cost of home improvements DIY deadlines Do it yourself flooring Hire a contractor remodeling

Bonus Storage Space – The Attic

Listen to anyone who has moved from one house to another and they sound like born again zealots preaching that they will never again accumulate stuff they don’t need or want.  We’re guilty of being in that crowd despite our best efforts to downsize and scale back to fight the urge to live large.

But I have to admit two of the best improvements we ever made to a house were adding pull-down stairs and installing an attic floor to tap the storage potential up there. Without a basement or garage the house was screaming for storage space. In a second floor bedroom there was a small opening hatch that barely anyone could fit through so we poked a hole in the ceiling and added a folding attic stair unit.  Then we installed floor sheeting to span across the rafters and provide easy access to boxes and must-have stuff. Considering the cost of each upgrade I think it was money well spent.

How much should you budget for these jobs? The national average cost to hire a contractor to install an attic stair unit is $647, or if you have carpentry experience and are comfortable cutting a hole in your ceiling, you can buy the unit for $220.  Here’s a link to our cost analysis  Install Attic Stairs.

You’ll pay a carpenter $252 to install flooring in a 10-foot square area, but you can do it for $120, the cost of the material. Follow this link to learn more Install an Attic Floor.

To find the cost of hundreds of improvement projects costs and compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor go to or on your smartphone.


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.

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