Tips for Reframing your Loft Hatch

If you want to alter the size of your loft hatch, then you will need to adjust it by reframing the hatch itself and the door that fits into it. Reframing the loft hatch will have to be done if you install a loft ladder, or do anything else which changes the size of the opening needed for access into your attic. In order to perform this you will need to decide what kind of frame you want on your loft, and how the door and any other accessories will fit into the hatch.

Measure Up the Hatch

When you begin reframing the loft hatch, the first step will always be to check the size of the new opening by careful measurements. When you are enlarging the hatch, you will be able to draw a chalk outline of the new size, checking several times along the way that you have the correct shape for your new needs. If you are reframing to a smaller size, then you will need to measure the lumber filler in order to leave the right gap. As with all kinds of DIY adjustments, you should remember to measure twice, and cut once. This will ensure that your new frame fits your requirements.

Making a Simple Hatch

To make the simplest kind of hatch, where the door can simply be lifted off and replaced when you have finished, you can use narrow pieces of wood. Make an architrave surround by nailing a larger support frame to the attic floor. This support should be lined up exactly with the hole that you have cut. The surround is then fitted along the hole from the ceiling side. This surround should extend beyond the hole for about an inch. For the support for the hatch door, place a smaller piece of wood on the protruding edge of the surround, and then nail it to the support frame in the attic. You can adapt this simple framing technique to create different kinds of loft hatch.

Using Planed Wood

When you are making a loft hatch, it is always a good idea to use thin, planed wood for this purpose. The width of your frame needs to be strong enough to support the weight of a door, while still allowing enough access through to the attic. The architrave ends of your wood should be mitered so that they are rounded at the end facing into the loft hatch. This will ensure that there are no ends which could hinder the movement of ladders.

Finishing Touches

Once you have completed the frame of your loft hatch, you should complete your project by adding finishing touches. Start by adding a layer of wood caulk around the edges of the frame. This will ensure that it is draught-proof. You can then plaster the ceiling where the frame has been fitted, in order to ensure that the surrounding area is even and looks good. You can also paint the loft hatch frame to match the rest of the ceiling.