telescopic loft ladder to allow yourself to reach the heights of up to 5 metres.
Folding and laying the model out tends to generate some noise.
The Telesteps 60617 is the kind of telescopic loft ladder that you can recommend to anyone who's willing to spend a few additional pounds on a ladder that is going to save them more time and space than any other prospect out there.
520 x 600 mm
2350 to 2450 mm
340 x 90 mm
The model includes mortise and tenon jointed steps that will be able to provide a considerable amount of additional strength to the entire structure. The spring-loaded hatch door makes it practical. The loft hatch, along with rubber seals, does an exceptional job minimising the heat loss.
The plastic feet may leave some prints on certain types of floors.
This particular model from BPS Access Solutions is a truly deluxe product and is arguably the best folding ladder for attic access thanks to the kind of safety it is capable of providing and the sort of durability that very few models out there will be able to match.
545 x 1100 mm
Up to 2800 mm
340 x 80 mm
The ladder's steps are wide and really comfortable. The feet are made of plastic. They do not incorporate sharp edges, so they won't damage the floor. The shoot bolt fastening makes the model safe and easy to use. The pivot arm makes for a smooth gliding operation, so you shouldn't have any issues extending or retracting it.
The handrail is prone to deformation.
There is not much to dislike about the Youngman 313340 loft ladder. Just about any person should be able to install it single-handedly. It is a great option for restricted spaces. It is safe and durable enough. Plus, it shouldn't present any operational challenges.
510 x 430 mm
2300 to 3000 mm
~320 x 40 mm
The ladder features a clever, double sprung mechanism that allows it to support its weight when being lowered from or raised into the attic. The adjustable base position provides an incredible amount of flexibility if you're in a type of situation where the space in the room below is restricted and limited.
The threaded connections require infrequent adjustments.
If you're not interested in a regular and orthodox model and your house requires a certain kind of unique approach, there aren't really any other options on the ladder market that would suit you better than BPS Access Solutions Unique 2.74m (9') Concertina Loft Ladder.
450 x 570 mm
Up to 2740 mm
340 x 80 mm
The Abru 3 section loft ladder is comprised of three extending sections, that, when used together, will allow the owner of this model to reach the heights of up to 3 metres (9'10"). It also includes non-slip D-shaped rungs that provide an additional layer of comfort and an optional handrail that will be able to secure your safety.
Sliding the sections can sometimes prove to be a bit of a challenge.
Without a doubt, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Abru 38003 to anyone that appreciates the process of DIY installation and lives in a house with an irregular ceiling or an attic positioned at an unorthodox height.
380 x 400 mm
Up to 3000 mm
310 x 40 mm
Not a Simple Option
If we were to sum up the Telesteps' 60617 purpose and principle in a single sentence, it would probably boil down to something along these lines - this is the kind of product that you get if you're not willing to compromise on anything and the type of model that will most certainly attract people interested in the best option that the market has to offer, even if the item in question is something as seemingly simple as an attic ladder. "Seemingly" being the key word here, of course, since as far as loft ladders go, there's nothing simple about this model.
Naturally, every attic ladder worth its salt has to be compact enough to avoid taking away some of that precious space of yours, but the tool at hand goes above and beyond that with the help of telescopic retraction function. Thanks to the said technology, while standard loft ladders ought to be folded and stored in the attic, this telescoping attic access ladder allows the owner to hide it away in the ceiling. It goes without saying that this is an elegant and compact solution that provides the customer with the opportunity to save some attic space by simply fitting this model into a tiny hatch opening. While you might think that, due to this kind of convenient technology, the model ought to compromise in terms of size and is probably not the tallest option out there. Luckily, this would be an incorrect conclusion to arrive that. Thanks to the aforementioned telescopic retraction technology, you can extend this telescopic loft ladder to allow you to reach the heights of up to 5 metres. So even if you have unusually high ceilings, this model will be able to fit you like a glove.
Save Time and Space
However, the developers didn't stop there and also decided to supply the product with an Autosteps feature that grants this model the ability to be collapsed and closed down automatically. As a result, the steps lock automatically, leaving clearly visible markers on every single thread. And if that isn't enough, the people behind this product also implemented unusually wide treads that don't just provide an additional layer of comfort but are incredibly useful when it comes to keeping the customer safe. And, speaking of safety, this telescoping attic access ladder was created according to the European safety standard EN131-SP, so you don't have to worry about falling from it due to some kind of mechanical flaw on the developer's side. Furthermore, the model is comprised entirely of a unique aluminium alloy, making it about as sturdy and durable as a loft ladder can be.
