How to Frame an Attic Door

What You'll Need
Measuring tape

An attic door is helpful for keeping cold and damp air away from the main rooms of the house, but sometimes the attic door just doesn't fit well with the hole cut in the attic floor. This can lead to problems such as drafts and cold spots appearing near the door.

One solution to these problems is to create a frame for the attic door, so that it fits squarely. Fitting your own door frame for an attic can be complicated, but following a few simple steps should help you to finish the job in a matter of hours.

Step 1—Measure the Opening

Carefully examine the opening to your attic, and, if there is any sign of damage, such as loose pieces of wood, you should consider enlarging the hole with a saw until the edges are straight and even, making sure the width of the hole is not more than 1 or 2 inches larger than the width of the door you will be using. Once you have a suitable space, measure it again. This will be the basis for your door frame.

Step 2—Cut the Lumber

You will need several pieces of lumber of suitable length. Cut them down until they are a few millimeters shorter than the size of the hole. Sand them down until they are smooth. If there are any spaces in your hole which the door cannot fill, you will need to cut extra lumber to fill them.

Step 3—Build the Frame

Place 1 piece of timber along the edge of the hole, and, using the nails, fix it into position. Nail the lumber to the edge, going across the length of the timber so that the wood is held securely in place. Place the next piece of lumber parallel to the first, and nail it into position in the same way.

Once these 2 pieces are secure, take your door and position it in the hole. If there is excess space above or below the door, use your extra lumber to close the gap before proceeding, leaving enough space above and below the door for the rest of the frame.

Step 4—Finish the Frame

Once the lumber has been used to fill the hole, finish the frame by securing the top and bottom pieces of lumber. These will probably need to be trimmed down to fit in the space, but, once they are in position, there should be no gaps between the frame and the door. If you wish to do so, you can trim away some wood from the sides of the lumber so that the door slides into the gap, creating a much firmer fit.