My uncle has wooden drop down attic stairs installed in his home.
Unfortunately, the rivet holding the ladder at the top has broken.
These stairs are about 30 years old, brand unknown. Would it be more
cost and time effective to replace them or can they be fixed? Any
suggestions are welcome.
Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
If you go with the nut/bolt option, make sure that you either use a second
nut as a "jam" nut or use a locking nut. You can't tighten down the nut
enough to use a lock washer, if you still need the joint to move.
On 11 Jul 2004 10:47:47 -0700, email@example.com (Bobbie Verstraete)
Just as a personal observation, in my experience, if one of the rivets
has broken the others are probably questionable. I would seriously
consider replacing the entire set. I got halfway down a set of those a
couple years ago when they suddenly dropped me about 6 inches when
something broke. I removed them and replaced. Like a ladder that has
broken, it is smarter to replace than take a chance. Falls can be very
hard on you, even if only from ceiling height.
Many years ago I fell 20+ feet on a construction job. Didn't get hurt
too badly thanks to all the things I hit on my way down that sort of
broke it up into a series of 5-6' falls.
Falling from any height hurts big time.
A good friend, an electrician, fell from 8', off of a platform. It almost
killed him. He plays golf left-handed now, but nowhere as well as before.
Woodworking, once a hobby, is now something he appreciates, but cannot do.
He supervises a crew now, rather than being hands-on, in his specialty.
I buy only good ladders, and use them with care. Don't like those folding
attic ladders at all.
I am very grateful that I never hurt myself seriously in a fall. I was
often worried that what happened with your friend, or worse, would
happen to me. I've always hated heights, but seemed to end up working
up high a lot.
As I've gotten older I have gotten heavier and the ladders I trusted
when I weighed 200 lbs don't seem so good now that I'm 275. Factor in
some tools and stuff and don't even consider a ladder rated for less
than 300 lbs.
I think there's only 2-3 companies who are producing attic stairs in volume.
They all follow a standard cutout dimension. You can buy a good wooden set
for under $100. If you want to step up to metal, I think you're looking at
close to $200. They are available at Lowe's and Home Depot.
Money should not be the governing factor for repair/replacement. I'd
consider replacement and go with a heavier duty set.
If you are the person that will be doing the repair, then I would yes it
worth the time to replace the rivets (all of them).
If you have to hire someone else to do the work, then I would hire them to
install a new ladder.
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