When it comes to attic access ladders you don't want to say, "Close, but no cigar."
Every now and then things are installed almost correctly - well, incorrect is incorrect. Nothing should have to be called "almost."
Take this attic access ladder.
This is new construction and we are on a final walk through. Everything, including this ladder, is brand new.
It should be strong, installed right, and rest flush to the floor.
The installer is supposed to measure off carefully and cut the legs so that when the ladder is unfolded it sits perfectly on the floor.
That is, if it reaches the floor.
This ladder ends up 4" from the floor. I wouldn't use it to go up to the attic. I got my own ladder instead.
When I set my ladder up, it actually reaches the floor! It kind of has to.
On top of that, this ladder assembly was installed with four, count'em 4, Torx screws.
Right on the ladder there is a sticker with installation instructions. It says what to use and what not to use to secure the ladder to the structure.
The sticker (and manufacturer) says to never use screws in the assembly installation as they are likely not strong enough. It suggest 16D nails be used instead - and that a MINIMUM OF 10 be shimmed and nailed tightly.
My recommendation: right is right, wrong is wrong. And in expensive, new homes all the new should be right! That's how I see it anyway. Oh, and the County sticker had approved this installation. I am betting the County representative did not fold down the ladder and go into the attic. Had that been done, this little, dangling ladder may have been caught!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560