Attic access, how to???

I need to have access to my attic to check for rodents, fix some wiring and repair the bathroom vent fan. Would it be reasonable to replace my small attic vent on the side of the house with a larger vent that was on hinges and could swing open to allow me access from a ladder. It could be padlocked from the outside. maybe with a built in fan to vent the attic. It might not be to convenient in the winter but I wouldn't use it then. The only hallway where I could put a drop down stairway has the rafters running the wrong way so I couldn't cut them to put the ladder in. I could put one in one of the unused bedroom but it might not help the resale value if someone wants to use that room as a bedroom again???
Any suggestions appreciated.
Sr
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Steve wrote:

If it is for infrequent access, I would say to just cut a hole in the ceiling inside a closet, don't bother with the drop-down stairs. Cut a square hole between two joists, frame it with 1x's, and make a plywood square that is held up by the 1x's and stays in place by gravity. Add a piece of insulation on top of the plywood. Just make sure you cut the hole in a place where there is enough headroom to get into the attic once you crawl through your access hole.
My sister's house has this type of attic access, and when a tornado came through a few years back, there was no damage to the house other than the trap door that was held in place by gravity had been sucked up, and then dropped back down through the hole.
Ken
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Our closet has access but we cut another hole in the hall to avoid emptying the closet. Six foot ladder works fine.

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Yes, I think I'll do that to. I'll make a little door that looks nice to fill the hole. The closets are closer to the side walls and wont leave much head room plus like you say clearing out the closet to get access.
Thanks
Sr
wrote:

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Great Idea! I didn't think of that, Assumed I needed drop down stairway. For the amount of time I need to get up there this would work out.
Another problem solved!!
Sr

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Many houses already have that type of access. Check your closets. Mine even has a light up there with a pull chain.
You may also want to consider some planks to walk on. I put 12" boards down the center to make it easier and safer to get down the other end.
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down
I have plywood planks I've been saving for just that purpose. I just need a way to get them and me up there.
Sr
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I've never seen a home without attic access of some kind. Usually just the "hole in the ceiling with lift-up cover" variety.
-Tim
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Tim Fischer wrote:

I grew up in a house where one part of the attic was inaccessible (we thought).
One day we took down a 4ft by 8ft mirror to remove wallpaper... and found an access panel. You never khow where the bugger is hiding.
Brad
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2005 17:32:27 -0500, Tim Fischer wrote:

There is no access to mine, either in the family room or main part of the house. OTOH, neither are huge areas, since it's a "contemporary cape" with a shed-dormer.
--
Keith


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keith wrote:

By the way, if there is truly no access without BREAKING a hole in wall or ceiling, then there should be NO electrical junction boxes or plumbing valves there either. --Phil
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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Agreed. I highly doubt there are any junction boxes up there, since there are only two ceiling fixtures (bathroom lights). I've opened the wall (AC thru-wall) and the outlet wiring is run through the studs, rather than above. I *know* there are no plumbing valves up there. It's not all that unusual to get down to -30F here. By now I'd know about any plumbing up there. ;-)
--
Keith


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