How to Install Attic Ladder

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Wooden Attic Ladder - Attic Ladder Installation graphic

Are you planning to use your attic for storage space? Do you want to build an extra room for your home? Your attic provides plenty of space for you to expand into, though to make the best of your attic, you need to access it. Learning how to install an attic ladder allows you to use your attic however you wish.

Attic ladder installation may seem daunting, but many DIYers undertake this task with little trouble. The difficulty involved in attic ladder installation depends on factors like the ladder type and materials. Below, we’ll discuss everything from what types of ladders you can choose to the cost of installing an attic ladder.

The Importance of Attic Ladders

If you want to access your attic but don’t have the space or budget to build stairs, attic ladders bridge that gap. You can choose from many types of ladders, but your choice begins with considering certain factors before purchasing and installing an attic ladder.

Attic Ladder Installation

Things To Consider Before Buying Attic Ladders

Ask these questions before you buy and install your attic ladder:

How will you use your Attic?

Homeowners use their attics for different things. You’ll likely want a simpler ladder if more storage space is your goal. Planning to build a playroom or guest room upstairs means you might consider installing a fixed ladder instead of a compact telescoping model.

Where is your Ideal Access Point?

Access points in tight spaces might require a small attic ladder, while larger areas allow you to indulge in a ladder with an easier grade.

How High is your Ceiling?

Consider the slope of the ladder when measuring to help you choose the right length.

How much weight will your ladder need to support?

Attic ladders support various weights, so consider how you’ll use your attic space to help you determine an ideal weight capacity.

What material should you choose for your attic ladder?

Attic ladders come in many materials, the most common of which are wood and aluminum.

Types of Attic Ladders

How to install an attic ladder depends on the type you choose. Popular types of attic ladders include:

Telescoping Attic Ladders

Telescoping ladders collapse into themselves and offer the most straightforward installation. To use a telescoping ladder, open your attic hatch and pull down on the bottom step to extend the rest of the ladder. Most telescopic ladders have an aluminum build.

Scissor Attic Ladders

Scissor ladders have an intriguing look with scissor-like rungs that collapse into themselves. These ladders don’t require much room, making them useful for smaller spaces. Because scissor attic ladders are similar to telescoping ladders, they easier to install than other types of ladders.

Folding Attic Ladders

Folding attic ladders provide a stable, durable option for homeowners who frequently use their attic. While longer lasting, folding attic ladders require hatch reinforcement for safe use and have more difficult installation instructions.

Electric Attic Ladders

If you have trouble raising and lowering your attic ladder, install an electric one. While you may need to hire an electrician, you’ll enjoy the accessibility offered by an electric attic ladder, lowering and raising it with the flip of a switch. You can also control electric attic ladders with a smartphone, tablet, or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

The Process of Installing an Attic Ladder

Now that you’ve chosen your attic ladder and established your ideal access point, learn how to install it on your own with these steps.

One: Put the Ladder in Place

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the handle or pull cord on your ladder. With the help of someone standing in the attic, place the ladder against the access hatch’s opening.

Two: Secure Your Ladder

Once in place, drill into the ladder and use the provided mounting plates to secure the ladder to your hatch’s opening. Rest the feet of the ladder and adjust placement until both feet comfortably hit the floor.

Three: Insulate Around the Attic Access to Hatch

Unfinished attics can allow hot or cold air to invade your home, so use weatherstripping and foam insulation to protect against drafts.

Cost of Installing Attic Ladders

Professional attic ladder installation may range between $700 and $1,800, including materials and labor. Attic ladder installation costs can skyrocket depending on your choice of an attic ladder, with high-end kits costing upwards of $2,000.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Attic Ladders

Before choosing an attic ladder, consider these frequently asked questions:

What Is the Best Ladder for the Attic?

Because every home has varying needs, the best attic ladder depends on your circumstances. You need a ladder that:

  • Easily raises and lowers
  • Fits in your chosen access point
  • Has a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds
  • Offers easily accessible attic ladder parts

Is an Attic Ladder Worth It?

Attic ladder installation allows you to use that space for multiple functions. Whether purchasing a new ladder or replacing an old one, attic ladders are worth every penny.

Your attic ladder should offer safe climbing—old, damaged ladders require repairs or replacement. Such ladders may have rust, water damage, or enough wear and tear to weaken the rungs. If you have an attic ladder already, test it to ensure it doesn’t need replacement.

How Long Does an Attic Ladder Last?

Besides material, many factors contribute to the lifetime of your attic ladder, including:

  • How often do you use it?
  • How much weight do you put on it?
  • How do you modify the space around it?

The humidity and temperature of your attic

Regular attic ladder maintenance, such as checking individual attic ladder parts and functionality, can lengthen the life of your attic ladder.


If learning how to install an attic ladder doesn’t interest you, let the experts at Attic Projects do it for you. Our experienced technicians will guide you in choosing the best attic ladder for your home, install it, and perform repairs and maintenance as needed. If you need attic ladder installation, contact Attic Projects today.

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