Frankly, the only real downside of this model is that the process of collapsing it and fitting into the hatch opening tends to generate a certain amount of unpleasant noise. But, other than that, the Telesteps 60617 is the kind of telescopic loft ladder that you can recommend to anyone who's willing to spend a few additional pounds on a ladder that is going to save them more time and space than any other prospect out there.
BPS Access Solutions Deluxe Wooden Loft Ladder
A Wooden Solution
Most manufacturers nowadays tend to stick with aluminium and other kinds of metals when it comes to the process of building attic ladders. And there's no particular surprise there, given that these materials often provide a certain kind of mobility, sustainability, and compactness that very few substances out there are capable of matching. But as exceptionally well-suited as these materials can often be regarding housing tools and accessories, we wouldn't recommend being in such a hurry to rule out a more orthodox timber choice in their favour. Sure, timber isn't necessarily always as compact as aluminium can be, but it is often as sustainable and lightweight, not to mention natural, renewable, and easy to work with.
While that is most certainly one of the biggest selling points, a durable wooden construction is not the only advantage that this Deluxe Loft Ladder from BPS Access Solutions is willing to offer its future owners. Though the model does not feature any additional weight and adheres to the standard of 150 kilograms (23.5 stones), the manufacturer did manage to include mortise and tenon jointed steps that will be able to provide a considerable amount of additional strength to the entire structure.
Never Compromise on Safety
And, speaking of the structure, the very first thing that we ought to focus on would have to be a pair of matching handrails. These things do not only improve the already impressive look of the model, adding a touch of crimson to that classical light wood texture, but will also prove to be incredibly useful as an additional safety measure. After all, whether you are a young person steady on your feet or the retirement age is finally closing up on you, an additional level of safety and security doesn't necessarily hurt anyone.
Not really a disadvantage per se, but we would like to mention that as far as wooden loft ladders go, this isn't particularly the one that would be able to attract the DIY crowd. The reason for that is quite simple - everything you need is already supplied with the package, the ladder itself arrives fully assembled, including an insulated hatch and a frame ready for installation. On top of that, the model already comes with a tough, wipe clean finish to both sides of the hatch, so no additional decoration or sanding will be needed in order to make it look neat and ready for use. The product is designed to fit between the joists in the majority of modern trussed roofs from the get-go thus eliminating any potential issues when it comes to the fitting part. The process of operating the tool is highly unlikely to present any sort of challenge either thanks to the spring loaded hatch door. The aforementioned loft hatch, along with rubber seals, does an exceptional job in regards to minimising the heat loss. And that's about all there is to it, the particular model from BPS Access Solutions is a truly deluxe product and is arguably the best folding ladder for attic access thanks to the kind of safety and durability it provides.
An Easy Way Upwards
Ladders don't have to be clever. They don't have to look good. With these tools, there's no need for attractive aesthetics. Sure, it doesn't hurt when an attic ladder features a visually appealing construction. But we will take a practical, efficient, and affordable model over the attractive one any day of the week.
Speaking of which, let's talk about the Youngman 313340. In case the related picture doesn't make it clear, this little household tool isn't much of a looker. Well, it's not like it is hideous, just that there isn't anything about it that necessarily catches the eye. Though, honestly, we'd say that it is by design. First off, the model's made of aluminium. And it isn't as attractive of a foundation material as timber. But, as you probably know, it has timber beat when it comes to impact resistance, strength, and overall durability.
Plus, it would've been difficult or, at the very least, a little impractical to make a wooden attic ladder that is as suitable for restricted spaces as this one yet just as safe. It features precisely 16 x 138 x 35 centimetres in overall dimensions, with steps that are about 320 millimetres long and 40 wide.
The model is extendable. The minimum floor-to-loft height of the ladder is 230 centimetres. The maximum available height reaches all the way up to 3 metres. Of course, with loft ladders, one of the more important factors is the rough opening, as in the overall size of the ceiling opening. With this model, you'll be able to work with loft openings that are around 510 millimetres long and 430 wide.
One-Man Installation Job
From the construction standpoint, what we have here is more or less your standard 3-section ladder. The aforementioned steps are wide and comfortable. The feet are made of plastic. They do not incorporate sharp edges, so they won't damage the floor.
