By Gene and Katie Hamilton
If you have a room with built-in shelves, you can transform it into a classic library with a rolling ladder on casters that's attached to a track above the shelves. A rolling top bracket is used for a continuous ladder run. The ladder provides access to high shelves that are difficult to reach or to access a loft for storage or sleeping.
A carpenter will charge $1,600 to install an 8-foot high red oak rolling ladder on a 16-foot long track, which includes labor and material. The casters come in several styles to match your decorating taste. Of course, there are higher ladders - up to ten feet or more - and the track can be extended so the system can be customized to fit most rooms.
If you have carpentry experience and basic tools, you can buy the ladder, track and hardware kits for $1,300. Expect to spend the better part of a day installing it and install it yourself, saving 19 percent. Note that the ladder is made slightly longer than measured with the bottom fixtures left off so that it can be cut to the exact length required.
Here is a link to library ladder hardware sold at
Van Dyke's Restorers.
Don't want to tackle this job? Click here to get to
and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by Carpenters in your area.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a rolling ladder with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020