enter image description hereMy kitchen height is 9 feet. To maximize storage, I am planning to have cabinets all the way upto ceiling.

To avoid lugging in a ladder all the time, I am planning to build storage under subfloor. The ladder will be accessible by having a lid in the floor.

However, once the lid is opened, the ladder should be able to rest between floor joists - once the space between the floor joist has been reinforced to support upto 300 lb.

For clarity - see attached diagram.

Does anybody have experience in such a project. The image shows what I am planning.

  • Sounds plausible, just be sure you design and build a large enough lid to be able to get the ladder in and out. In your diagram the ladder would never fit.
    – David
    Feb 17, 2019 at 20:40
  • 2
    Would a "Folding Library Step Ladder Chair" be sufficient? Feb 18, 2019 at 0:12
  • Your floor joists are 17" apart ??
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 18, 2019 at 0:37
  • It does not seem to me to make sense that you need a full height ladder to reach the top shelves, because it is unweildy, unsafe(ish) and makes opening and closing doors difficult. Depending on your height, why not simply use a collapsable 4 step ladder loosely like walmart.com/ip/ladder/942039315 ?
    – davidgo
    Feb 18, 2019 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


Wow, +1 for originality, but -1 for practicality.

Usually big things (like 12’ ladders) are stored outside or in a garage. Storing it indoors will create some issues: 1) creating a solid lid that doesn’t move/warp, 2) insulation around the storage space, 3) flooring that doesn’t break when trap door flexes upon opening, 4) sealing the space when you drop the milk bottle,

Btw, when you lean a 12’ ladder up on a wall, you’ll need a ceiling height of more than 9’ or it will be too much of a angle to lean properly around counters, etc.

  • If I may add, 5) beating the crap out of your cabinets with the top of a ladder Feb 18, 2019 at 0:27
  • The ladder need not be 12 feet. It can be a folding ladder.
    – oradbanj
    Feb 18, 2019 at 1:13
  • The solid lid in this is case is made by cutting existing hardwood floor which is nailed into 3/4 inch plywood. Of course, the bottom of the box such created to store ladder should be reinforced. But that could be done by nailing a 2x4 between two joists. Agreed it will require proper sealing otherwise spilled liquid will leak into basement. But not sure why insulation will be needed around this box. The 12 feet width shown in my diagram is actually width of room. But to reach a height of 8.5 feet, 10 feet should be enough. This can also be resolved by having a foldable ladder
    – oradbanj
    Feb 18, 2019 at 1:52
  • Can you access your floor joists from the basement or is there a ceiling down there?
    – BlueJay
    Feb 18, 2019 at 4:03

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