How Much Does Loft Ladder Installation Cost?
Every loft needs a good, strong ladder as a step ladder is not good enough. You need a dedicated loft ladder that is sturdy, durable and ensures access into the loft space. It must be easy to use, is comfortable and offers safe access without affecting the building’s structural integrity.
Many loft ladders will fit these criteria but the price can vary. However, you don’t have to break the bank to install a good loft ladder. It’s worth considering what you need from the ladder such as the amount of use and weight it will have to carry. This will depend on how often you intend to visit the loft and what you are going to use the loft space for.
For example, if you intend to use the loft as a storage space, visits may be infrequent, but they could involve carrying heavy objects. On the other hand, if you plan to use the loft as a living space, visits will be much more frequent but mostly limited to just human weight.
With both of these uses, a cheap, low-quality ladder will not work. It could cause injuries to both the person and the items. Therefore, you need a good quality ladder. While it doesn’t have to be the best and strongest, it has to work effectively and this article will help you find that loft ladder at £100 to £1,000.
Of course, loft ladder costs vary depending on the type, material, size and quality. And with fitting costs and other supplies, your total expenses will be around £250 to £1,300. However, this price is assuming that you don’t need to install a new access hatch or modify the existing one. Hatch installation or modification will drive up installation costs.
Other factors can affect loft ladder installation costs, which we will discuss in this article. We will also discuss different types of loft ladders, additional costs you may encounter while installing a loft ladder, how to install a loft ladder and the choice of ladder material.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Loft Ladder?
Table 1: Cost and time frame for installing four main types of loft ladders (with existing hatch) and a new hatch
|Type of loft Ladder||Installation cost (£)||Time frame (hours)|
|Sliding loft ladder||250 – 600||2 – 3|
|Folding loft ladder||300 – 900||2 – 3|
|Concertina loft ladder||300 – 1,300||2 – 4|
|Telescopic||300 – 1,300||2 – 4|
|New access hatch||150 – 200||2 – 4|
The estimates for all four types of loft ladders assume that the existing loft hatch is compatible. So it does not include the cost of installing a new loft hatch or modifying the current one. The cost of hatch installation is included separately.
So for a job that includes both loft hatch and ladder installation, you have to add the estimated cost of installing the loft ladder type and that of the loft hatch.
Supplies, especially the ladder itself, make up most of the expenses. Depending on the quality, type, and size such as the number of sections, loft ladder costs vary between £250 and £1300.
The next big supply is the hatch (if needed), which costs around £30 to £100. Finally, there are also add-on accessories which are not essential but can make the ladder more convenient, stable and secure. These include handrails, pole hooks and grab rails which cost £25 to £60, £13 to £15 and £50 to £70 respectively.
You can purchase the loft ladder and hatch cover as a pair. Some packages may also come with add-on accessories and features, so it’s worth checking these out as the purchase cost could be cheaper. But it does depend on the buyer and seller.
When buying the items yourself, supply costs could be higher because you may not know what to buy or how to find the best deals. So it can be cheaper and easier to let your loft ladder installer buy the items.
Labour and time frame
Labour costs are usually around £150 to £300 depending on the complexity and duration of the job. How easy it is to access the property and loft entrance and the scale of the job can affect the time frame as well as cost.
It usually takes between 2 to 4 hours to install a loft ladder and between 4 to 8 hours if hatch installation is included. The average loft ladder installer will quote a price for the entire project rather than an hourly rate.
What Are The Factors Affecting Loft Ladder Installation Cost?
It is always good to understand what will affect the cost of the project you are involved in. So here are the cost factors of loft ladder installation. With this knowledge, it will help you find better deals, make smart purchases, negotiate better rates and ultimately not pay more than you have to.
Ladder size, type and quality
Table 1 looks at the costs of installing four different types of ladders. You can see installation costs increase from sliding to telescopic loft ladders. These increases are due to both increases in the cost of the ladder itself and the installation costs.
If you scroll down to table 3, you will see the average costs of these different types of loft ladders. On the issue of installation costs, concertina and telescopic loft ladders are slightly more complex to install which means that the installers’ rates and project duration will likely increase.
Finally, on size and quality, within the same design type, the bigger and higher quality ladder will cost more, especially if it includes extra features and accessories. This could be two slidings, two concertinas, two telescopic or two folding loft ladders. The bigger and higher quality one will cost more money to buy and install.
