How to Install a Crawlspace Access Door

Lead Image
  • 3-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-200
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Electric screwdriver
Two hinges
Stain, paint or waterproofing spray

A crawlspace can be a dangerous area for small children and pets, but a crawlspace access door can seal the area. You could hire a professional to install such a door at great expense, or you could make and install one yourself. A crawlspace access door is simpler to install than a regular door. This article will tell you how to make and install your own.

Step 1 - Measure the Space

The hardest part of this project is creating a door that fits perfectly. You can't succeed using eyeball measurements because a crawlspace, if inside the home, can warp over time. You may have a crawlspace entrance in the basement or outside, which is a rough area.

If so, you will still create a rectangular door. You need to make it slightly larger than the opening you are covering. Use a tape measure to record the length and width of the space you wish to cover. If there is an actual frame, measure from the inside of the frame.

Step 2 - Cut and Finish the Crawlspace Access Door

A sheet of plywood can yield several doors. Transfer the measurements you recorded in Step 1 to the plywood with a pencil. Use the saw to cut the piece of wood along the lines you drew.

Use the sandpaper to sand down any rough edges to avoid splinters. You can then finish the door with your choice of paint or stain. If the door will be exposed to the elements, you can waterproof it. You can also leave it bare if you wish.

Step 3 - Attach the Hinges and Latch to the Crawlspace Access Door

The door must be able to swing open and lock shut. The hinges allow the door to easily open and close, while the latch keeps the door in place. A padlock allows you to lock the door for added safety and security.

Many latches contain a small hole to attach a padlock, but if you can't find one, get a simple D-latch system like you would see on a trunk. Screw the hinges in place on one end of the door. Ensure that the hinge faces out. Attach one piece of the latch to the other end of the door. Place it in the center as much as possible.

Step 4 - Attach the Crawlspace Access Door to the Frame

Fit the door to the crawlspace area and mark where the hinges and latch are. Use the screwdriver to make a guide hole. Line the crawlspace access door to the guide holes and screw them each in place. Close the door, latch, and padlock.

By following these easy steps, you will be able to make a crawlspace access door.