Cost to Install Attic Stairs – 2021

| Last Updated: August 23, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 534

$ 235

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 40% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Install Attic Stairs noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to install attic foldaway stairs? A contractor charges $534 to install pull-down stairs or do it yourself for $235 and save 56 percent.

One of the best improvements we’ve made to our homes involves foldaway stairs. We’ve installed two attic stairs in homes we’ve remodeled, and in both cases stretched their livability by making untapped space usable. The foldaway stairs, also called a pull-down folding attic ladder, made it easy to access otherwise difficult-to-reach areas and created plenty of open storage space. In one, we built in shelving, and in another, we left open. Both were upgrades worth doing.

The unit is a complete framed assembly with a folding, sectional ladder designed to be installed in a ceiling opening. That’s the rub: you have to cut a rather large hole in the ceiling – not a job to be taken lightly. If that’s too intimidating, consider hiring a contractor who has no fears because he/she has the experience and the tools to do it right.

The unit is bolted into the rough opening, then trimmed with molding and painted for a finished look on the ceiling. Stair units are sold at home centers and lumberyards in a range of ceiling heights from 8 to 10 feet; there’s also a 12-foot model that’s designed for high ceilings, which you’ll find in some new and older homes.

This is a job that requires having a helper on hand. While someone is up in the attic muscling the stair unit in place, you need to have someone else in the room below standing on a ladder to adjust the unit in place. Figure on taking the better part of a day to install attic stairs. A contractor who has made the installation before will do it in less time because of his experience.

Here’s the dollars and cents: While you’ll save a whopping 53 percent by doing the job yourself, we suggest you hire a carpenter or contractor, who will charge $534 to install good quality, three-section, 25-inch-wide unit for an 8 to 9 foot ceiling. This includes the labor and material.

The job involves cutting through ceiling joists and reinforcing them with headers without destroying the integrity and strength of the joists – clearly a job for an experienced professional.

Consider your options for placing the stair with a carpenter who will inspect the ceiling joists and suggest the best location for the foldaway unit. Ideally, it should unfold into a room or hallway and be easily accessible. Schedule the inspection with the carpenter during the day so you’ll have light in the attic. Have a ladder, flashlight, and measuring tape handy.

Werner Company offers several videos about installing their attic stairs Attic Stairs Installation Support.

That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install attic stairs lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor.

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.