A good loft ladder needs to be strong, sturdy, durable and lightweight. Additionally, it should be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. To get at least some of these qualities, you have to go for aluminium or wooden ladders. Another option for metal ladders is steel, but it is not as common as the first two.
The biggest difference between the main two is that aluminium loft ladders are more durable and low-maintenance, while wooden, timber loft ladders look better but are higher maintenance. With this in mind, timber loft ladders usually cost more.
Is hatch installation or modification needed?
The installer (you or the professional) needs to inspect the existing hatch to determine if its location is ideal for the type and size of ladder you want to install.
If the loft hatch is not compatible or if you don’t have one at all (highly unlikely), you will have to make ceiling openings to install a new hatch. As you already know, a loft hatch and ladder installation cost more than a loft ladder-only installation.
Does the job also include ladder removal?
If you are already using your loft space, there is a good chance that you already have a loft ladder. If this is the case, you will need to have it removed before installing a new one. Professionals usually charge between £100 and £200 for this kind of job.
However, you can save money by assigning the job to the person handling the new ladder’s installation or completing the removal yourself.
Whether you are in a big city or small town and how close or far the installer is coming from can affect the price. Loft ladder installation costs will be higher in big cities or if the installer is coming from afar.
Accessibility also matters. Project complexity and ladder installation cost could vary depending on the accessibility of the loft opening.
What Are The Additional Costs Of Installing A Loft Ladder?
Table 2: The additional costs of loft ladder installation
|Additional cost||Cost (£)|
|Loft legs/stilts||200 – 1,200|
|Loft boarding and insulation||600 – 800|
|Loft conversion and extension||1,000 – 80,000|
These are just additional projects that can add extra space to your loft or make it more comfortable and energy-efficient. They are not essential if you want to fit a loft ladder, but they will take your loft to the next level. You may need other specialists like loft installers, to handle them.
These are frames used to lift a loft’s flooring so there is enough room to install loft insulation. It can be expensive but it will improve loft insulation and energy conservation. However, if you have enough DIY skills, you could do this yourself.
Loft boarding and insulation
Whether you install the loft legs or not, you should still install loft boarding. It will improve insulation, ensuring you conserve heat and lower energy bills. Options for this include sheet, loose-fill and blanket insulation.
Loft boarding prices will vary depending on loft size and insulation type. Loft boards cost between £3 and £8 per square metre. That is just supplies alone. Depending on loft size, the cost of installing loft insulation can rise to around £800.
Loft conversions and extensions
A conversion or extension will give as much space needed in the loft and turn it into a legitimate extension that can be used as an extra bedroom, office, gym or bedroom with an ensuite. There is a difference between total loft conversion and extension.
Loft conversion cost is much higher. Depending on the loft size and conversion type, you can be looking at £20,000 to £80,000 in investment. It is an investment as it adds value to your property.
Loft extension is much cheaper at £600 to £5,000. It involves increasing the usable loft space instead of a massive overhaul. However, both loft conversions and extensions can improve your loft space.
Types of Loft Ladders
Table 3: Loft ladder prices
|Type of loft ladder||Cost (£)|
|Sliding ladder||150 – 400|
|Folding ladder||150 – 500|
|Concertina ladder||350 – 1000|
|Telescopic ladder||400 -1000|
The estimates in table 3 are the average basic models and sizes of each type of loft ladder. The floating and sliding ladders options have 2 to 3 sections. The prices will change if you go for higher quality and bigger models or if you include additional features.
Sliding loft ladder
Sliding ladders are the cheapest and simplest of loft ladders. Both installation and usage are simple. As the name suggests, to use a sliding ladder you need to slide out one section after another to increase length and reverse the action to pack it back up. The only issues are durability, safety and clearance space.
Compared to the other types of ladders on this list, a sliding loft ladder is weaker and takes up much more space. Therefore, it is not adequate for frequent and heavy use or if there isn’t enough storage space. It is also less safe during storage as there is also the possibility of the ladder falling and injuring someone while opening or closing the hatch.
Of course, durability and strength increase with higher quality and more expensive models.
Folding loft ladder
Folding ladders are the closest in similarity and price to sliding ladders. However, folding ladders fold and unfold to retract and lengthen. The average folding loft ladder is also more durable, more robust and safer.
