How to Cover the Attic Hatch

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Cold in the winter and hot in the summer, your attic hatch cover should work to insulate your attic.
Cold in the winter and hot in the summer, your attic hatch cover should work to insulate your attic. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A cover for an attic hatch can be as simple as a piece of drywall or as complex as a full door with a lock and seal. Many homeowners seek an alternative to expensive attic doors and choose to cover their hatches in a more do-it-yourself fashion. When thinking about how to cover your attic hatch, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Installation

When considering how to cover your attic hatch, keep in mind what you are willing to do with regard to installation. Attic hatch doors can be difficult to install, and may require a building permit in some municipalities. If you do not need frequent access to your attic, you may want to opt for something less expensive and more easily tackled as a weekend project.

Security

If you live in a townhouse or row home, which has a shared attic space, you should consider security when choosing how to cover your attic hatch. A piece of drywall with some insulation may be all you need to keep the hot and cold air out, but it does little to stop an intruder who gained access to your neighbor's home. If security is an issue, opt for something you can lock from inside your home, such as a fabricated attic door or stair system.

Insulation

The attic hatch is a great place to lose air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. Homeowners who have opted to cover their attic hatch with a piece of drywall may find their heating and cooling bills negatively impacted. When covering your attic hatch, consider the R-value, or insulation rating, of the material you are using. A higher R-value provides better thermal insulation and helps keep the hot and cold that makes it into your attic, out of your home.

Sealing

When considering how to cover your attic hatch, you must consider how you will seal the cover. A layer of weatherstripping or foam window sealant not only can help further insulate your attic, but also prevent insects and other pests from gaining easy access to your home from the attic.

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