I would like share some information to everyone about these easy to use pull down ladders. They are awesome for getting into the attic space to store stuff. The unfortunate thing about the ladders are that they compromise the fire rated ceiling in the garage space. What this means is that you (normally) have 5/8″ drywall on the garage ceiling to separate the attic space from the garage for fire related reasons. The bottom of the ladder is only (most of the time) 1/4″ plywood and does not have a fire rating. Thus, compromising the garage ceiling. Sometimes there is even a gap from the pull down frame to the cut out drywall that should also be filled in or covered. The main thing is, you should not have any open penetrations to the attic in your garage ceiling.
One of the easiest ways to do it so the ladder springs are not stressed by the weight of the drywall. Build a frame out of 1×4’s and have the drywall slide out of the way.
Another options listed below:
Pull down ladder with drywall screwed to the bottom of the plywood and a wood frame built around it. You will notice there is another wood frame around the actual hole in the ceiling.
Here is a wood frame built around the hole in the ceiling that is out from the frame so the drywall on the bottom of the door can fit over the pull down ladder frame when closed.
So when the ladder is closed, the drywall fits inside the ceiling frame and the door frame bumps up to it.
Here is a close up. You can see the drywall on the bottom of the ladder door. Then the wood frame protrudes past the drywall to hit against the frame on the ceiling. This particular individual also added some weather strip foam.
Here is another great idea. Hinge a piece of plywood and screw your drywall to the underside of it. You pull the ladder down then just push the fire rated panel open. Most have a small piece of wood screwed to the truss to hold open the hinged door(upper left of picture).
Contact us if you have any questions or other suggestions we can post.