As a result, it can withstand more frequent use, is more compact and has a lower risk of falling out. However, all of these improvements come with a higher price tag.
Concertina loft ladder
Concertina loft ladders are an improvement on sliding and folding loft ladders. They are-
Stronger: Able to handle frequent use and heavier weights
Compact: Because they are collapsible
Versatile: Compatible with almost any loft opening
And have an adjustable gradient: So you can adjust the angle of the ladder to suit floor space.
Aside from these benefits, they are easy to use. Therefore, they cost more. When choosing a concertina loft ladder, go for aluminium or woods with deep threads.
Telescopic loft ladder
Telescopic loft ladders are on the same level as concertina loft ladders. They are also good for heavy and frequent use, they fold and are compact enough for limited spaces and are versatile. The biggest difference between them is the lack of an adjustable gradient. Still, a telescopic loft ladder is more expensive and more robust than a sliding or folding loft ladder.
How To Install A Loft Ladder
Here are the steps for installing a loft ladder. You will have to look at other articles and YouTube videos for a full guide.
However, whether using a professional loft ladder installer or doing the installation yourself, the following steps are important:
- Choose a position to install the ladder: If you can’t install it at the existing hatch opening, here are some tips for choosing a good spot. Keep it more than 1 metre away from external walls to avoid headroom issues at the loft entry point and install it along the lines of the ceiling joists to prevent cutting through them.
- Make the hatch opening: After choosing a spot, mark out the required space for the new loft opening before starting cutting.
- Install the new hatch door: Apply trimmers to the two long sides. Cut out support battens for all four sides of the opening. Then attach them using fittings such as nails or screws.
- Install the new loft ladder: Make sure the ladder is aligned and level before fitting it to the support battens.
- Install the box frame: Fix it to the short sides
How To Find A Good Loft Ladder Installer
The best approach is to first ask people around you for recommendations. Then you can consider local and reliable tradespeople. Choose between three to five potential installers and make sure they have the following:
Pictures or videos of past similar projects
Let the chosen installer inspect your loft opening so they can recommend a loft ladder and where to install it before you get a written quote.
Can I Install A Loft Ladder By Myself?
Yes, you will save about £150 to £300 in labour costs. This is about 50% to 30% of the total loft ladder installation cost in some cases. However, it doesn’t matter how much you can save if the ladder is unsteady and unsafe.
So before doing this, consider if you have the right DIY experience, time available and tools. If this is the case, you can handle the project yourself. If not, get in touch with a professional installer.
How Can I Save Money On Loft Ladder Installation?
Apart from handling the project for yourself which is the biggest way to save money, here are some other money-saving tips:
Go for simple, stripped-down and basic ladder models: All four types of loft ladders have a basic model. These models are always super affordable. However, that comes at the expense of quality, durability and extra features. But it doesn’t mean that your new ladder will not serve you well.
Chase deals and discounts. You can find and negotiate discounts for both supplies and labour rates. It is all about taking your time and being willing to negotiate deals. However, remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, be careful about falling for shady deals while trying to save a few pounds.
How Long Does It Take To Have A Loft Ladder Installed?
It takes between 2 to 8 hours, depending on the type of loft ladder, complexity, and scale of the project.
If you are installing a loft ladder alone, it takes between 2 to 4 hours. If a new hatch is included, it can take up to 8 hours.
How Much Will I Have To Pay For Loft Ladder Removal?
You will likely pay between £100 to £200. It could be lower if you assign the job to the same person handling the installation. However, no matter the cost, you can get some of your money back by selling the old ladder.
What Is The Best Angle To Position A Loft Ladder?
A loft ladder should slope at an angle of about 61 degrees. However, you don’t need to follow specific requirements, you just need to ensure it is not too steep.
Are Metal Loft Ladders Better Than Wooden Loft Ladders?
Both are great, although they each have advantages over the other. The average aluminium ladder will be sturdier, lighter and more durable, yet noisier to use. The average wooden ladder will be quieter and have better aesthetic appeal, but it will also be higher maintenance.
All in all, both types of ladders are great, durable and most importantly, effective and safe.
Can I Build A Wooden Loft Ladder?
Yes, the best part about this is that you can build a wooden loft ladder that suits your preferences and needs and is compatible with the available loft and floor space. However, it takes good skills to get it right. So, you may want to hire a joiner or carpenter if you don’t have the experience or skill for the job.