Attic ladders have recently become a popular home improvement item, offering homeowners added convenience and a way to access extra storage space. 

However, there is debate on whether attic ladders increase a home’s value. In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide context to help homeowners decide whether to install an attic ladder.

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Do Attic Ladders Increase Home Value?

The answer to this question is a complex one. Attic ladders can positively impact a home’s value, but the extent of the impact varies based on several factors, such as location, installation and ladder quality, and housing market conditions. 

According to several realtors, a well-designed and properly installed attic ladder can average add 1-2% to a home’s value. However, it’s important to remember that the increase in value may only partially cover the installation cost.

When it comes to attic ladders, the problem is that homeowners often install the ladders themselves without adhering to safety standards. Experts suggest that if you’re preparing for a home sale, take certain precautions, such as tightening all nuts and bolts and fixing any cracked steps. Otherwise, you could potentially be hurting yourself at the sale.

Other Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to install an attic ladder or not, there are several factors to consider that can impact the potential increase in a home’s value. Here are a few essential factors to keep in mind:

  • How long the homeowner plans to use the home: If the homeowner intends to sell the home in the near future, a well-designed and properly installed attic ladder may increase its value. However, if the homeowner plans on staying in the home for an extended period of time, the convenience and extra storage space may be more important.
  • The amount of storage space currently available: Before installing an attic ladder, it is important to assess the available storage space in the home. An attic ladder may provide less value if the homeowner already has ample storage space.
  • Cost of installation: The cost of installation should also be considered. While an attic ladder can increase a home’s value, the cost of installation may not be fully recouped in the form of a higher sale price.
  • Home’s age and condition: The age and overall condition of the home can also impact the potential increase in value from an attic ladder. A newer home in good condition may see a higher increase in value compared to an older home in need of repairs.
  • Location and housing market conditions: Location and housing market conditions play a significant role in the potential increase in value from an attic ladder. In a competitive housing market with high demand for homes, a well-designed and properly installed attic ladder may result in a higher sale price, or a quicker sale.
  • Quality of the ladder and installation: The quality of the ladder and installation are also important factors to consider. A high-quality ladder and professional installation may result in a higher increase in value compared to a lower-quality ladder and DIY installation.
  • Home’s style and architecture: The style and architecture of the home can also impact the potential increase in value from an attic ladder. A ladder that complements the home’s style and architecture may result in a higher increase in value compared to a ladder that clashes with the home’s aesthetic.

Conclusion

Installing an attic ladder can increase a home’s value, but it is not guaranteed. The decision to install an attic ladder should be based on careful consideration of personal preference, potential benefits, and the above factors.

This article will take approximately 4 minutes to read. By the end of this article, you will learn how to improve the comfort of your home, save money, protect your home, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your home safer.

All year long, your roof absorbs heat from the sun. If you know how to use that energy can do much more for your home than heat up your shingles.

With the right tools, homeowners can create cost savings and a comfier home. One of the best tools to implement is a solar attic fan. Solar attic fans revamp your attic’s temperature control and ventilation processes, saving energy and costs down the road.

You may think your attic’s insulation is enough to keep the heat out of your home, but the insulation only slows the process down rather than stopping it completely. According to HGTV, your attic’s temperature could rise up to 150°F if not properly ventilated. That heat works its way into your home where it forces the air conditioner to work harder, and as a result, your energy bills will go through the roof (no pun intended). Here’s where the solar attic fan comes into play.

So a solar attic fan helps make a home energy efficient, healthier, and stronger. That sounds great on paper — but how does it actually work?

At Attics And More, we know homeowners want the hard facts. So we’re here to give it to you.

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Solar attic fan basics

How attic ventilation works

The Building Science Corporation explains the importance of year-round ventilation. In cool climates, ventilation allows the moisture from the living space to escape through the attic. In warm climates, ventilation is necessary to push out the hot air that becomes trapped in the attic. It is imperative for homeowners in the Delaware Valley to reap the benefits of ventilation throughout the year, especially with the common occurrence of experiencing all four seasons in the course of a week.

Ventilation allows a home to breathe and improves the quality of life of your loved ones inside the home. Along with controlling heating and cooling costs, proper ventilation also ensures homeowners get the maximum amount of life out of their roofing materials.

The importance of attic ventilation has been studied since the 1930s, and research architect William B. Rose quickly discovered that an attic with proper ventilation has little to no ‘trouble’ compared to an attic that is not ventilated. Ventilation is one of the three components that contribute to an energy efficient attic.

Why your attic needs ventilation

What happens to an attic that is not properly ventilated? William B. Rose lists potential problems in his research ranging from failure of roofing, buckling of roofing, rotting of wood materials, and moisture accumulation in insulation.

