how to make attic door

person opening an attic door showing the folding steps and revealing the upstairs attic
Tools Needed
1 Tarp
2 Level
3 Pencil
4 Measuring Tape
5 Stud Finder
6 Blue Tape
View Full List
Materials Needed
1 Drywall Saw
2 Insulation
3 2x4s planks
4 ½ Inch Wide Trim
5 Nail Gun
6 Caulk
View Full List
Total Cost
$50-$100
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
3-4 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person climbing up the stairs that fold out of the attic door carrying some things to store in the attic

If you don’t have much space inside of your home, which happens to just about everyone, it is time to do something about that. You need a storage solution that might just be easier than you thought. Just about every house has a little attic area. Generally, it isn’t cooled or heated and doesn’t have much space for you to move around but you can store some things in it such as luggage, decorations, out of season clothing and more.

However, you need an easy access to your attic area and by learning how to make an attic door, you will have your solution. If you already have an older staircase to your attic area, these may be a bit dangerous. By following the steps here, you can make your attic door bigger and easier to get through. You will only need to enlarge the doorway, put it an easier staircase and some steel cables. There will even be a handrail so it is safer as well.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Cut Out the Opening for Access to Attic

person opening the attic door panel to open the attic door hole

The first thing you will need to do is to cut out the opening for the access to your attic. If there is already one but it isn’t big enough, you can easily adjust the size to make it larger. You should start by putting lines of chalk along the ceiling to mark an estimated opening size for your attic door. This should be done if you are creating a new attic door or whether you are expanding your current one. Check the attic area to make sure there are no wires or pipes. You wouldn’t want to cut through any of those when you are building your door opening with the saw.

2

Build Frame for Opening

two people measuring the attic door opening

The chalk lines are going to be where you will be creating the opening of your attic door. In the previous step, you checked to see if there were any pipes or wires in the way of where you will be cutting. If there is any obstructions or joints in the way, you will want to move them out of the way before you start cutting through the ceiling to build your doorway opening.

Now it is time for you to build the frame for your opening. You will want to cut out the four sides evenly. This is like the trim for the door opening. Each side should be cut with an angle so that it will line up perfectly with the next. You can then place your first one and nail it in. Do the same with the second. Before you nail in the third one, temporarily place the fourth so you know everything will line up well. Then you can nail the third and fourth trim boards into place.

3

Mounting Door Panel

metal door frame hardware pieces

After you have built the frame for your opening, you can mount the door panel. You will attach this to one side of the frame you have just built. This will be done using a continuous hinge. It will help to hold the stair case into its place. You should check to make sure your door can swing open and be sure it is going to close without getting stuck too. It should fit well within the frame.

4

Installing the Spring Drums System

open attic door with a person standing on the fold out steps and showing the spring and pulley assembly

Once you have mounted the door panel, you can now install the spring drums. This step doesn’t take long. This is done to make sure that everything fits just right into the frame without being too tight. The springs bounce a bit so that the door will come back into place without much force.

Next, you are going to be installing a working pulley system. You want to make sure that the staircase will pull down properly without much work. You should drill a hole into the top of your staircase so you can place a chord through it. Make sure to double knot this so it stays tight. You can put a lighter to the end of the chord so it won’t unravel. Now you can put a little pulley at the front of your chord. Attach a bigger pulley onto the board you place in the attic. Now pull the chord through each pulley and pull it to the door opening. When you pull down the door, the staircase can come down as well.

5

Creating Your Folding Staircase

person pulling on string attached to the attic door slightly open showing the folding staircase that can fold out for accessing the attic

There are numerous ways that you can build your staircase. As long as you have your two side boards, steps and handrails you will be all set. Looking online at various staircase options is your best bet. This way you can make it as simple or as advanced as you would like it to be.

Now, you will need to attach the staircase you built to the door panel. Stand your staircase up in through the opening of the attic and get someone to hold the base as you go up the steps. Hold the top stringers and squeeze each until your sliding bars are lined up with the frame. Now, put the frame through the side of the staircase and attach it securely to the door panel using screws.

You should have some pilot holes along the tread and this is where you will put cable holders. You should grab a cable that is nearest your header and pull it easily out. This would be near the spring drums. Now, pulling the cable over the small pulley and then down your cable holder, you can mount it onto your door. Then, you will hook up the cable into each holder. Do this for connecting the cable on the drum to the opposite side of the staircase as well.

Conclusion

Finally, you should create the proper tension for the cables. You want your staircase to move smoothly up and down without it slamming. If your door won’t close fully, add some more tension by taking the cables off and wrapping them over the spring drums a couple of times and then put them back on. Now, nail your molding to the perimeter of your opening. You can then pain the trim or door to match your ceiling if you would like.

