Fitting A Loft Ladder

Just looking for general advice with the following, fitting the loft ladder isn't a problem.
A client has asked me to fit a loft ladder. No big deal. But I understand that the loft hatch is possibly one of those new fangled jobs which is a thin plastic tray filled with polystyrene. I've got one of those in my own house :)
With typical loft ladders you are supposed to add hinges and arrange the hatch so that it swings down, away from the ceiling, so that the loft ladder can be pulled down.
Anyone got any suggestions about how you arrange this with one of those modern loft doors?
Andrew
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:00:53 GMT, "BigWallop"

You've been a busy boy :)
It's not the fitting of a loft ladder that is the issue, it's the rather flimsy loft hatch that needs to be modified (or potentially replaced). Just wondered if anyone had had any success with a loft trapdoor which defied simple modification :)
Andrew
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wrote:

Hi Andrew,
I know you can get a concertina style ladder that extends to about 2.5 mtrs, I think it's shown on one of the links, that fits between two of the main joists and doesn't really need anything more special than hinges fitted to keep the hatch cover from falling away from the opening. This give freedom to hinge the cover one way and pull the ladder down from the opposite side. It may be one to look out for.
--
BigWallop

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If I understand correctly what you are saying. I have done this three times. Remove the hatch door and surround (usually held with 2 screws per side into the joists). Use suitable timber (eg. 4" x 1" PSE) to line the opening. Make good the ceiling opening by means of mitred architrave or similar and carry on as normal making the hinged down door etc.
HTH
John
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:41:37 +0100, Andrew McKay

Have a look at this type of ladder.
http://tinyurl.com/gw27
This is one example, and there are several other manufacturers of this folding idea. Basically they differ in price by size, features and quality.
I fitted one of the Lux types a few years ago and it works well.
I had previously had one of the plastic tray affairs and with that had replaced the tray with a piece of ply hinged to drop down and then a catch to secure it. An aluminium loft ladder could then be pulled forward and down. However it was never satisfactory and the ladder wasted a lot of space.
I figured out that by the time I had messed around with making and fitting a suitable casing to improve it, it was easier, quicker and cheaper to just buy the whole thing ready to go. Plus the function and operation is better than can be achieved from making something.
Fitting these is a doddle. Basically you remove the old hatch and extend the cut out in the plasterboard. Most ladders of this type have a casing which matches the joist pitch. I then removed the ladder from the casing assembly to make it easier to lift. I fitted some 100mm wide battens between the joists as temporary support, flush with the ceiling. I lifted the casing into the loft and dropped it into place. It needed a couple of packing pieces but then it's simply a matter of screwing through the sides of the casing into the joists. The battens can then be removed and the ladder fitted. Finally, the ceiling can be neatened with some architrave mitred for the job.
A wooden ladder is much more comfortable to climb than an aluminium one and a lot more stable. The extra weight is handled by the gas struts very effectively. You also get a properly sealed and insulated cover and the other big advantage is that it all folds up within the footprint of the casing
.andy
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