I only have one area in old house on the 3rd floor where I can put a pull down attic ladder. That is a narrow hallway but the ladder would need to be installed perpendicular to joists. It is an old house 1899. I have some photos of attic if that will help to answer my question. There is insulation but you can see the joists under there running perpendicular to way I need ladder. I would have to cut 3 joists. Can I safely do this?
Yes you can you will need to frame in the opening to the existing framework, I would suggest new work in this case to be larger or thicker as today’s wood is total crap compared to your construction. What I mean if you have 2x6 in that old wood I would go with 2x8 or 4x6 ,, sounds funny but count the rings on your boards and today’s boards will be 1/3 to 1/4 so a larger board is a good idea. but it can be done, I have added pull downs on a couple of Victorians but most had stairways although very narrow. If it is a registered home get approval first!!!! You can loose your tax status in some locations if the structure is modified.