A poorly ventilated attic could also allow for the growth of mildew and rot. Mildew and rot not only impact the air quality in the attic but could also decrease the air quality of the home’s living spaces.

The benefit of having a well-ventilated attic is further proven by research from the University of Florida where it was found that “conditions in a ventilated attic are stable through seasonal changes and promotes cost-effective, energy efficient climate control of unconditioned spaces in hot, humid regions.”

How to properly ventilate your attic

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. A solar attic fan works to lower the temperature of your home, keeps your attic dry and ventilated, and helps to maintain the structure of your roof. The main function of a solar attic fan, explained by Energy Star, is to cool down a hot attic by pushing hot air from the attic outside and drawing in cooler air from outside. By providing steady and constant airflow into the attic, a solar attic fan causes warm and moist air to be vented out.

One of our solar attic fan installations on a home in southern New Jersey.

Why you should choose a solar attic fan

Solar attic fans improve the comfort of your home

By moving hot, stuffy air out of the attic and improving ventilation, solar attic fans work to decrease the attic’s temperature. Regulating the temperature of the attic helps the lower level rooms and occupants in your home feel cooler and more comfortable.

Solar attic fans help you save money

After installation, solar attic fans are free to operate since they use the power of the sun for efficient operation. Homeowners in New Jersey are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit through December 31, 2019, for solar attic fan installation. A solar attic fan also eliminates the need for your air conditioner to overcompensate for heat entering the home — leading to lower energy bills.

Solar attic fans protect your home

Solar attic fans prevent moisture-related damage from damaging the roof. Having a solar attic fan expels moist, warm air from the attic year-round and prevents the growth of mold and mildew, and significantly reduces the chance of rotting roofing materials.

Solar attic fans help you save energy

Solar fans reduce your carbon footprint as well as your consumption of fossil fuel. Energy Star acknowledges that installing an attic fan helps to save energy by preventing your air conditioner from working overtime — as previously mentioned, this saves you money on your energy bills, but it also makes a big difference in your energy use.

Solar attic fans are safe

It is important to note that a conventional electric fan has the potential to pull carbon monoxide and dangerous fumes from the basement or ground-level gas appliances through your home. Solar attic fans move air gently, keep your attic pressure at a safe level, and provide effective airflow without endangering your loved ones.

Feeling intrigued?

We offer a free in-home attic inspection and assessment.

To find out if a solar attic fan is right for your home, contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 or send an email directly to Michele by clicking here. We like saving homeowners in the Delaware Valley a pretty penny without sales gimmicks or pressure.

 

Written by Samantha Brumbaugh and Michele DuCoin

If you’re considering installing an attic ladder in your home, it’s important to choose the right size.

If the ladder is too small, you may not be able to reach your attic, and if it’s too large, it will be difficult to use and won’t fit. Having the right size attic ladder will make the installation process much easier. It will also ensure that you can use the ladder safely.

How Do I Measure the Correct Attic Ladder Size?

How Do I Measure the Correct Attic Ladder Size?

The first step in determining the attic ladder size you need is to identify the type you want for your home.

There are two common materials for these devices: aluminum and wood. Aluminum is fire, rot, and rust-resistant, and weighs much less than its wooden counterpart. On the other hand, wooden steps can take more weight and are generally more durable.

You can also choose between folding and non-folding styles.

Once you’ve decided on the ideal stairs for your house, it’s time to get the correct dimensions. This process is relatively straightforward, but it’s best to do it with someone else who will record the measurements with you.

If you have an existing stairway, measure from the outside to the outer box of the frame — not the inside. The latter does not represent an accurate rough opening measurement.

If you don’t have one yet, follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1

Get a regular ladder and place it under your ceiling hatch. Secure it in place, open the hatch, and climb up.

Step 2

Afterward, it’s time to measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor. Extend your tape measure toward your helper to ensure accurate floor level measurements. This process determines the ideal size of your folding attic stairs.

Step 3

Place the tape measure on the top of the opening of the attic. Again, extend the device toward your helper. The space between the attic floor to the floor below determines the measurement for non-folding stairs.

Step 4

Next, it’s time to determine how wide your stairs can be. This process is the same for folding and non-folding styles. Measure the distance between the inside width of your attic’s rough opening. This figure represents the width of the stairs you should purchase.

How Much Room Do You Need for an Attic Ladder?

 

How Much Room Do You Need for an Attic Ladder?You need 22.5 inches by 54 inches of clear opening in your ceiling for most attic ladders. If you have less than this, you may be able to make it work with a special installation. Still, you will likely need to make some modifications. It’s best to consult with a professional to see what your specific situation requires.

