Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One Step Closer

I know that a post about an attic ladder is not the most thrilling of subjects but I've been wanting to show ya'll this for some time now.  Now, I can't really take credit for this because Jack is the one that came up with this ingenious design and carefully crafted product.  I though it was very cool and might give some of you an idea if you need something similar.  It was also a very clever solution to a situation that had, embarrassingly, become quite a point of contention between me and Jack.  A little history for you:  this ladder is in the pantry where the only attic access is.  This is also why the photos are so close and don't show the whole ladder at once.  I crammed myself back up in the corner of the pantry as far as I could but just couldn't get a better shot.  Anyway, I never really used my small attic for much storage (because I just don't have a lot of stuff) but when Jack moved in we needed a little more room in a somewhat protected environment, plus I did need a good place to store seasonal decorations etc. and the attic was a good place.  So, Jack decked most of it and installed some hanging rods.  Now, I had always used an extension ladder to get up there on the few times I needed to but Jack was coming and going from there like some kind of 4-lane highway and his constant dragging the extension ladder in and out of the house got to be a tad....tiresome.  Add to that the fact that I eventually installed the beautiful cork flooring and if THAT got scraped up I was going to have a serious meltdown and you know that all extension ladders have those jagged, sharp cleats on the feet to keep them from sliding.  Well, after about 2 significantly ugly confrontations over this issue I said we must come up with a solution and this is what Jack built.
When not in use the ladder slides up against the wall and does not protrude any more than about 4 inches.  The height of the ladder was calculated to accommodate this and doesn't stick up too far into the attic hatch.

It can easily be pulled out with one hand to the correct angle for climbing.  Notice the carpet stapled carefully to the bottom of the ladder to avoid any scratching of my beautiful cork.  Also, Jack attached a chain (you can see at the 3rd step from the bottom) that goes back to the wall.  This assures the ladder does not slip further out once you are on it.  If you look closely, or enlarge the photo, you can also see each step was installed at an angle that would be horizontal in the pulled out position and each step is reinforced with a metal bracket.

The top corners of the ladder are also beveled and padded to avoid scratching the wall.  Do not look at the untrimmed attic hole.  I'll get to that eventually.  The ladder is also handy for reaching items in the highest storage cubby holes that are behind that wall on the right.  (That's where we store the toilet paper!)
So, the ladder never has to leave this room but yet, is never in the way and is very easy to climb even while holding a box or two.

I think this ladder probably saved our relationship.  I know that sounds funny but seriously.....Jack had a very hard time understanding why I got so upset about him using the extension ladder and I couldn't understand why he couldn't see what he was going to tear up.  I have had to put so much of myself into this house and have worked so hard to make it look nice (what parts are actually finished) that the idea of someone being flippant about it about gives me a coronary.  I know he didn't mean to and I know I get a little on edge sometimes, to say the least, but I was proud we worked together and came up with a really nifty and useful solution.  Now if I can just get all the visitors here to stop gawking over the stupid ladder and look at the rest of the house! haha!! Just kidding!....  We don't ever have any visitors!


Island Rider said...

I get it that this ladder reaches much farther than the attic! Congrats on sticking it out, talking it through( even if a tad loudly) and making not only the ladder work but your relationship!

ErinFromIowa said...

Jack, I marvel at your ingenious ladder.
Annie and Jack, you guys are awesome as a couple.
*Big Smile*

JMD said...

Much better than dragging a ladder in and setting it up! Perfect...

Ed said...

Looks pretty good and fits the area perfectly. It took me a couple minutes to see that when flat against the wall, the ladder fits up into the attic opening 'well'.

This post made me think back to the time when my wife moved into 'my' place. There was lots of give and take about where things go until we got settled. Eventually, my stuff all gravitated to the garage when I was gone and then eventually disappeared. Looking back, the only furniture that remains that was pre-marriage is a bedroom set that I bought a few months before we were married just so she wouldn't think me unworthy of marriage. All my other big items have long since disappeared.

Since you got married later in life than I and most likely had more decent stuff, I'm guessing it makes it much harder to merge!

HermitJim said...

I think that it's the little things that can make or break a relationship! I'm happy that you two reached a workable solution together!

Guess it's true...two heads are better than one!

Jenn said...

Ah, that is a beeyuuutiful thing!

edifice rex said...

Hey IR! thanks! Jack said I embellished the story a bit; he didn't remember the ladder issue being that big a deal and maybe it wasn't (lol!) but we did still have to come to some sort of agreement.

Hey Erin! Aww, thanks!

Hey JMD! Yes! it was a great solution!

Hey Ed! Yes, I didn't show that well but it does go up in there a few inches.
Actually, I've never really had "decent" furniture! I had some but it's mostly all 2nd hand because I was waiting until I got the house I wanted before I invested in good stuff. Fortunately, Jack had drastically downsized to move to where I met him and didn't have any furniture basically; so we didn't have much trouble merging in that regard.

Hey Jim! It is often the little things that just pile up into a monster! I'm glad we have found a way to work those things out!

Hey Jenn! Thanks!

pamit said...

Annie, compromise can be SO difficult for people who get together later in life, and are stubborn to boot (I speak from experience). Congrats to ya'll for working it out, and thanks for sharing. That ladder is a thing of beauty!

edifice rex said...

Hey Pam! yes, it can be very difficult but I'm lucky that Jack is so willing to try working things out. He did a great job!

Swamp Dog said...

That ladder is an excellent idea, I am going to steal it for a future project I have in mind!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It's really great when working together you and Jack found a great solution that satisfied your needs and who cares if folks see the ladderr, it's your place and it works for you