How to Install Attic Ladder? Step by Step Guide & Cost of Installation

Have you been thinking about putting all your investments to install an attic ladder? Do you want to know how to install attic ladder on your own?

Well if yes, then it is a great idea!

Is it possible to install attic ladder on your own? Now that’s a tricky question to answer which we will be explaining right below for you. Well, there are so many people who want to know whether you can install the attic ladder on your own or not. Yes, it is possible but for that sake, you need to understand some basic elements for installing the attic ladder successfully and with great ease.

If you are confident enough in sawing, squaring, or aligning skills, then installing the attic ladder on your own is not a hard task at all. It won’t take much of your time and effort. Installing it on your own will save your money as well.

Source: diynetwork

Right in this blog guide, we will be explaining a complete tutorial to install attic ladder successfully for your house roof space:

Important Materials & Tools Required

To perform the installation process of the attic ladder, you should, first of all, collect some important materials and tools needed for it. Below is the comprehensive list of important items and materials for your assistance:


  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Nail gun
  • Packers
  • Pencil
  • Plasterboard saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Saw
  • Sawhorses
  • Set square
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure


Step by Step Tutorial Guide to Install Attic Ladder

Step 1: Select Cutting Access Point & Measure the Rough Opening

First of all, you have to select an appropriate location for cutting the main access point and also measure the centre rough opening. Once you have taken the measurements, check it once again. This will help you to figure out whether you have purchased the right ladder or not.

At a general level, the standard attic ladder should be having a rough opening of around 22.5 by 54 inches. But there are some of the aluminium attic ladders which can easily be fitted in the measurement of around 25 by 66 inches opening.

If in case your ceiling space is tight, then some of the brands even offer you some compact attic ladders which can easily be fitted in that small area. They measure around 18 by 24 inches. In this whole scenario, you should not miss measuring the actual distance from the top ceiling to the landing space so you can know the suitable size.

Step No 2: Selecting the Accurate Attic Access Ladder

After knowing about the attic main opening size along with the floor spaces, now the next step is to select the ladder which suitably stands according to your requirements. You need to pick the one which is fitted in the right opening and can also hold your weight safely. Plus, you also have to decide the materials of the attic ladder and the measurements of the ladder. You can look for a steel ladder, wooden ladder, or aluminium ladder.

Once you have received your new ladder package, you have to make sure that it has been fully assembled and is not having any sort of defects in it. You should not be removed off the tie holding all together until and unless the ladder is not completely installed.

Step no 3: Preparation of Attic Area

In the third step, you need to investigate the pipes, cables, or other obstructions that might come in your way during the installation process. You have to make sure that you can easily install the ladder without removing off any sort of weight as supporting the joists or beams. It would be recommended to take help from a professional expert to cut the joists for your attic ladder.

Source: diynetwork

Step no 4: Cut a Suitable Hold for Attic Access Point

One of the hardest parts of the whole installation process is the preparation of opening which needs to be all done. You just need to search for the new ladder and get it replaced in some new fresh opening. If in case you are installing a new ladder, you have to create some new opening for your attic access point.

For measuring the attic ladder you need a mark so you can position your attic access ladder. You have to measure the main mounting frame and then you have to mark the primary outline of your ladder frame over the ceiling. Using a pencil will mark your outline better. Now cut all along the marking line accurately by using a hand saw.

Read more about our detailed guide on Best Attic Ladder Reviews

Step No 5: Assembling and securing the attic door surround

In the 5th step, now it’s time when you should assemble the main surround of your ladder for holding the mounting frame. You have to keep a gap of almost 1cm in between your surrounding frame and ladder frame. To secure the whole frame, insert drill screws within the surrounding frame.

Step No 6: Attachment of temporary support board

By making the use of some deck screws, you have to attach the temporary set of support which is made out of scrap 1″ by 4″ materials to each of the header- end of the opening. Make sure that the hinge-end protrudes only 3/8 inches right into the main opening.

Ever got your ladder damaged? do learn about How to Repair an Attic Ladder?

Step No 7: Inserting an Attic Ladder in One Place

For performing this step, you need an individual for help! With the helping hand, you will be lifting the ladder right through the main opening. Use the pulling cord for opening the main attic door right below the ladder. Attach it with the door of the attic access ladder. To perform this step, don’t forget to follow the instructions available with the product guide. Now lift the ladder right into the attic and locate it within the opening of your attic hatch. You need to be extremely careful when it comes to resting the attic stairs over the supporting board. Avoid putting extra weight on the ladder at this step.

Step No 8: Fixing the Ladder Frame to secure it at one Place

Now you have to fit the hinge side tightly all against the back header board. Make sure you are sliding it slightly. Now you have to pack the gap that is around the main door frame through timbers so you can easily stabilize the whole frame. Through the use of some heavyweight screws, you need to secure the packing timber. You have to insert these screws through the mainframe and not through the metal hinge.

Your attic door should be opening and closing without any sort of interference. Over the corners, you also need to add some shims so that the frame can stay straight and square. By driving the screws all through them, just secure the shims at one place.

Step no 9: Attaching the Ladder Feet if Needed

The second last step of attic ladder installation is to attach the ladder feet if it is applicable. You have to unfold the whole ladder completely. To make sure that it has turned into a fully-open positioning, just put some extra pressure in the downward direction. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer and attach the ladder feet. First of all mark the main holes on each side of your ladder rail, drill the holes and provide it with enough lock nuts or bolts for securing the ladder feet.

Step no 10: Attachment of Architrave to decorate

The last step is about the attachment of the architrave to decorate it! First of all, cut the main timber into the length which is following the main dimension of the ladder opening. Now nail the architrave right into place for the coverage of unsightly gaps. This will be giving a clean and professional finishing. Don’t forget to paint your attic door to finish the whole installation process.

What is the approximate cost to install an Attic Ladder?

After knowing all the details about the installation of an attic ladder, it is important to get some information on the cost of installation as well. Installation costs will be depending on so many factors such as finishing touches and materials. Besides, the sort of ladder you are using will also bring a huge impact on the cost of the installation process.

Pull down the ladder is available at the price range of $80 to $1500. In the same way, Spiral attic staircases are a little bit expensive as compared to other ladder types. If you are choosing metal-wood or the wooden attic ladder kits it will cost you around $2000 to $6000.

If in case you are installing the attic ladder with the help of professionals, then this professional provider cost will be also included in your investment as a labour cost. For an entire installation procedure, the cost of the provider will be from $240 to $425. However, their hourly rate is around $60.

For removing the existing ladder or modifying the whole structure, the cost will be a little high. On the whole, you should be ready for the investment of $600 to $1200 for installing the attic stair. DIY attic ladder installation will cost you around $220 to $600.

In how much time you can install an Attic Ladder?

The approximate time in which you can install an attic ladder is around 3-6 hours. The time duration can increase or decrease based on the steps you are following. In case if you are planning to replace your already existing attic ladder, then there is no need to cut the opening. It will probably take less time. But for installing a brand new ladder, you need to know more basic skills that require more of your time.

At Last!

This is an end of the discussion about the whole process of installing an attic ladder for your house room storage space. The whole process might look a bit tricky for the beginners so make sure you hire an experienced and certified professional expert for a successful installation process.

All the Best!

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