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6 Convenient DIY Attic Ladder Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Attic ladder

Luckily, most attics come with a ladder already installed. However, there are several situations where this may not be the case. In these circumstances, you may need to install your own attic ladder. Sadly, these ladders can be expensive, especially if you want one that folds away. However, with some know-how, you can build your own pretty easily.

While these ladders can be expensive to install, building one is surprisingly easy if you have the right plan, tools, and skills. There are plenty of kit attic ladders online with detailed instructions on installing them, although very few DIY plans. We searched for plans to find the best options for you—take a look below for our favorites.

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The 6 DIY Attic Ladder Plans

1. Automatic DIY Attic Ladder by Instructables

diy attic ladder
Image By: Instructables

At first glance, this ladder may look a bit complicated. There are a lot of parts involved, which is why we consider it a bit harder than many. However, it is completely doable thanks to the easy-to-follow plan available.

Keep in mind that this attic ladder is completely automatic. That means that there are some electronics involved to help the ladder move automatically. It may also require some programming, depending on the route that you take. The plans help you along with this and provide several different options.

Luckily, all the materials are linked directly, though you may need more or less than the original writer of the plan. It all depends on how automatic you want the ladder, as well as how big you need it to be.

2. DIY Folding Attic Ladder by Do It Yourself

DIY Attic Ladders
Image By: Do It Yourself

Many do-it-yourself attic ladders are bulky and immobile. These plans give you the ability to build your own folding attic ladder. Creating your own folding attic ladder is not the easiest task out there, but it is possible. These plans will help save you money on an attic stair kit by building your own. This project can be completed in a day, but it will take some know-how and a variety of tools to get the job done. At the end of the day, you will have your very own set of folding attic stairs without having to buy one from a big box store.

3. Simple DIY Wooden Ladder from Berries and Barnacles

DIY Attic Ladders
Image By: Berries and Barnacles

Not all ladders have to be elaborate. You can build your very own simple wooden ladder out of 2x4s. This ladder uses basic materials and can easily be modified to fit nearly any ceiling or attic opening. You can easily keep this ladder in your garage and bring it out when you need it. You can also build multiple ladders based on these plans for things like lofts, sheds, garages, attics, and more. There are plenty of options for customization and modification to fit nearly any space, making this ladder one of the most versatile on the list.

4. Converted Bunk Bed Ladder for Attic by Plank and Pillow

DIY Attic Ladders
Image Credit: Plank and Pillow

Finding good DIY plans for attic ladders can be difficult. There just are not that many options out there. But that doesn’t mean you have to remain stumped. This plan is for a bunk bed ladder, but it can easily be modified to fit an attic opening. All you have to do is add length to the ladder rails so that they can reach the ceiling. One of the most fun things about doing DIY projects is adapting things for new or different uses. This ladder can easily work for an attic, but it will take a little creativity. If this ladder is sturdy enough and safe enough for a kid’s bunk bed, it can be safe for an attic as well.

5. Wooden Ladder with Alternating Treads by Ana White

DIY Attic Ladders
Image Credit: Ana White

These creative plans are for a ladder with alternating treads. The alternating treads save space and make the ladder easier to navigate with arms full of stuff. In fact, this ladder was designed by a mom who needed to navigate it with a baby in her arms. That means that it can be a fantastic attic ladder. One of the hardest and most dangerous parts of navigating an attic ladder is doing so when you are trying to bring things up or down from the attic. This ladder is stylish and functional and can be built at home in your garage or workshop.

6. DIY Attic Ladder Lift System from Instructables

DIY Attic Lift Pulley System
Image Credit: Instructables

This DIY plan is a modification of an existing attic ladder. Sometimes you don’t need an entirely new attic ladder, you just need to make the one you have more functional. These plans help make that happen. Using a sheet of plywood and some simple pulleys, you can make a lift system that easily raises boxes up and down the ladder. This makes retrieving items from the attic easier than ever. These plans are simple and ingenious. With two people, this system makes lifting and lowering boxes from the attic easy and, most importantly, safe. Navigating an attic ladder with boxes can be very dangerous, and this pulley helps mitigate those dangers.

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Are Attic Ladders Worth It?

Attic ladders may seem like a very small part of your home—until you need to get up into the attic. Having to drag out a ladder and use it to climb into the attic can be incredibly annoying, especially if you use the attic often. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you get a ladder installed if you want to use the attic for storage.

However, even if you don’t plan on going into the attic very often, you may need to visit it occasionally. For instance, there may be repairs necessary in the attic, or you may need to investigate a strange sound. Either way, it’s best to install a ladder for these situations.

The last thing you want to do is have the repairman arrive only to explain that he can’t get up into the attic.

Old wooden attic interior with old cardboard boxes for storage or moving
Image Credit: A-photographyy, Shutterstock

Do Attic Ladders Increase Home Value?

Sometimes, pulldown attic stairs can increase the value of your home. However, this isn’t exactly a sought-after improvement and it probably won’t improve it by that much. With that said, if your attic is particularly large and useable, you may increase the value. If the attic is accessible, then potential buyers will be more inclined to include it in their assessment of the home.

In other words, if the buyers can see the attic by using the stairs, then they may take that extra space into account. Otherwise, the only thing the buyer will know is that there is an attic. They won’t have any first-hand knowledge of the space.

Of course, if you live in an area where space is hard to come by, then having a usable attic can be extremely beneficial.

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Attic ladders are often not thought about much in homes. However, they can be vital for your attic’s use. Otherwise, getting into your attic won’t be very easy. While they aren’t always a huge selling point, they can also improve the value of your home.

Typically, you can purchase and install your own attic ladder. This process is straightforward, and many kits are available for different spaces.

However, you can also make your own attic ladder in some cases. Usually, these attic ladders are a step above what you’d usually find in a kit.

Featured Image Credit: Procreators, Shutterstock


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