Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Installing the Attic Hatch

A couple of months ago we installed our new attic ladder.

We then had to install an attic hatch. This was probably the most complicated part of the project because we weren’t really sure how to make a non-ugly hole. I really didn’t want the typical attic hatch look: a nasty hole in the ceiling covered by even nastier trim.

So I had an idea to have a trimless attic hatch, but no online inspiration to know exactly what that would look like. It was all in my head and I had no idea how to actually construct it. 

After thinking about it for a long time, I thought we could simply finish the edges of the hole using L-beads.

We installed the L-bead, making sure that the hole was as square as possible and mudded around the hole.

It took a few rounds of mudding and sanding, but we eventually had a nice finished hole! 

When the hole was ready, we painted the ceiling (more on that here) and were then ready to install the door.

Making the Attic Hatch Door

We carefully measured the hole and cut a piece of sanded plywood to size. We left a very small gap (1/16″) so that the door could move freely.

Before we installed the door, I primed and painted it so that I wouldn’t have to do it later.

To install the door, we first had to create a flat surface to hinge the door from, so we attached a piece of the plywood (which happened to be the right thickness) just above the opening of the door.

To install the door, we had to find hinges that wouldn’t be seen from below. I found concealed lid hinges from Lee Valley that did the trick.

Next, we attached the hinges at equal distance from the edges.

We then had to attach the door to the attic hole. We needed two people for this step: My dad secured the hinges from the attic while Alex and I held the door below. Not only was it difficult to work above our heads, but it was also challenging to both centre the door and make it flush with the ceiling at the same time.

After the door was securely in place, we install door stops around the hole so that the door would stop and be flush with the ceiling.

We made the door stops out of strips of wood and installed weatherstripping to the bottom for a secure fit. Weatherstripping is very easy to install. It’s a peel-and-stick system.

We then screwed in the door stops around the hole with the attic door shut to make sure that the installed position would make the attic door flush with the ceiling.

The final step was to install the latch that would hold the door in place. We followed the instructional video from Werner, which was fairly straight forward. It basically involved drilling a hole and inserting the latch.

The latch is pretty ugly (it looks like a belly button) and it’s unfortunately cream and not white.

Insulating the Hatch Door

The very final step was to insulate the hole. We purchased a sheet of foam insulation from Home Depot and cut it to size using a utility knife.

We then glued the insulation sheet using construction adhesive and attached it to the door.

I’m pretty happy with the final product, minus the ugly belly button latch. But with the ceiling painted, you can barely tell it’s there!

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