A loft ladder is the safest and most convenient way to access your loft. Depending on your needs and budget, you can install a sliding, folding or telescopic loft ladder.
If it’s not possible to install a loft ladder, we explain some alternatives. Here’s how to get into a loft without a ladder.
Use a Conventional Ladder
If you only need to access the loft occasionally, you don’t have to install a permanent loft ladder. You can use a conventional ladder that you use around the house.
It can be a straight ladder, an A ladder or an extension ladder. Any sturdy ladder will do as long as it is long enough to reach the loft opening.
Depending on the type of ladder, you’ll have to lean it against the loft opening or place it right underneath the opening.
Because a conventional ladder does not retract into the ceiling like a proper loft ladder, make sure you take it away when you are done.
This will prevent a child or pet from attempting to climb the ladder.
Even if there’s no child around, the ladder can be an obstruction. Also, the open hatch door will affect insulation.
Build a Staircase
A conventional ladder is the simple option. A staircase is a more complicated, expensive and permanent solution.
But it’s ideal if you don’t want the hassle of constantly lowering and raising and lowering a loft ladder,
A permanent staircase is also the best choice if you have kids, as some loft ladders are not child-safe.
Of course, you’ll need to hire a pro to design and build the staircase.
Another option is to access the loft from the outside.
Some people build an access door through the gable (the triangular part of the top section of the wall between the roof pitches) while others create an access door through the roof.
You can then use a conventional ladder to access the gable door or roof access.
If you don’t have a loft ladder, you can get creative coming up with a way to get into the loft. The above three alternatives are the safest we could think of.
There are other not-so-safe ideas that we certainly won’t encourage such as standing on a table or jumping and getting onto the loft like a Ninja. Try these at your risk.
One relatively safe DIY idea is to make a rope ladder and attach it inside the loft (find a way to open the hatch door and drop the rope ladder from below) or on the ceiling near the loft access and find a way to lift yourself into the loft. We highly recommend the first option for safety.