Making Your Own Attic Stairs Insulation Cover

What You'll Need
Insulating foam boards
Utility knife
Foil tape
Safety eyeglasses

If your attic has stairs, you should invest in attic stairs insulation. Attic stairs, especially drop-down stairs, are notorious for acting as large holes that leak out cold air while bringing in undesirable hot air. Studies show that the tiny gaps and cracks under the attic door can let out as much air as a 5-square-inch window! To avoid wasting money on energy, you should insulate your attic stairs properly.

Step 1—Measure the Dimension of the Opening

If you have a drop down attic stairs, pull up the stairs and close the opening completely. After closing the opening, measure its dimensions and then cut four lengths of foam to form a box that fits into the door opening.

If your attic door is made of thin plywood, you will need a thicker piece of foam to reinforce it. Note that thin plywood tends to warp under extreme cold or heat, allowing more cool or hot air to escape through the gaps. To prevent this from happening, you need to reinforce the plywood with thick foam.

Step 2—Tape the Foam Together

After cutting the foam, tape the four lengths of foam together at the corners using a foil tape to form an insulation box. All the sides of the box should fit snugly together. Use ample amounts of foil tape on the corners of the box. The foil will help reflect the heat back into your home.

Step 3—Seal the Inside of Your Insulation Box

Using caulk, seal the inside of your insulation box. When applying the caulk, use a putty knife to spread it evenly on the surface of the insulation box. After spreading the caulk on the inside of the insulation box, apply more caulk on the long sides of the insulation box and on top of it.

Step 4—Make a Lid for Your Box

To make a lid for your insulation box, cut a new piece of foam to fit into your box. Attach the lid on top of your box and then apply caulk on the side of the lid that meets the box.

Step 5—Clean the Area Around the Floor Opening

Before you attach the insulation box, clear the area around the opening of the stairs. Dust and debris can create bubbles that weaken your seal. Also, see to it that the area is completely dry. Moisture and adhesives do not go well together, so if you do not want to weaken your seal, dry the surrounding area completely.

Step 6—Attach the Box to the Floor

After cleaning and drying the opening of the stairs, put the insulation box in place. Seal the insulation box by running foil tape along where its outer edges meet the surface of your attic floor. You may add caulk on top of the tape to reinforce your seal.