All you need to know about installing loft ladders including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
If you have a loft space but you have no safe way of accessing the loft, or are considering turning your attic into a storage area and need a convenient way to access it. Then installing a loft ladder will allow you to maximise the use of the loft space in your home safely. You could even consider tackling this job yourself if you have existing DIY skills, but for most installing loft ladders would be quicker and safer left to a professional builder! Installing a proper loft hatch in conjunction with a ladder takes just a few hours for a professional job and there are no building regulations, planning or approvals required (as long as you are not converting the loft into a living space). Attic storage space is useful and can even add value to your home, especially if there is a professional loft hatch and ladder fitted for convenient and safe access.
Loft hatches in older properties tend to be fairly small (typically the width between two roof rafters) as in older properties there was really no need envisioned for easy access to the loft space. But today access to the roof space is needed for insulation to be fitted and access to water tanks, plus with space being a premium in modern homes, the loft space can offer useful additional storage space for lightweight items. Even if you don't need a loft ladder, having a decent sized loft hatch makes it much easier to store items in the loft space.
If you need your loft space to function as additional storage but currently just have a small loft hatch, then getting a decent sized loft hatch fitted with a safe loft ladder will make things much easier. Also, if the loft is not already boarded out for use as storage then it makes perfect sense to have this job done at the same time so you can more effectively use the loft space to store items safely. However, you should ensure that the loft insulation is attended to first of all, if you do not currently have at least 150mm of modern insulation then get it done to save energy and reduce your fuel bills. once the loft insulation is in place you can board the loft out using special insulation boards which are designed to fit safely on top of the insulation so can be used to store heavier items.
If you are thinking about adding a loft hatch and ladder as a DIY project, remember that the rafters are specifically designed to support the weight of the roof. If you cut into them, then you could weaken the roof. If you are in any doubt whatsoever with this type of job, then you need to consult a professional! Also when working in the loft you need to take great care as the ceiling is not designed to take your weight. If you insist on going the DIY route, remember that loft ladders need to be installed running along the joists and not across them! You can also now buy loft hatches and ladders in kit form so the installation can be completed without having expert building knowledge. These products come with all the necessary mounting materials and full instructions, offering a low cost installation alternative for competent DIY enthusiasts.
The cost of installing a loft ladder varies depending on the type of loft ladder selected. The types of loft ladders available will fall into two broad categories: Sliding loft ladders or folding loft ladders. Loft ladders can be made from wood, aluminium or even steel. Aluminium is ideal because it is lightweight, while wood is also durable and is much quieter in operation. A typical and simple 2 section aluminium ladder fitted into an existing loft opening will cost from around £250, but this is definitely at the cheaper end of the pricing scale.
The average material cost of installing loft ladders will firstly depend on what type of ladder you want installed. Loft ladders can be made of aluminium or timber, with timber being the more expensive and preferred option. Aluminium ladders are sturdy and durable, although noisy and does not look as aesthetically appealing. A wooden loft ladder can cost around £150 to £250 depending on quality. Metal loft ladders are cheaper costing around £75-£150.
The average joiner will usually charge around £150 to £200 per day. Installing solely a loft ladder will take a couple of hours, whereas a loft ladder installation with the loft hatch being increased will take up to a days work.
Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to install a loft ladder:
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Loft ladder fitted to existing hatch||£200-£400||2-3 hours|
|Loft ladder & hatch installation||£350-£600||1 day|
Individual costs of fitting& supplying a wooden loft ladder to an existing hatch - Total Cost: £300