The shoot bolt fastening method that is used here is hardly as unique as it is advertised. But it does make the model safe and easy to use, so whether it is unique or not isn't really that relevant as far as we're concerned.
Speaking of safety, the model isn't devoid of a handrail, a pretty usual guest with loft ladders as it does help you safely climb the stairs. Unfortunately, the handrail here is a little prone to deformation, so you might want to be gentle with it.
Other than that, the ladder features a pivot arm that makes for a smooth gliding operation, so you shouldn't have any issues extending or retracting it.
All things considered, there is not much to dislike about the Youngman 313340 loft ladder. Just about any person should be able to install it single-handedly. It is a great option for restricted spaces. It is safe and durable enough. Plus, it shouldn't present any operational challenges.
BPS Access Solutions Unique 2.74m (9') Concertina Loft Ladder
Any Hatch Will Do
Though the company that goes by the name BPS Access Solutions is known for providing mostly orthodox and reliable housing solutions, the model in question is anything but regular and standard. Without further ado, we can guarantee that, at the very least, this unique concertina loft ladder will be able to attract the attention of the kind of customers that aren't interested in ordinary solutions and are in need of an unconventional attic ladder.
The use of the word "unique" in the name of this product is not incidental, as you might expect, and is completely justified given that the model utilises a one-of-a-kind concertina design that removes any sort of uncertainty regarding accommodation since it will be able to fit basically any loft. Thanks to this design, this attic ladder is capable of providing arguably the best solution for those unpleasant situations where the loft opening or the floor space is somewhat limited. On top of that, the model in question is perfect when it comes to the kind of conditions where the space within the loft is also limited since the customer can fold the product into sort of a "cube" position and it will need no clearance outside of the loft opening perimeter. While this is a bit of a bold claim, we would probably recommend taking the developer's claim that they are still yet to find a hatch their product wouldn't be able to fit at face value.
Putting the U in the Unique
Despite the seemingly fragile design, the BPS Access Solutions Unique 2.74m (9') Concertina Loft Ladder is actually quite strong and is capable of withstanding a rather heavy load of up to 150 kilograms (23.5 stones). Even if you and your entire family are as skinny as a beanpole, there's a good chance you'll still be able to appreciate this element since, particularly paired with the extra deep (80mm/3") and wide (340mm/1'1") treads, you will be able to feel safe climbing this ladder even while carrying a load of boxes with you. The aforementioned treads provide an excellent grip which improves the matter of convenience of use as much as it does the safety aspect.
However, that's not the only thing that makes this model so easy to use. The thing about this product is that it features a clever, double sprung mechanism that allows it to support its weight when being lowered from or raised into the attic, thus making the entire operation as convenient and easy as possible. The adjustable base position provides an incredible amount of flexibility if you're in a type of situation where the space in the room below is restricted and limited. The last point we would like to touch upon would be that the model is incredibly easy to install given that it already comes fully assembled and includes a kit that, among other things, contains hinges for the loft hatch, a catch, and attachment for an operating pole. So if you're not interested in a regular and orthodox model and your house requires a certain kind of unique approach, there aren't really any other options on the ladder market that would suit your needs better than the BPS Access Solutions Unique 2.74m (9') Concertina Loft Ladder.
A Fitting Choice for Most Homes
Without going into too much detail, it would be fair to say that the Abru 38003 is one of those attic ladders that will be able to fit a large variety of customers given that the sort of design and functionality it offers is truly exceptional compared to the kind of price tag it comes with. But manufacturing a simply accessible and ordinary product clearly did not sit well with the people behind this model, so they decided to add a couple of options that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other option on the market. Though we will delve a bit deeper into some of the more orthodox solutions, to start with, we would have to talk about the elements that make this model stand out.
First things first, we ought to take a look at the name of this product. As it suggests, the Abru 3 section loft ladder is comprised of three extending sections, that, when used together, will allow the owner of this model to reach the heights of up to 3 metres (9'10"). While that wouldn't necessarily be that useful for someone with a ceiling that is located at an average height, anyone with an irregular home will find this loft ladder to be an absolute blessing in no disguise. But the majority of people living in a typical house will be able to appreciate this model too, thanks to the universal stowing pole that is more than compatible with most loft hatches out there. All in all, this model will be able to serve as a small opening attic ladder virtually as well as it will fit homes with some of the bigger and higher lofts.