This is how you make an attic door. If you already have an attic door but you would like to enlarge it, you can do this as well. You don’t necessarily have to make the staircase if you want to put a ladder through the opening that is up to you. However, you will still need to follow along with the first few steps to make the opening and the frame around the opening too.

How To Make Attic Door

Shop All New Sales
Find the door you need for your home or office!
View asGridList

108 items

Page
Set Descending Direction
  1. Cedar Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cedar Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $30.00
  2. Cherry Color Contemporary Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cherry Color Contemporary Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $69.99
  3. Fir Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $226.00
  4. Cherry Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cherry Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $30.00
  5. Fir Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $275.00
  6. Oak Color Rustic Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Oak Color Rustic Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $249.00
  7. White Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    White Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $184.50
  8. Oak Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Oak Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $275.00
  9. White Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    White Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $184.50
  10. Cedar Color Classic Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cedar Color Classic Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $47.99
  11. Fir Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $176.95
  12. Fir Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $249.00
View asGridList

108 items

Page
Set Descending Direction

Questions And Answers

How do you measure interior doors?
To measure interior doors, you start with the opening’s width on top, bottom and middle. Write down the smallest number. Take casing off if you didn’t already do that. Measure from floor on right and left to the base of the door’s header. Write down the smallest height.
Are interior doors secure?
Interior doors can be very secure. You can get interior doors which have handles that do not lock. However, you can also install knobs that have a locking system as well.
How do I frame an interior door?
To frame an interior door, you first need to get the measurements of your door. Then, you will get wood to cut to the size for surrounding the door. Nail or screw those into place around the door.
What size opening for a 32 inch door?
The rough opening that is typically required for installing a door that is prehung needs to be two inches wider in size, as well as two inches taller than the door itself. Therefore, a two-foot and eight-inch door, 32 inches, will require an opening that is 34 inches wide.
Are interior doors stylish?
Interior doors can be very stylish. There are different styles for interior doors such as classic, rustic, basic, elegant and more. You can choose the style you would like for each room in your home.
How do you determine the swing of a door?
There are a few ways that you can determine the door inswing. One is to enter the door with your back facing the hinges. This will have you standing in the doorway sideways. If the hinges are on your left side, the door is left-hand. The right side means right-handed.
Are interior doors inexpensive?
Interior doors don’t have to be expensive. While you can get interior doors that are higher priced, there are many of these doors which are inexpensive as well.
How do you hang an interior door?
To install an interior door you need to use the provided hardware and a screwdriver or drill to attach the hinges to the door jamb. The catch is that you need to make sure that the door is hung level in order to make sure that it can function properly.
Should you install new interior doors?
If you are wondering whether you should install new interior doors, the answer could be based on different factors. If your current interior doors is broken, falling off the hinges or not providing the style you want, yes, you should get a new interior door.
What is the average price of an interior door?
With the cost of installation, interior doors could be around $500. If you are only purchasing the door, depending on which one you choose to get, the price could be an average of $100 to $350.
Load More

INTERESTING RESOURCES

rustic interior doors

Rustic Interior Doors

Rustic interior doors are beautiful, natural features that continue to become more and more popular. These doors are a great option for rustic homes or wood cabins, since they are made similarly and will fit the home’s design. They are also a great option for many more modern homes with more contemporary style, because they are able to add a more natural element to the interior space. There are many different options to consider when it comes to rustic interior doors, and when shopping, you want to be sure to consider all of these options to ensure you purchase an appropriate door for your space. read more

Design

rustic interior doors with glass

Door Types and Options

prehung rustic interior doors

Installation

rustic doors
solid wood interior door

High Priced Interior Doors

Some people who want to improve their home want to spend the most money possible on making the best upgrades. If this is the case in your situation, that is great. There are many great options with the high priced interior doors. You may find many more styles, color choices and door designs in the higher-priced sections than you would in just the basic interior doors. There are different high priced interior doors that you may love. Take the time today to learn more about the bi-fold, French and sliding doors. At first glance, you may think you already know which one you would like to get. However, you might be surprised at what you choose when taking a further look into each one of these. read more

Bi-Fold Interior Doors

solid core interior door

French Interior Doors

prehung interior door

Sliding Interior Doors

interior doors
sliding door for the interior of a house

Interior Sliding Doors

Interior sliding doors add style to the home while separating rooms, enhancing privacy, minimizing sound transfer, and adding unique character to the room. The two-panel interlocking doors sit on a track with rollers that help one of the panels glide across to open and close. When open, the sliding panel becomes concealed to the eye. One panel remains stationary. Many styles, colors, materials, and designs of interior sliding doors are available; browse the choices before purchase. The sliding doors are available in assorted colors, styles, and designs, made of a variety of materials. The door that you select affects the overall ambiance of your home and should be chosen after careful consideration. read more

Door Size

sliding door for inside the home

Costs

interior sliding door

Where to Use

interior sliding doors
Load More

Quick consultation

Call us to find out more details about doors and purchasing options, in your area!

CALL: 302.409.0837