The attic in modern homes serves to insulate the living space below, by keeping a large mass of air in place, below the roof. This large space can also be utilized for storage; the trick is gaining access to it. Fortunately, there are aluminum attic ladders that can be installed by most do-it-yourself homeowners, and a helper, in a few hours.
When it comes to the type of ladder to buy there are various types to choose from. Aluminum ladders offer many advantages over their wooden counter parts. They are more durable and lighter. Aluminum will last longer than wood, and also has higher weight capacities. The greater strength of aluminum, means heaver loads can be brought to the attic, with out the risk of over loading the steps. Remember to take the weight of the heaviest person that will be using the ladder into account. And the lighter weight of the ladder itself, allows for easier lifting and lowering of the steps.
If you want to install an attic ladder, first determine if the construction of your house will allow easy installation. Typically aluminum ladders are designed to fit in between the trusses of the attic floor. And in most cases the existing access opening will need to be enlarged to accommodate the ladder. If any modification to the structure of the house is required, a professional should be consulted before proceeding in order to make sure that the job is done safely and doesn't present any danger to your home or family.
There may also be utilities that may need to be relocated, in order to enlarge the access opening. Things such as plumbing and electrical wires may be obstructing the way. And many attics also house air conditioning units, or hot water heaters, that may present a problem when locating the ladder. There will also need to be enough space at the bottom of the ladder to accommodate a person carrying a load up to the attic. In general 5 feet of clearance in every direction is a good rule to go with.
Installing an aluminum ladder will greatly increase the ease of accessing the extra storage space in the attic. They are more convenient than step ladders and extension ladders. And easier to deploy, once installed. In addition they are made to set at a less steep angle, which makes them easier to ascend and descend. And it is possible to descend facing forward, greatly increasing the ease of retrieving items from the attic.