How Much Does Attic Ladder Installation Cost?

Typical Range:

$220 - $650

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 18, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Attic ladder installation costs range from $340 to $1,240, with most homeowners paying around $490 for labor and materials. On the high end, durable and lengthy attic ladders can cost up to $2,000 for the kit alone, but most attics can get by with a standard-length wooden ladder for around $200 to $300. In this attic ladder installation cost guide, we’ll break down the cost of attic stairs by type, materials, and labor.

Attic Ladder Costs by Type

Attic ladder prices vary depending on the material they’re made out of. Wood is the most affordable material for attic stairs, but you’ll get more durability from steel or aluminum. The table below details average attic ladder costs withoutinstallation factored in.

Attic Ladder Type Average Cost Range
Wood$180 – $1,000
Aluminum$230 – $580
Stainless steel$380 – $2,000

The cost to install attic stairs can be significantly higher if you opt for the longest, most expensive option available. While stainless steel attic ladders can reach $2,000, most fall between $380 and $1,000.


The attic ladder prices in the table above assume you use a prefabricated kit sold at most hardware stores. If for some reason, a prefab kit won't work in your space, you can pay for custom attic steps. Doing so will require hiring a local architect or interior designer to create a unique attic ladder for your home, which can significantly add to the cost.

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Attic Ladder Installation Cost Breakdown

You can break down the cost to install attic stairs into two main categories: materials and labor. However, some projects may require additional charges, like permits and necessary prep work.


The main material you’ll need for your attic ladder installation is the attic ladder kit itself, but you’ll also need to budget for finishing supplies, like the trim and paint:

  • Attic ladder kit: $180–$2,000

  • Trim: $0.60 per lin. ft. for fiberboard trim (the cost to install door trim can vary widely depending on the material)

  • Paint: $0.50 per sq. ft. or about $5 for the door


In general, installing an attic door takes a contractor roughly four hours. At a rate of $60 per hour, professional attic ladder installation costs will be about $240. More straightforward installations could take half the time and cost approximately $120.


Some home renovation projects require construction permits. Your contractor may be able to advise if they're necessary. If they are, factor in about $150 on the low end for the building permit cost.

Prep Work

If the installation includes the creation of a new hole for the attic entry and removing the old one, factor in handyperson costs for drywall work and painting, usually at $60 to $65 per hour. You might even need to find a carpenter to cut through the ceiling joists. Thus, creating a new entry point for the attic can be significantly more expensive than the cost to replace an attic ladder.

While installing an attic ladder, you might also want to tackle other home improvement projects. Here are cost breakdowns of common attic renovations:

DIY Attic Ladder Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

Attic ladder installation may seem easy since the kits come prefabricated, but the job might require contending with ceiling joists and can be labor-intensive. In most cases, it’s worth hiring a contractor to do the job. Their labor rates account for half or less than half the total attic installation cost. And a project that takes them two to four hours might take the novice homeowner a full day or more.

To find a good contractor, get quotes from several carpenters. If you don’t like their rates, you can also try local handyperson services, as this job is possible for a general contractor.


How long does it take to install an attic ladder?

The average attic ladder installation takes a professional about four hours, but more basic installations could take as little as two to three hours. Set aside at least a full day if you're attempting to DIY an attic ladder installation.

Do attic ladders increase home value?

Installing attic stairs for easier access to attic storage could make your home more attractive to a potential buyer. While it likely won’t make your home inherently more valuable, it may be an additional selling point that compels a buyer to make an offer sooner than they would have otherwise.

Can you cut ceiling joists for attic access?

Some attic ladder and door installations require cutting ceiling joists for access. This is a common part of more involved installations, but because the work can be complicated, it’s better to hire a carpenter near you to lead this work.

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