The ascent to the attic or attic can be made very convenient. The most suitable option for this would be folding attic stairs, which combine compactness with practicality.
Features of the
The main feature of folding ladders is their compactness. It is thanks to her that you can free up a maximum of space, which is often so lacking. Most of the time it is folded and does not interfere with movement at all, preserving the beauty of the interior.
Modern stairs to the attic when unfolded look even more attractive. They are able to easily transform any space, making it more interesting. With all this, folding ladders do an excellent job with their main functions.
Folding ladders are made of various materials and have many subspecies, which allows you to easily choose the most suitable option. Moreover, all models of stairs are easy to use. Modern attic stairs are very easy to reach and secure in position.
Retractable staircases are especially popular in private houses, where constant access to the attic is a necessity. They are much more convenient than stepladders or transformers, which need to be carried and installed, which is very difficult.
The peculiarities of the attic structure include the fact that it is easy to make it yourself. Moreover, even an old wooden staircase can be turned into a comfortable attic.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of folding stairs to the attic are huge, so first of all it is worth highlighting the main or the brightest of them:
- The compactness of folding ladder structures is one of their main advantages. Moreover, such stairs are capable of taking up a minimum of space in any form: folded and unfolded.
- The ease of use of the folding ladder is undeniable. She literally "invisible" waits for an hour of use. Then, in a matter of seconds, it can be unfolded and used as intended. At the same time, convenience and safety can be increased by using handrails or overlays on metal steps.
- The lightness of the staircase is a huge plus, because sometimes a fragile girl needs to cope with it. This advantage significantly increases the popularity of folding models, which are much lighter compared to other ladder options.
- Ease of use is another advantage. It is enough just to push it out from under the hatch using special mechanisms, and then it is also easy to push it back. Installing or completely removing the folding structure is also easy. The actions are so simple that even those who have not done something similar can perform them.
- The invisibility of the folding structure when it is not needed can also be attributed to its main advantages. After all, most of the stairs are bulky and immediately catch the eye, often violating the beauty of the space.
- Attractive cost is another advantage. Even turnkey systems are inexpensive.
Of course, like any other ladder, folding has some disadvantages:
- A large angle of inclination of a folding ladder is far from always convenient, especially if you need to lift rather weighty or bulky things along it. They are not suitable even if you often have to go up and down to the attic.
- The carrying capacity of folding ladders often does not exceed 150-200 kilograms.
- The difficulties of self-production of some types of attic structures are due to complex and very accurate calculations, as well as the mandatory presence of special tools.
Retractable structures can be divided into types or models depending on the type of device, their appearance or the material from which they are made. For example, the type of devices allows you to distinguish the following types:
- folding (leg);
- sliding (telescopic, sectional).
In part, it is already clear from the name that these transformer species differ according to the layout principle. To better understand them, it is worth considering the features of each of these types.
The folding is the most interesting option. The structure of such a structure includes several sections at once, which, when opened, gradually move out to the very floor. The movement is carried out by special hinges and hinges. Card loops on the side allow you to securely fix the structure on the wall when folded. When the ladder is unfolded, its appearance resembles an ordinary marching ladder due to the angle of inclination of 45 degrees.
Among the disadvantages of the folding structure, one should highlight its massiveness, not too attractive appearance and the need for a considerable amount of free space for layout.
The foldable design has earned its popularity for its compact size when folded. The most striking model of such a ladder is the scissor ladder, which is also called the "accordion". Already by the name it becomes clear how such a staircase works. When folded, it looks like a small block, and when unfolded, it unfolds like an accordion. This design unfolds very simply, you just have to pull the lower step towards you.
The disadvantages of the model can be attributed only to the unreliability of interblock mountings. Scissor models of folding ladders require careful handling and regular lubrication of the mechanisms located between the segments.
Among modern models, there are even automatic folding scissor structures, which are very convenient to use. No physical effort is needed to push them forward.
Sliding transforming structures are several flights of stairs that fit or overlap one another. Among their advantages, it is worth noting a minimum of storage space and low cost compared to other types. The convenience of sliding structures is also due to flat steps, on which the leg becomes stable, without slipping
Sliding ladders are divided into two types:
Telescopic… Telescopic structures are characterized by the extension of sections, like a nesting doll. It turns out that in tubes with a larger diameter, smaller tubes are attached, and in them even smaller ones. The folded state of the structure is held by clamps located on the outside of the metal beams. To fold the structure, it will be enough just to loosen the lock. In unfolding, this design is extremely simple. The disadvantage of this model can be considered the problems that arise over time with the clamps. Often, metal clamps "wedge", and the structure ceases to be easily straightened out
Sectional. They are somewhat similar to scissor ladders, only in them the segments are folded on top of each other, and not pressed together. In the process of unfolding, the sections are straightened, and then they are fixed in a certain position. The number of sections in such a staircase can be equal to two or even three. Such a ladder requires a stable platform to rest on the floor
The materials from which folding ladders are made play a significant role. After all, they must provide the stairs with strength, make them light and at the same time also inexpensive.If we adequately consider all these important parameters, it becomes clear that the best materials for attic stairs are wood and metal.
