Attics make ideal places for storing seasonal or unneeded equipment, decorations and more. Attic stairs, however, are often steep and narrow, and getting heavy or bulky items up them is often far more trouble than it should be. If your attic door is set into the ceiling of the floor below, then you can get around the hassle and effort of lugging things up and down attic stairs by installing your own attic lifting hoist. A simple attic hoist will allow you to raise and lower items into and out of the attic without needing to carry and climb. A slightly more complex attic hoist will, through mechanical advantage, even allow you to easily lift loads that are normally too heavy for you to lift at all.

Simple Hoist

Step 1

Select a beam in your attic that runs directly over the attic door. Mark a spot on this beam that is centered over this door.

Step 2

Measure the distance from this spot to the floor below the doorway. Multiply the result by two. Add 3 more feet to the result. Cut a length of rope equal to this final measurement.

Step 3

Screw an eye hook into the beam where you made the mark. Attach a pulley to it by sliding the pulley's hook into the eye.

Step 4

Run the rope through the pulley. Tie a knot in one end to prevent it from accidentally slipping out of the pulley. Tie the other end of the rope to the clip. To use the hoist, lay the hammock on the floor. Place as many items as will fit into the hammock. Slide the clip through both ends of the hammock and pull on the free end of the rope to hoist the hammock and its load into the attic.

Mechanical Advantage Hoist

Step 1

Select a beam in your attic that runs directly over the attic door. Mark a spot on this beam that is centered over this door.

Step 2

Measure the distance from this spot to the floor below the doorway. Multiply the result by three. Add 3 more feet to the result. Cut a length of rope equal to this final measurement.

Step 3

Screw an eye hook into the beam where you made the mark. Attach a pulley to it by sliding the pulley's hook into the eye. Screw another eye hook into the beam right next to the first. Tie one end of the rope to this eye hook.

Step 4

Run the rope through the pulley that was not attached to the eye hook. Then run it through the pulley attached to the attic beam. The rope will now start at the eye hook it is tied to, run down to the free pulley on the floor below, back up to the pulley on the attic beam, and then back down to the floor below.

Step 5

Set the free pulley on the attic floor, off to the side of the door. In order to provide mechanical advantage, this pulley needs to remain unattached to anything but the rope that is connected to the fixed pulley. When you are ready to use the hoist, bring the free pulley downstairs.

Step 6

To use the hoist, lay the hammock on the floor. Place as many items as will fit into the hammock. Push the hook on the free pulley through both ends of the hammock and pull on the free end of the rope to hoist the hammock and its load into the attic.