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How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Ladder? 2024 Price Guide

wooden foldable attic ladder

Attic ladders are retractable staircases used to gain access to the attic. These ladders can range in design and setup, but all serve the same purpose and tend to have the same installation process for the most part.

And whether you plan on installing an attic ladder yourself or paying a professional contractor to do it, it helps to know a bit about the process and how much it will cost to install. We’ve done a bit of research on this, and we’ll cover the cost of materials and other details about the options available for the installation. In general, if you install an attic ladder by yourself, the cost can be from $250 to about $400 and up to $1,300 if done by a professional, depending on the setup.

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Cost of Installing an Attic Ladder

The cost of installing an attic ladder will vary by area, but if you’re planning to do this yourself, it can cost you anywhere from $250 to about $400. In this scenario, you’ll be paying for the materials all on your own, which will include the ladder itself, as well as any fasteners and power tools that you’ll need – specifically a drill and electric saw.

However, if you plan to have a professional perform this work for you, you can expect to pay more, somewhere around $400 to over $1,300 depending on the setup of your attic and the accessibility of the space beforehand.

The 5 Factors That May Affect Installation Costs

Before considering replacing your current letter or installing a new one, it’s important to take a look at the entirety of the project. There are several factors that will play a huge role in determining how much your project will cost. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

1. Ladder Material & Design Options

There are many types of ladder materials available, but the most common are wood, steel, and aluminum. You’ll likely pay more for a steel ladder, as it’s just a more expensive material than wood and aluminum.

The ladder can also be hidden behind a simple hinged door when not in use or it can be unretractable – though this isn’t the most popular option. You can also upgrade to an insulated or glazed door if you’re concerned about heat loss from your attic.

Attic ladder
Image Credit: Procreators, Shutterstock

2. Ceiling Height

The height of your ceiling also plays a part in how much it’ll cost to install your ladder. Most standard ceilings in homes are 8 to 9 feet high. To safely access your attic, you’ll need a ladder that is longer if your ceilings are higher than 10 or 12 feet, which can increase the cost of your project. This may mean that you’ll need to get a taller ladder (which will cost more) or additional materials to make the fit work.


3. Location

The cost of installation will depend on where you live. You should expect to pay more for labor and materials if you live in an area with high living costs, such as New York, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. You may pay slightly less if you live in a small town where contractors typically charge less for their services.

It’s also worth noting that if you go with a smaller contractor instead of a larger company, you’re almost guaranteed to save money on installation costs. You can also save money by purchasing the materials yourself if the contract allows it. Contractors usually receive materials at a discount and may mark up the cost of these items on your invoice.


4. Weight Capacity

Attic stairs are usually designed to carry around 250 pounds, which is more than the average person weighs. However, you may want to consider a ladder that has a higher load capacity if you intend on storing large items or need extra stability for the ladder.

Heavy-duty ladders are usually more expensive. In some cases, you may have to move air ducts or re-route pipes and electrical wires. These changes can be costly and will be determined on an individual basis. Subcontractors, such as electricians or plumbers, can also add hundreds of dollars to your project.


5. Security Features

Attic ladders can also come with safety features for additional support and accident prevention.  There are many safety features that you can choose from, including handrails, slip-resistant steps, and closing latches. Some ladders have locking mechanisms on their hinges to ensure that the ladder stays put. A lock that locks the hatch at the opening hatch is a good safety feature for children.

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Wrapping Things Up

Attic ladder installation can be an expensive project even if you are performing the work yourself. However, the project will be easier if you’re simply replacing the ladder with a similar one. But if you’re installing a completely new one or making notable changes to the current door setup, it’s always best to hire a contractor who has experience performing this type of project.

Attic ladders can be hazardous to use if not installed correctly, and a licensed contractor can also ensure that the ladder is installed according to local building codes.


Featured Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

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