Australian homes are becoming more cluttered - so much so that 54% of people believe they could fill half a room of their home with stuff they don’t need. But to simply bundle possessions into ‘things we don’t need’ oversimplifies the issue. What about seasonal clothing, sporting goods, books, prams, sentimental pieces - the stuff that doesn’t get used every day but still has a purpose in our lives? With 40% of Australians reporting arguments about clutter in their homes and 11% saying it’s taken a serious long-term toll on their relationships, domestic storage solutions are integral to our peace of mind. Self storage is now a $1bn industry, but with self storage units costing upwards of $2500 a year it’s an expensive long-term solution. With this in mind, designers and specifiers should be looking towards the economical use of all available domestic space for storage solutions. 

One of the most underutilised spaces in any residence is the above-ceiling space, due primarily to difficulties in accessing the area. For the last 40 years, AM-BOSS Access Ladders has been providing sturdy, safe and cost-effective access ladders to take advantage of that under-utilised space and provide innovative storage solutions for the domestic market. 

AM-BOSS offers two flagship models that are tailored for the Australian residential market. The Access-Boss™ has a 400mm ladder width, and requires a modest ceiling cutout of only 570mm, making it perfect for truss roofs with standard 600mm spacing. Where a wider ladder or wider opening are required, the Big-Boss™ offers a ladder width of 500mm, and a standard cutout width of 770mm. 

Both the Access-Boss™ and Big-Boss™ are built to perform under heavy use - both models offer a 150kg load capacity, meaning the ladders can support this weight at any point, not spread across the structure. They are constructed with durability in mind and are made primarily from 100% Australian welded aluminium - making them lightweight but extremely strong, with high impact strength and high corrosion resistance. All steel parts, including springs, are galvanised to prevent rust, extend hardware lifespan and reduce any ongoing maintenance costs. 

The ladders sport a range of features geared towards preserving the overall integrity of the ceiling itself and eliminating any unsightly artefacts. They come with concealed hinges and a fitted architrave that adds neat, clean lines to the ceiling, along with a hatch that is easily painted to match the existing ceiling colour. The inside of the frame is finished in white laminate which serves to brighten the interior of the above-ceiling space while the inclusion of draught and dust sealing strips to ensure the house below stays clean and airtight.

When accessing the above-ceiling space, safety is paramount. With research showing that even a small difference in step height can cause a fall, Access-Boss™ and Big-Boss™ are both mounted in a way that ensures the bottom step is the same distance from the other steps. Similarly, mounting ensures there is clearance between the steps and the ceiling hatch to create consistency and familiarity. With hassle-free spring balancing, the ladders are easily configured for use with minimal force, and the additions of optional extras like a full-length handrail, in-ceiling grabrail or extra-deep treads make the ladders fit for use by people of varying ages and mobility levels. 

Access-Boss™ and Big-Boss™ are built for easy installation. Their lightweight aluminium construction removes the need for lifting equipment, and fitted fixing clips mean that the unit will hold itself in place once it’s pushed into the ceiling opening - making a single-person install more than feasible. The ladders do not need to be installed in existing manholes, so installation locations can be chosen based on convenience and suitability rather than necessity. 

The economical use of domestic storage space is becoming an increasingly important aspect of any residential design, and intelligently utilising the above-ceiling area of houses is a crucial part of this. With AM-BOSS Access-Boss™ and Big-Boss™ access ladders, designers and specifiers can provide a safe, easily-installed, cost-effective and durable solution that will improve the efficiency of any design.