When it comes to buying a home, you will want to know all of the ins and outs of that home. It is important to make sure that you have access to all of the space in the home. This is because you will always need excess storage. Most home buyers will look at a home and evaluate the amount of living and storage space that it contains. This includes everything from a possible basement to a larger attic space. In order for you to gain access to your attic space, you will need a scuttle attic. What is a scuttle attic? It is an opening in your ceiling that has a drop-down ladder to gain access to the attic.
Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding a scuttle attic.
Why They Are Needed
If you ever dreamed of using the attic space to store holiday decorations or excess clutter, you will need a scuttle attic. In most single-story homes, you will see a scuttle attic in the garage. In other homes, you might also have a scuttle attic in the home itself. This allows you multiple access points to the attic. The actual opening of the space is called a “scuttle hole.” So, if you ever plan to maximize your living space, a scuttle attic is necessary.
How Big Is The Opening
The typical scuttle attic hole must be a minimum of 22×30 inches. Your scuttle hole is covered by a piece of drywall. This is cut out by the building contractor or professional contractor and fits in the scuttle. If you have an attic opening that is 30 sq. ft in area space and a vertical height of 30 inches, you will want to install an attic ladder. Do not cut out the scuttle hole yourself. Make sure that you hire a professional contractor to ensure that trusses and other structural components don’t get destroyed.
What Tools Do I Need
If you are the type of homeowner that is great with their hands and doesn’t mind a little project, here is what you would need to create your own scuttle attic opening. Let’s take a look at the required tools in order to successfully complete the job.
- 1 Drywall piece – this will go in the scuttle hole to seal off the home from the attic.
- Trim – attaches on the underside of the ladder so that the open spaces are unseen in the home.
- Drywall Knife – helps cut the extra drywall so that is fits in the scuttle hole.
- Miter saw – for cutting the wood trim to fit.
- Circular saw – cuts the 2×4’s for the framing of the scuttle ladder.
- Air Compressor – gives the nail gun power to work.
- Nail Gun – allows quick and easy attachment of the wood trim and frame of the scuttle ladder.
- Stud finder – finds the support for the ladder framing to attach.
- Paint – covers up any damage caused while installing the new scuttle attic ladder.
- Caulk Gun – necessary to apply caulk.
- Caulk – seals the areas needed sealing and fills any imperfections.
- Nail filler – covers the holes that the nails created and hides them.
- Utility knife – for cutting clean lines.
Are There Multiple Types Of Scuttle Doors
When it comes to a scuttle attic door there are a few types to choose from. Let’s take a look below at what the types are.
- Simple Attic Hatch – a simple scuttle hole that is the most commonly found in your home. It has a piece of drywall that can be moved from the hole or a ladder that can be pulled down for access. It is typically in a rectangular shape that is wide enough for a scuttle ladder to be installed.
- Spring Loaded Attic Scuttle Doors – they are usually installed in buildings as a pull-down attic access stair because this type of hatch cover is spring-loaded. It has a pull-cord for opening and the hatch cover will push up, and the stairs will come out smoothly. The stairs are made of either metal or wood, and it is foldable, going up quickly. Although this attic hatch or scuttle door looks very similar to a simple attic hatch, it is more convenient because of its built-in pull-cord and ladder.
- Knee-Wall Attic Scuttle Door – they are installed mostly at the vertical wall, short mid-height instead of the ceiling. Also, they are typically found in the top level of the house or within a small room. This type is ideal for providing access to a storage area or even a tiny bedroom, and usually, the ceiling in this room is a sloped ceiling.
How Much Do They Cost
If you are looking to install an attic ladder to attach to your scuttle hole, you will likely spend an average of $400 to $700 for parts and labor. The average labor charge for a scuttle ladder is about $250. In many cases, a professional contractor will charge you an hourly rate. Those rates can vary from $60 to $75 per hour.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know more about scuttle attics. There are a few things you can think about in regards to maintenance.
One area to think about is crawl space cleaning. This is because mold and fungus tend to grow in this area and animals like to make nests. Thus, the need for the space to be cleaned by a professional. Using a professional is important as there are areas that one has to crawl into and could be dangerous for someone not trained.
Another area to think about is your skylights. If you need to seal the skylight so it doesn’t leak, make sure that it is closed and there is no debris in the track area. Make sure that the window is not damaged as well.
Lastly, some people have a whole house fan. This fan reduces energy costs, makes the home more comfortable, and improves air quality. In addition, it also helps increase home resale value. However, since it does involve having the windows open, it is not good for those who suffer from allergies. Also, if you live in a warmer climate, this fan is not for you.
When Do I Call A Professional
Anytime you are looking to do a project that involves heavy lifting and leveling, you should consider hiring a local professional. Hiring a local professional contractor ensures that all building codes are followed and the job is done correctly. In most cases, a project like a scuttle attic ladder installation is too cumbersome for a homeowner to tackle. So, for your safety, hire a local professional contractor. If you aren’t sure who to contact, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can recommend a reputable professional contractor and also inspect the home for any other potential project needs.
If you are someone who is looking to utilize their attic space for storage, then having a scuttle attic is key. Creating a scuttle attic is a simple project for any professional contractor to handle. This ladder addition allows you easy access to and from your attic space. If you aren’t sure what exactly is needed for this project, reach out to your local home inspection team. Call on Colorado Inspection Team can take a look at your scuttle attic needs during a home inspection in Castlerock, CO, and the Front Range areas.