5 Years of Assurance
Another element that makes this Abru 3 section loft ladder such an alluring choice and the one that is definitely worth mentioning is the spring assisted system capable of providing the user with a total control during the process of lowering or stowing the loft ladder. That, combined with the optional handrail, makes entering or leaving the loft as safe and comfortable as possible. The "optional" part in the handrail implies that you can adjust it or take the whole thing away altogether if you feel confident in your step and don't want to disrupt the otherwise pleasant look of the ladder. And, in order to conclude the safety and convenience aspect of this model, it also includes non-slip D-shaped rungs that provide an additional layer of comfort.
The ladder itself was designed using aluminium alloy meaning you will receive all of the usual benefits of this reliable material like additional strength, impact resistance, and durable structure. By the way, the model is completely suitable for DIY installation thanks to the previously mentioned universal stowing pole, comprehensive instructions, and all of the required materials and components being included in the package. And as if all of that wasn't enough, the company behind this product also decided to distribute it with a 5-year warranty, so you wouldn't have to worry about getting a new model if it potentially fails you after a year or two. And with that kind of warranty on top of everything else, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Abru 38003 to anyone that appreciates DIY installation and lives in a house with an irregular ceiling or an attic positioned at an unorthodox height.
What Is an Attic Ladder?
Living in a big detached house is not only a pleasure but also a luxury, for, besides a spacious living environment, a house owner has a lot of options where to store different household things. An attic is a popular choice. If you've got the attic too, you'll need to have a ladder to access the loft. For those consumers who don't like an idea to store a ladder in the shed and would prefer to have it attached to the opening, we've picked 5 most popular models available on the market, among which you can choose the option that you like better. Here on the shortlist you will find the models of different designs and with different folding mechanisms.
You could use a regular ladder, too, if the loft in your place doesn't serve as the main storage and you climb up there once in a while. We'd like to offer you to read our reviews on extension ladders and step ladders, and consider different options before making a purchase.
What Features to Compare
You should know some aspects before choosing an attic ladder. The ladders vary in design and there are 3 major types of them: folding, pull-down, and telescoping.
- Folding ladders consist of three or four sections that fold up into a compact block stored under the ceiling. Folding ladders can be made of wood or aluminum.
- Pull-down ladders have a multi-lever design which unfolds once the ladder's been dragged down. Pull-down ladders are produced only from metal.
- Telescoping ladders, just like the name says, have a construction similar to a spyglass. They usually consist of several sections that slide into one another and are made of aluminum to be lightweight.
Load Capacity and Material
Next, pay attention to the load capacity and what material the attic ladder is made of. These parameters are very important since they can tell you how safe the ladder will be and whether all your family members will be able to use it. Most users tend to opt for ladders with the maximum load bearing capacity, which is a good idea, seeing that you will often need to move bulky things to the loft. Alumimum ladders are a popular choice as they are quite lightweight, yet rigid and corrosion-resistant. Wooden ladders are another alternative that besides sturdiness offer a more elegant look.
Finally, you should consider the dimensions of the chosen ladder. Measure the opening in your ceiling and check whether the model will fit it. If you're only about to have the opening done, you should decide on its location and size before buying a ladder, not other way round. You'd also need to measure the height between the ceiling and the floor to be able to pick the ladder of the right length. The dimensions are always specified by manufacturers, so, it shouldn't be a difficult task to choose the one you need. We'd also recommend you to consider buying a ladder with wider steps.
Did you know?
Ladders are one of those things that most people tend to take for granted. And that doesn't really come as any sort of surprise given that they are some of the oldest and widely used tools that allow people to reach high places with an acceptable level of comfort and security. However, despite its ubiquity, not a whole lot of people could honestly claim that they know everything there's to know about ladders, so we decided to share a few interesting facts about this seemingly boring tool.
- The ladders are believed to be over 10 thousand years old. Not so long ago, the archaeologists have managed to discover rock paintings that did a perfectly acceptable job of depicting the use of ladders in the Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain. The said pictures displayed 2 individuals utilising a rather lengthy and flexible ladder, which, according to the conclusion that the scientists have arrived at, was built using a certain kind of grass in order to reach a honeybee nest and collect its precious honey.