Are All Attic Ladders the Same Size?

Are All Attic Ladders the Same Size?

No, they are not. Attic ladders come in various sizes to accommodate different ceiling heights and door opening widths. With different sizes, they also come with a different weight limit. It is important to choose the right size for your needs to avoid any accidents.

Conclusion

When it comes to attic ladders, size does matter. Be sure to measure your space before selecting a ladder to ensure you get one that will fit properly and work efficiently. With a little planning and the right ladder, you’ll be on your way to making the most of that extra space in no time.

Over the years, we’ve had countless customers ask us: is an attic ladder worth it? After all, not many homeowners are aware of the benefits of getting one.

Sure, they boost your attic’s accessibility and safety. However, are the costs and risks worth these benefits?

This article will discuss important things you need to know about attic ladders so you can decide if it’s a necessary addition to your home.

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How Does an Attic Ladder Help?

How Does an Attic Ladder Help

An attic ladder is a retractable stair device users can pull down from the ceiling to access their attic. You can fold it up into a frame when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t take up any unnecessary space.

These apparatuses usually consist of ladders with wide steps and a steep slope, with a drawstring that hangs down from the ceiling. Homeowners can choose from wood, metal, aluminum, and fiberglass options.

Is an Attic Ladder Necessary?

Is an Attic Ladder Necessary

For property owners who want to maximize their attic use, yes, attic ladders are necessary. Installing one in your home makes trips to and from the attic faster, more convenient, and safer.

Without this mechanism, you have to get a ladder every time you visit your attic. This scenario makes it less likely for homeowners to make the most out of their usable space.

Are Attic Ladders Required by Code?

No, attic ladders are not required by code for non-habitable spaces. However, the law mandates access openings, and we still recommend prioritizing safety when dealing with these instruments. 

The reason behind the non-restriction is that experts consider these devices ladders and not stairs. The only exception is that an attic ladder in a garage should have fire resistance equivalent to that of a ½ drywall. If you use trusses or rafters to secure your ceiling, they also have to observe the same fire resistance level.

Here’s why: Recent fire statistics reveal that 6,600 residential fires start in garages every year and lead to 30 deaths, 400 injuries, and $457 million worth of property damage. The leading cause of these fires is electrical malfunctions.

However, even without code compliance, we highly recommend observing safety regulations. After all, poorly installed attic ladders can cause unnecessary accidents and damage.

In most cases, manufacturers print specific installation instructions and warnings on their products. Here are a few reminders:

  • Check the ladder for damage once you receive it. Look for cracks, bends, and splinters.
  • Don’t remove the plastic straps immediately. Read the instructions first.
  • There’s no one-size-fits-all measurement for attic ladders. You need to follow the guide for your product.
  • As with the measurement process, you need a helper during installation. Working on the project on your own can lead to inaccurate measurements and uneven stairs.
  • You need the right ladder size and enough space to mount and dismount from the device.

If this procedure is too complicated for you, it’s best to request a free inspection from an attic ladder service provider. After all, these mechanisms last long. Having professionals on your side ensures you can maximize their lifespan.

What Are the Benefits of Installing an Attic Ladder?

What Are the Benefits of Installing an Attic Ladder?

If you haven’t decided yet on whether to install an attic ladder or not, let us help you out. We’ve listed seven top benefits below.

1. Achieve Quick and Safe Access

Using a short-step ladder or a full-size one from the garage can be a pain for property owners. Apart from taking too much time, they could be dangerous.

If you want quick and safe access to your attic, we recommend installing an attic ladder immediately.

2. Enhance Energy Efficiency

When you enhance access to your attic, you can examine your insulation system and check for signs of damage. Choosing the right attic ladder for your home ensures your air doesn’t leak in and out of your attic, helping you cut down hefty energy bills.

3. Enjoy More Attic Space

The increased convenience of having an attic ladder can help you maximize the use of your attic space. This advantage opens a new range of possibilities, from seasonal decorations to camping gear to kitchen supplies.

4. Boost Home Value

Adding an attic ladder to your home is one of the most affordable and impactful investments you can make for your property. Attic ladders help you get more value out of your attic space, and in turn, the home improvement increases the price value of your home.

The self-storage industry is now worth $39.5 billion, with an average monthly cost of $89.12 per 5.9 square feet. People are willing to pay for additional storage space, which means that attic access and use can boost your home’s value.

5. Expand Livable Space

If you want a cost-effective way to add another bedroom, game room, or office space, you can use your attic for such purposes. Having an attic ladder in sight will make this dream a reality without breaking the bank.

