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Community and Q&A

Making a tight attic access door/hatch

Kneewall | Posted in General Questions on

What’s a good, reliable way to get an attic hatch held tight against the weather stripping?

The existing attic hatches in my house have those hook and eyelet screws (think old-timey screen door latch), but they don’t hold reliably, and attempts to reposition them have been unsuccessful because they’re so imprecise. There must be some kind of hardware solution here. I don’t need something that releases quickly, since it’s an unconditioned knee wall attic.

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Hey Mat,

    I'm not sure what you are using your attic for, but more an more often, high performance builders are closing off interior attic hatches on remodels and not including them on new builds, that is, at least, when the attic is not being used for anything but insulation. They instead add an exterior attic door in a gable wall above the thermal barrier. Anyway, if that's not possible for you, here are a bunch of articles that may be helpful:

    Installing an Airtight Attic Hatch
    How to Insulate and Air Seal an Attic Hatch
    How to Insulate and Air Seal Pull Down Attic Stairs

  2. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #2

    You can use draw catches as shown in this article:

    https://buildbetterhomes.ca/2014/07/10/build-your-own-airtight-attic-access-hatch/

    These require a certain depth to the framing of the hatch to work properly though.

    Bill

  3. olddogtrainer | | #3

    I've had good luck with marine hardware for this kind of thing. Think of the screw-down fasteners that secure portlights on boats.

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