Last Updated on December 22, 2022
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

In order to make it easier for you to access your attic homebuilders have created the pull-down folding stairs, also known as the foldaway stairs.

These types of stairs come fully framed with a folding, sectional ladder that is made to be installed into a ceiling opening. In this article, we are going to talk about how much you would have to budget for the installation of a new attic ladder.

How Much Does an Attic Ladder Installation Cost?

The amount of money you are going to spend in order to install an attic ladder will be influenced by some factors such as the contractor you hire, the complexity of the setup, the height of the ceiling, and the place where you are living. For instance, you will have to pay anywhere between $350 and $500, if you have to simply replace the ladder, there is already a setup in place, and no modifications are necessary.  This price range is available for the rigid ladder or typical folding ladder.

The costs would increase to $470 – $800 if the handyman or carpenter will have to open up a wall in order to provide a slope or to build a ladder into the wall because of the available space.

You might also like our articles on the cost of Acorn stair lifts, staircase remodeling, or hardwood stair installation.

Your expenses with the ladder installation would be higher, between $1,600 and $2,700 if the handyman or carpenter would have to modify the trusses of the floor joints.

Overall, you should plan on spending anywhere between $120 and $250 for a new ladder and another $280 to $600 for the professional installation of the ladder. Even though most of the contractors will charge you the same sum for this job, it would still be a good idea to ask for a price offer from multiple professionals.

On the other side, you can choose to install the attic ladder yourself and save around 66% of the costs according to the DIYorNot website. Also, according to them, the average cost of installation is around $700.

In case you purchase an attic ladder from Lowe’s you will have to pay around $170 for the installation.

Expect to spend another $120 to $350 for the stairs alone, depending on the materials and the brand. In general, attic ladders are made of lightweight aluminum, steel, or economical wood material. The cheapest option would be the wood.

For example, you can purchase a top-rated attic ladder from Amazon for $100 to $270, without but this price won’t include the installation.

The average cost of an attic ladder at Menard’s is anywhere between $95 and $220.

Attic ladder installation details

Attic Ladder ModelThe price estimates we mentioned above should include the removal of the existing ladder, the installation of the new ladder and the wood trim, plus the cleaning of the workplace.

Most of the attic ladder installation jobs are performed by a handyman or a carpenter.

If you are not replacing an old attic ladder, but installing a new one, you will have to create a large hole inside of the ceiling that will be reinforced with headers without damaging the strength of the joists. After that, the ladder is bolted into the opening, trimmed with molding, and painted so it integrates into the décor of your home.

In general ceiling heights are eight to ten feet, but you can also find models made for higher ceilings, up to and sometimes over 12 feet in height.

What are the extra costs?

The costs would increase if the professional would have to remove the insulation and re-route the water pipes or air ducts, depending on the situation.

Also, there are some contractors that may charge an extra fee for the painting and/or installing of the molding.

Important things to consider

It is recommended to not cut any of the roof support trusses if the design was not completed by a structural engineer. The roof may flatten out and push the walls apart if the carpenter or handyman would cut improperly into the plain attic floor joists, without the opinion of a structural engineer. The normal attic floor joists are an important part of the structural support system of a house’s roof.

See what options you have if you want to install a new set of attic stairs. It would be ideal for this new room to be easily accessed. In general, attic ladders work best in hallways and large rooms.

 How can I save money?

Make sure you ask about how much would both the ladder itself and the installation cost because most of the contractors will offer a quote for the installation alone.

In order to get the best possible price, ask for quotes from multiple contractors. Also, make sure that these are insured, licensed, and have positive reviews.

According to some people, the replacement of an existing attic ladder is not that hard and you would be able to do this job by yourself. There are online guides and tutorials about how to install an attic ladder that may help you get the job done properly.

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