6. Allow Easy Maintenance Access

Installing an attic ladder makes it more convenient to maintain structural integrity, insulation, and wiring. The ease of access will encourage regular checks that can reveal early signs of damage.

7. Various Applications

While their name suggests otherwise, attic stairs can work well for other spaces in your home. For instance, we recommend using them for accessing other storage areas and rooftops.

How Long Do Attic Ladders Last?

How Long Do Attic Ladders Last?

In most cases, pull-down attic ladders last anywhere between 30 to 60 years, usually averaging 40 years. Some factors shorten this time frame, including usage frequency, exposure to excessive weight, and unnecessary modifications.

The good news is attic ladders don’t require much maintenance. You only need to clean the ladder, trapdoor, hinges, lock fittings, and draught excluders with a wet cloth and soapy water.

How Much Do Attic Ladders Cost?

How Much Do Attic Ladders Cost?

Now that we’ve discussed reasons to invest in an attic ladder and its lifespan, let’s talk about the average costs for materials plus installation. It’s the last factor to consider if an attic ladder is indeed worth it.

Here’s what you need to know: On average, these mechanisms cost $100 to $200 to purchase and $200 to $500 for professional installation. Here are factors that affect your expenses:

  • Ceiling height: Most ceilings fall within eight to nine feet. If your ceiling exceeds this limit, expect to spend more on installation. Read our guide to learn more on how to determine what size attic ladder you need.
  • Location: Your residence affects the costs of your installation. For instance, urban areas may require higher fees because of more expensive materials and labor charges.
  • Ladder particulars: There are several types of attic ladders available on the market, including telescoping, folding, scissor-style, and electric ones. Additionally, you can choose from various materials.

Replating an existing setup could reach up to $450 and even more for additional modifications. If you need a new ladder or open wall, expect your bill to reach $750. In extreme cases, some homeowners have to shell out up to $2,500 for an attic ladder.

Final Verdict

So, is an attic ladder worth it? For most homeowners, the answer is yes.

Think of all its benefits, from providing safe access to your attic to boosting your home value. Now, if your costs reach the high averages, you might spend $700 for materials and installation. It may seem like an expensive home addition, but it could serve your needs for 30 years. These figures will amount to roughly $23 per year — or about $2 per month.

Ultimately, adding an attic ladder is worth it if you can keep costs down. You should at least see the costs added to an increase in your home value as it will increase accessibility and potential storage capabilities.

Make this easy and impactful improvement to your home. Check out some of the best attic ladders available here.

Attic ladders are retractable stairways that provide homeowners access to their attic space. They help residents move to and from the attic in a safe, quick, and convenient manner. When building this structure, it’s crucial to choose the right material.

So, which is better, an aluminum ladder or a wooden ladder? This article will discuss the pros and cons of each one to help you decide which suits your requirements. Read on to start building your dream attic.

Our Top-Rated Attic Ladder

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Based on our installation experience and customer data, FAKRO LST 860432 attic ladder provides the best bang for your buck.

Aluminum vs. Wood Attic Ladder

Aluminum Attic Ladders

Aluminum, a silvery-white metal, is one of the most abundant metals on earth and is the third most abundant element overall. It is most known for being lightweight.

Will it make a reliable ladder? Check out its pros and cons below.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable, yet lightweight
  • Fire, rust, and rot-resistant
  • Ideal for high-moisture areas
  • Typically the most cost-effective option

Cons

  • Conductor of heat and electricity
  • Rungs are usually hollow
  • Prone to bend under heavy pressure
  • Creaks when stepped on
  • Challenging to blend with interiors

Wood Attic Ladders

Wood is a fibrous material used in many applications. Like aluminum, it’s a popular building material. In fact, it’s the most widely used plant product in the world.

How will a wood attic ladder fare against an aluminum one? Learn about its pros and cons below.

Pros

  • Naturally strong, sturdy, and durable
  • Often has wider, more comfortable steps
  • Unlikely to crack, even with daily use
  • Does not conduct electricity when dry
  • An affordable ladder options

Cons

  • Bulkier and heavier than its aluminum counterpart
  • May be affected by temperature changes
  • Often has natural aesthetic defects
  • May deteriorate if left unprotected against the elements
  • Susceptible to rot and warp

The Verdict

So, which is better, an aluminum or wooden ladder?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any home, aluminum attic ladders are the overall better option. They are durable, lightweight, and resistant to fire, rust, and rot.

However, they unfortunately conduct heat and electricity. If you have to build your ladder near electrical hazards or hot environments, wooden attic ladders would be your best bet.

For more information on the best attic ladders, we recommend checking out our favorite products. Our team has aggregated the absolute best attic ladders available (including wood and aluminum options) to save you time and money.