Wooden stairs are predominantly made from coniferous trees such as pine. Their advantages are reliability and low cost. Moreover, such stairs are not difficult to make and assemble themselves. Another advantage of such stairs is that they give the interior a special rustic flavor.
The disadvantages of wooden attic stairs are due to their massiveness, short service life and low carrying capacity (up to 100 kilograms).
It should be borne in mind that there are still metal parts in wooden models. This means that they will need additional care, for example, regular lubrication.
Folding and sectional types of stairs are most often made of wood.
Metal folding ladders are much more common among modern models. Moreover, stairs made of steel or aluminum are absolutely in no way inferior to their counterparts made of wood. The cost of metal ladders is not much higher, and the carrying capacity reaches 200 kilograms. Moreover, such stairs are distinguished by high strength, durability, high resistance to mechanical stress. Aluminum ladders have the added benefit of being lightweight.
The disadvantages of metal stairs can be attributed only to the complexity of manufacturing yourself. This is due to the fact that such work requires welding equipment and relevant knowledge and skills.
Telescopic and scissor ladders can be called striking representatives of metal attic stairs. Moreover, telescopic ones are most often made of aluminum.
Combination models made of wood and metal at the same time are common and have the advantages of both of these materials.
Regardless of the type of ladder in terms of construction or material, it should be as comfortable as possible and at the same time completely safe. When choosing an attic staircase or designing it, it is worth considering a number of parameters:
- The span of the stairs should be of the optimal width, equal to 60 - 70 centimeters.
- The structure should have an angle of inclination ranging from 45 to 75 degrees.
- The number of steps on the attic staircase should be optimal. It is best if there are about fifteen of them.
- The thickness of the steps of 2 centimeters is considered the most convenient and suitable for a folding staircase.
- The steps of the stairs should be located throughout the span at the same distance from each other (within 17-22 centimeters).
- The horizontal part of the step must be at least 20 centimeters. This will provide additional convenience when using the ladder frequently.
- The ladder hatch should be slightly larger than the opening to cover it.
How to choose?
When choosing a ladder to the attic, the first thing to start with is to decide exactly where it will be located and measure the dimensions of the hatch.
The height of the room when choosing a staircase is very important. In a three-meter room, a staircase with a height of 250 centimeters is unlikely to be useful. It should be borne in mind that a structure designed for a high height can often be shortened if the height of the room is lower. To do this, it is enough to dismantle one or more of the last steps.
However, it is desirable that attic staircases do not exceed a height of three meters so that the risk of injury does not increase.
When determining the size and location for the opening, special attention should be paid to the overlap. For example, a reinforced concrete slab or a wooden beam can interfere with the installation of a ladder in a certain place. If the overlap allows, then it is definitely better to give preference to models with a large hatch. They will have wider steps and a less steep climb.
The dimensions of the hatch are indicated in the passport for the finished product. This document also indicates the maximum distance at which it flies out of the hatch when it is opened and closed. This characteristic is especially important when placing stairs in small spaces.
When choosing a folding metal staircase, it is recommended to choose models with anti-slip pads on the steps. All parts of metal structures should be checked for corrosion protection, that is, they must be galvanized.
Wooden staircases to the attic should be installed in rooms that are not too dry or humid. This precaution will prolong their life. When examining a wood structure, it is worth checking its integrity, dryness and absence of knots. It will not be superfluous to clarify what protective mixtures the wood was treated with and what topcoat is used (most often paint or varnish).
Among modern models, you can choose both mechanical, which must be laid out by hand, and automatic with an electric drive.
When choosing, it is imperative to check the reliability of fasteners and mechanisms. Having finally opted for a particular model, you should find out the features of caring for it so that the entire structure remains in order for a long time.
The installation of all types of folding ladders, whether sliding or folding, is largely the same. The most important thing during installation is to ensure its reliable fixation in any state (unfolded or folded).
It is best to mount a ladder with a hatch. It is worth paying attention to the fact that it should open down. This allows you to attach the base of the structure to the inside of the hatch. Metal bolts or corners are ideal for this purpose. They will securely fix the ladder in several places.
The manhole cover definitely needs additional reinforcement… It can be carried out with the help of special hoists made of metals and elements that restrict movement.
To better keep the structure folded, it is recommended to use special clips, which are supplemented with various fasteners in the form of hooks, ropes or chains.
The whole process of installing folding ladder structures can be represented in the form of sequential actions:
- additional boards are temporarily fixed to the bottom of the opening;
- the staircase is placed on additional boards;
- spacers are inserted into the edges of the opening;
- the staircase is fixed with screws;
- the boards are removed from the bottom;
- the staircase extends;
- the side of the staircase is secured with a pair of bolts.
When installing attic stairs, care must be taken and safety rules must be followed. Improper installation or loose fit can cause the structure to fall.
For information on how to make an attic staircase with your own hands, see the next video.