Step 10: Calibrate tension for a smooth glide

Calibrate the tension to ensure smooth, safe glide of attic stiars
Photo Karim Shamsi-Basha
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Adjust the tension on the cables until the staircase glides smoothly up into place and closes without slamming shut. If the door doesn't close all the way, increase the tension by disconnecting the cables, winding them around the spring drums two times; then reconnect them. Finish by nailing casing molding around the perimeter of the opening; paint it to match the ceiling.
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    Tools List

    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • eye goggles
      Goggles
    • dust mask
      Dust mask

    Shopping List

    1. Sliding attic staircase

    2. Lumber to match existing ceiling joists
    used to reframe staircase opening

    3. 1x8s
    for building finished frame around staircase opening

    4. 1x3s
    used as temporary cleats for positioning the 1x8 frame

    5. 3 1/2-inch (16d) common nails

    6. 1 1/4-inch drywall screws or nails
    used to fasten drywall ceiling to framing

    7. Casing molding
    for trimming around staircase opening

    8. 1 1/2-inch finishing nails
    for attaching casing molding