Magazine article Sunset

Loft Ladder Folds in and out of the Way

Magazine article Sunset

Loft Ladder Folds in and out of the Way

Article excerpt

Loft ladder folds in and out of the way

To ease the ascent to a sleeping loft tucked beneath his home's cathedral ceiling, architect Lawrence Steiner designed this two-position, swing-out ladder.

During the day, the hinged foot folds in so the ladder stores flat against the wall. When it's time for bed, guests simply swing the ladder out and flip down the foot; it anchors the ladder at an easy-to-climb 20| angle.

For the side rails, Steiner used two 92-inch lengths of clear redwood 2-by-3. Spaced 17 inches apart, the rails extend 10 inches higher than the floor of the loft to provide room for handholds. Sturdy 4-inch strap hinges attach the ladder to trim on the joist along the loft's outer edge.

Steiner spaced the treads 12 inches apart. For the top six treads, he used mahogany 1-by-3s cut into 18 1/2-inch lengths. He glued and nailed them into dadoes routed at a 20| angle across the side rails. This way, when the ladder swings out, the treads lie parallel to the floor.

In profile, the ladder's foot looks like a right-angled triangle with the top cut off. …

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