The Attic Door

1 Dec

After having gone in and out of the attic a bunch of times through the tiny hole in the top of the hall closet, using a variety of devices and ladders to get up there, we knew it was time to put a real pull down ladder in. However, the last thing we wanted was a giant hole in the ceiling somewhere. We had a pull down ladder right in our bedroom in Sea Cliff, and while it was convenient, it was not aesthetically pleasing in the least.
We decided the garage would be the best place to cut a giant hole in the ceiling for the door. Obviously we won’t mind how it looks there, and because the garage is not a conditioned space it’s not a big deal if it gets cold in there. This has been an issue with the 16″x16″ hole in the closet, insulated  from the cold of the attic with only a piece of 1/4″ plywood. Now we can seal that hole up and insulate it, and now the bathroom should stay warmer, because it is directly next to that closet.

Follow along with some pictures of the install:


Cutting some decking out to make room for the rough opening.


A (skewed) picture of the completed rough opening from below.


The door in place, supported by a couple 5/4 x 3" boards screwed in from below. The boards were screwed in beforehand, and then the door was lifted up between them and dropped into place. This is much easier than trying to juggle it while screwing it in.


The door initially open for attaching the frame to the rough opening. It has to be lowered down so you can access the edges to screw it in.


The only thing left to do was to cut the feet to match the floor. This ladder can fit up to a 10 foot ceiling and the ceiling in the garage is about 9'6" so we needed to cut about 6 inches off and match the angle to the floor.

We’re still doing some electrical work here and there, which requires going into the attic, and we want to do some work with the insulation as well, so it will really be much easier now and better for that kind of stuff to be going through the garage, rather than squeezing through a small hole in the closet! Now I just need to replace that old drywall between the chimney and the door that I damaged during the install. I think we’re also going to sheet the door panel itself with drywall for fire safety, and fill the cracks with great stuff to stop air flow.


One Response to “The Attic Door”

  1. judithiasilli December 2, 2011 at 9:43 AM #

    Nice job, Jer!

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