What Are the Different Types of Attic Hatches?

Norma Jean Howland

Attic hatches come in different sizes and provide many kinds of entry, depending on the size of the attic and age of the home. There are old style attic hatches that are simply a piece of plywood that is pushed up and moved in order to reach the attic space. Other hatches have elaborate box like entryways that are heavily insulated to keep drafts out of the living space. Some hatches offer pull down stairs or ladders for easier attic access. If the attic has been renovated into a loft space, there are attic hatches that have been converted to make space for a spiral staircase.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

The type of attic hatch that has been built into a home often depends on the homeowner's needs. If the attic is used frequently, a pull down door may be installed for ease of entry. This door may have a loft ladder, which folds or pulls down, and can be made from wood, steel, aluminum or plastic. A slight variation on this type of hatch features a fold out staircase, which may make it easier to climb, especially for heavier homeowners. There are several types of stairs for attic hatches, including folding wooden stairs or telescopic aluminum stairs, which slide up and down for access.

If an attic renovation has been done the attic hatch may have been completely opened up to make way for a spiral staircase. Sometimes a homeowner will decide to open up their attic to convert it into more living space or to add a spare bedroom. A loft space can add a considerable amount of space to the home, depending on how big the attic is. Usually a spiral staircase will be installed in the attic hatch, but sometimes wooden loft ladders are used.

Of course, there are very basic kinds of attic hatches that are little more than a piece of plywood that has been measured to fit into the opening. To gain entry the wood is pushed up and set aside. Sometimes the plywood has been painted or stained to match the home d├ęcor and may even have a wooden frame around it. There are energy efficient versions too, with box like covers that sit on the floor of the attic and surround the hatch, encasing it. These usually have doors with easy to grip handles and may also have a triple seal.

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