How To Build Insulated Attic Ladder

How To Build Insulated Attic Ladder – Do you have a fold-down attic stair in your house? Is the stair insulated? Most attic stairs are not insulated, or have a crush piece of fiberglass stuff under the treads in a half-heart effort to impress the inspector. Even small gaps in ceiling insulation cause major reductions in energy efficiency. What about those huge insulation gaps at the attic stair?

Posted on February 5, 2022 Uncategorized

Here’s an elegant solution of  insulated attic ladder, a box built of foam board sheathing, two inches thick, held together with wood dowels and glue, very lightweight. It is about eight inches high to allow the stair springs to fit under it when the stair is close. Any handy person could build one.  Foam weather-stripping around the perimeter seals any gaps, and it just sits on the attic floor over the stair when the stair is close.  When you open this door, nothing falls on you – no dust, no glass fiber. And the heat pump runs less often. If you have an access panel rather than a stair, you can just glue several layers of foam board to the top of the panel.  Instant energy savings!

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What you need to build insulated attic ladder: One piece of 2 inch thick foam board insulating sheathing (available at most large home supply stores), 1/2″ wood dowel stock. Next, Foam board compatible glue (comes in a caulk tube), soft foam adhesive weather-stripping. For Tools: sharp knife, drill and 1/2″ bit, caulk gun, measuring tape or yard stick.

Directions to build insulated attic ladder, Measure the opening in the attic floor. You want the inside of the box to be about an inch bigger than this opening.  Close the stair (have a helper you really trust for this step) and measure the height of the stair above the attic floor.  Allow an extra inch for the interior height of the box.

Next steps to build insulated attic ladder, Cut the main top panel four inches bigger than the inside measurement you made. Cut the side pieces to the height you measured with the stair closed.  For the cuts use a sharp knife and a straight edge, or cut the foam board on a table saw if you have one.  Assemble the pieces by drilling holes at the edges and corners and inserting dowels, and glue it all together.  Let the glue set up overnight and then adhere the weather-stripping around the base of the box. Install your new insulation and pull out the old dirty insulation from the attic stair.