Are attic pull-down ladders required to be code-approved?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

There are no building code requirements for attic pull-down stairs construction. But most folding attic stairs are not allowed to be installed in a garage by code because they do not meet the fire separation requirement for the ceiling, which must be 1/2” drywall or equivalent in fire-resistance. A few models are available that meet this requirement, but they are not available off-the-shelf at big-box home improvement stores. To learn more about it, see our blog post Why are most pull-down attic ladders not approved by building code for installation in a garage?

    Also, because attic ladders are often installed after the construction of the home by the homeowner or a handyman, the manufacturer’s installation instructions may not have been followed—leading to an unsafe ladder. For specific examples, see our blog post What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder? 

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Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about ATTICS:

• When is a house not required to have an attic access hatch? 

• When does code require an attic pull-down ladder to be installed?

What is the minimum size for attic access opening?

What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements? 

What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

What is the most common type of roof-to-wall attachment?

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

What are the common problems with attic insulation? 

Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

How do I safely clean up rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) urine or droppings the attic?

Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

 Is an attic required to have a light by the building code? 

Why is vermiculite attic insulation a problem for both buyers and sellers of a home? 

What are the code requirements for NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable or Romex®) in an attic? 

Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?

How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic? 

• When was a fire separation in the attic first required between sides of a duplex? 

     Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.   

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