How do I Choose the Best Attic Stairway?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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The best attic stairway will adhere to both the user's requirements and budget, and may even match the home's style. Details to take into consideration when selecting an attic stairway include how often it will be used, amount of available space, and material that the stairs are made of. Such factors will affect the safety, price, and appearance of the steps.

Homeowners who plan to use the stairs often should opt for quality construction rather than trying to save money on budget attic steps. Accidents and injuries will cost more in the long run than a good set of stairs. If you want to turn the extra space into an office or bedroom, you should focus on safety and comfort. The angle of the stairs is important, as most ladders are much more steep than regular stairs, so they will be less comfortable to use everyday.

On the other hand, if you plan to use the attic simply as storage, which typically includes only venturing up the stairs a few times per year, you can probably afford to take the budget route. The common pull-down stair consists of a ladder attached to the attic door that springs out when the user pulls a cord. This is typically best for those planning to use the attic very little. Folding attic stairs that are not attached to the attic hatch are also available, and often include handrails.


When shopping for an attic stairway, consider the desired dimensions. Limited space near the attic hatch often calls for the pull-down stair or separate folding ladder. If there is plenty of room and comfort is important, a regular wooden staircase might be an option. In fact, it is often recommended for those using their attic everyday, as it is considered particularly sturdy and safe.

Attic stairway materials are usually either metal or wood. While the materials might not vary, their durability does. If you are looking to use your attic steps everyday, or simply to carry heavy objects up often, you should consider the thickness of the material. Thinner aluminum steps that are inexpensive might work for occasional use, but steel or thick wood are often best for constant use. It is also recommended that you check out the springs, hinges, and overall sturdiness of the attic stairway.

If it is difficult to decide between metal and woof attic steps, consider your home's decor. Modern loft-style homes often look best with metal ladders or steps. Traditional houses with classic decorations might be better off with a wooden attic staircase.

Another feature to consider is the warranty that is included with the attic staircase or ladder. Homeowners should find out what is covered and how long it lasts. This can often be the final deciding factor when selecting the best attic stairway.


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