How to Build a Crawl Space Door

Lead Image
  • 3-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 60-160
What You'll Need
1/4-inch thick plywood
Electric screwdriver
Tape measure

Having a crawl space in the home is a great addition because it adds extra storage space, but without a secure crawl space door, the added storage could become a hazard. Though this added storage space likely exists in your home, there are no guarantees that it has a door. This means that children or pets could potentially find their way inside this dark area. It is important to add a crawl space door to make sure that this never happens. The following information will show you how to make your own crawl space door.

Step 1 - Size Up the Door

Some crawl spaces have doors but others do not. This makes sizing very important. If there is a door, then you are in luck. You can simply remove the existing door and trace its dimensions on to the plywood. If, unfortunately, you are not this lucky then you will have to take down the measurements of the frame and then transfer them to the piece of plywood. Use the tape measure to measure the length, width, top, and bottom of the crawl space entrance. Be sure to take the measurement on the inside of the frame. The door needs to be able to fit inside of the frame or else it will not close properly. Write down the measurements and then record them on the plywood.

Step 2 - Prepare the Crawl Space Door

With the dimensions of the door transcribed to the plywood, you can now use the saw to cut it from the larger piece. Once the door is free from the wood, you can sand down the edges slightly to remove the rough edges and any wood that may cause splinters. Take the door to the crawl space and test it in the frame for fit. Once you are satisfied that the door will fit, you can begin to assemble the hardware.

Step 3 - Add the Hardware

Unfortunately, the crawl space door will not just sit there so it has to be attached to the frame. To do this you need to add the hardware. Begin by adding the hinges. Measure two inches from the top and the bottom and make a hash mark. This is where the hinges will be placed. Place the first hinge so it is centered over one of the hash marks with the center post facing up. Attach the screws and repeat with the second hinge. Now, place the handle on the other side of the door. Measure halfway down from the top and several inches toward the inside. Install the handle with the screws. Repeat this with the latch but place it slightly above the handle.

Step 4 - Attach the Door

Take the door to the crawl space and fit it in place. Use the drill to make pilot holes for the other side of the hinges and attach them. Place the second part of the latch on the other hand of the frame on the outside. Add a padlock and you are finished.