How do I Install a Pull Down Stair?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Installation of a pull down stair is made relatively easy with a pull down stair kit. The most important factor is deciding the location for the stairs. The pull down stair kit is designed to be installed between two ceiling joists or three ceiling joists depending on the size of the stairs. Once a spot is determined, the ceiling needs to be cut and building material removed to get started with the kit. After installation of a stair kit, basic trim can be attached for aesthetics.

Once a location has been determined for the pull down stair, begin by removing the ceiling to create the opening for the stairs. This is typically done using a reciprocating saw. It is wise to investigate the mounting location and verify that no electrical wires run through the area that is to be removed. Also, a tarp or drop cloth should be placed on the floor underneath the area to be removed to collect the resulting debris.

When the hole has been created, place the framework for the pull down stair into position inside the hole and fasten it with screws. If mounting hardware is not included with the mounting kit, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the proper mounting screws. The use of a carpenter's level is required to ensure the framework is installed square with the ceiling.


Following the framework, the pull down stair unit is next to be mounted. With the stairs in the open position, align the mounting/hinge brackets of the stair unit with the brackets on the framework. Insert the mounting bolts and tighten to attach the stairs to the framework. Close the stair unit to ensure proper operation. Make any needed adjustments according to the manufacturer's directions.

Once satisfactory operation of the pull down stair unit has been achieved, prepare to apply the trim around the stair unit. Painting or staining the trim pieces to match the surrounding ceiling should be completed prior to installing it around the stairs. Some stair kits include a locking mechanism that must be attached prior to installing the trim. When the finish is dry, apply the trim to the pull down stair case.

Installing the stair unit can be accomplished with basic tools and typically takes three to four hours to complete. The stair unit will make access to the attic or unused space over a garage much easier. Storage, access for home maintenance and many other uses can be accomplished with the addition of a pull down stair system.


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