- Bruising after falling from the ladder is the most common type of injury that a person can suffer from while climbing the ladder. It probably goes without saying that head injuries, bone fractures, and even sometimes death also tend to occur from time to time depending on the circumstances and the nature of the accident, but the likelihood of that happening is virtually nonexistent and most people won't suffer anything more severe than a simple bruise while using different kinds of ladders throughout their entire lifetime. Nevertheless, this is exactly why tradespeople and construction workers have to adhere to a set of safety guidelines and most manufacturers of climbing ladders tend to include different kinds of additional safety measurements to their products, like a handrail or treads featuring slip resistance technologies.
- Although ladders may look all the same to the uninitiated, there actually are over 21 different types of rigid ladders, with a considerable number of forms and types available, suitable for specific applications. These types and forms include but are not limited to assault ladders for siege warfare, attic ladders to access lofts or attics, hook ladders that are utilised by firefighters, cat ladders that allow our feline friends to safely climb on roofs, and so much more. Given the variety of types, sizes, and brands available, you should first figure out what is it that you're looking for in a ladder and where do you intend to place it.
- John H. Balsley was the very first person to conceive and develop the initial folding stepladder in 1892. A skillful master of carpentry from Dayton, Ohio, Balsley developed a tool with hinges that would allow the prospective users to fold the building and construction piece of equipment with great ease for proper storage. Products based on his model are now being used all over the world.
- The common and widespread material used in the construction of ladders is actually aluminium. Even though in the past these tools were usually created using different types of wood, in the 20th century, aluminium managed to rise through the proverbial ranks in order to turn into the more preferred option because of its lighter weight, durability, and strength. Furthermore, this material also requires much less maintenance than wood.
Q: Is my loft suitable for a loft ladder?
A: While we cannot necessarily guarantee that, about 99% of lofts out there are perfectly suitable for a loft ladder. Although the configuration of your attic or hatch opening may require a specific type of loft ladder in order to fit, there's virtually no chance there isn't a ladder out there that will be able to suit your place and your purposes.
Q: If I use my ladder every single day, should I opt for a different model compared to those that are used on an infrequent basis?
A: If you do not visit your loft that often and, thus, are not going to use the loft ladder every single day, you may opt out for a cheaper model comprised of some of the lower quality aluminium alloys that would not require you to increase the hatch opening. However, if you visit your loft as often as possible, you should definitely look for a more sturdy ladder (made of wood or quality aluminium) that comes with a handrail and other potential safety mechanisms. Another thing you might want to consider is the look of the ladder. If you aren't just looking for means of reaching higher places, you ought to look for the kind of model that will be able to seamlessly match your house's exterior without standing out in a negative way.
Q: Do I have to keep the weight of the things I carry in mind while using the ladder?
A: As a rule of a thumb, you probably shouldn't worry too much about what it is that you're carrying with you to your attic and the combined weight of all of the items. But, in case you feel like dragging a proverbial elephant up to your attic, keep in mind that every loft ladder features a weight rating that specifies the maximum weight allowed on the ladder. Therefore. and it should probably go without saying, the weight rating of your model ought to be matched to your particular application.
Q: How much time will it take to fit the ladder?
A: Obviously, most of it depends on your skillset and the type of ladder you are dealing with. Depending on these aspects, fitting a loft ladder will probably take somewhere from two to four hours. That is unless you face some of the potential difficulties, be it new bracing that might need to be fitted around the hatch or a complete frame that you will have to add in order to fit the ladder by increasing the size of the opening.
Q: I'm afraid of falling off the ladder and injuring myself. What kind of precautions should I take?
A: Before using your attic ladder, there are a few things you should always do and keep in mind. First, you should check for damaged, loose, or missing components. After that, you might want to make sure there are no sharp edges around the treads. You ought to also check the aforementioned treads for wear or any kind of damage. Last but not least, try to always make sure that the ladder rungs are dry and free from any sort of dirt before you decide to use the ladder.
1. Dave Donovan How to Choose an Attic Ladder System, DoItYourself.com.
2. Jeff Beneke Before You Buy an Attic Ladder, The Spruce. December 26, 2016.
3. Andy Engel Sizing and Choosing Pulldown Attic Stairs, This Old House.
4. Tim Carter Attic Ladders – Choosing a Stairway for Attic Access, Ask the Builder.
5. How to Install Folding Attic Ladder, DIY Network.
6. A guide to picking the right loft ladder, eBay. February 21, 2013.
7. Buyer's guide to loft ladders, B&Q.
8. Drop Down vs. Folding Attic Ladder: Pros and Cons, DoItYourself.com.