Trap Door from living room into basement


Hi, I have been searching all over the internet to find a design for a trap door. My basement/crawlspace is only 5'10" high. I was not allowed by the township to have a full basement ( I live in a very highly regulated area) I do want to use the area as storage, also my hydro and water heater etc is located in this space. I need to have a trap door made for access to this area. I do not want to use one of the metal versions. The opening is approx. 3 feet wide, by 4 feet long. It is located in the living room. I would put in the trap door and likely cover with an area rug. I need to make it recessed ie. the hinges, handle etc. The ideal situation would be to have it carpeted on top like the rest of the living room...however, I think that may be a bit complicated, so will live with a nice wood version...ie. pine or something like that - nicely finished.
My question is...does anyone know of a site that will show how to build such a thing or pictures of trap doors that I can get some ideas from?
Thanks Janet
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Forget the hinges. Keep it simple. Just fasten a rim of wood in the opening for the door to set in/on. Since it'll be covered by a rug, you could even run screws through the corners of the "door" into the rim to keep it tight. Don't forget weatherstripping of some kind.
The hardest part would be a handle that doesn't pose a trip hazard, but that could be as simple as some paracord attached in various places to the door.
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I built one like that. Lined the opening with 2x4's screwed to the floor joists. These were set down the distance of the finished door so it was flush. Made it match the flooring. Used a recessed lift up handle to lift the door. It was around ring type that recessed flat. Hope this helps you. WW
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Try to locate it under a couch .Cut your opening and header off your joists ,a one inch finger hole for lifting. Don't you have outside access ?? Or do you just like the "Rabbet in the hole " idea ???
Jerry
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/MyWoodWorkingPage
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/1974RuppCentair
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On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 10:21:00 -0800 (PST), caledongrl

I don't know of any site, but a simple hinged door sounds practical. I know of one house that had such a trap door located under the dining table. You'd never know it was there unless it was pointed out. The oak trim was applied such that it was flush with the door and floor. Trim capentry skills help.
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caledongrl wrote:

That's the weirdest regulation I've heard in a while. What is the reasoning?
Does it have a concrete floor or can you dig it deeper by hand?
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It is a strange regulation I agree. However, we are in a very restricted area in terms of building - the area is protected land. Because this is a second house on the property, when I renovated I could not "expand" the living area. Previously there wasn't any foundation or basement. By putting in a basement, they classify that as "increasing the living area". I was pushing it by having such a high crawl space! It is simply bureacratic BS.
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Could you please tell us where that is, I want to avoid it like the plague.
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wrote:

It is a strange regulation I agree. However, we are in a very restricted area in terms of building - the area is protected land. Because this is a second house on the property, when I renovated I could not "expand" the living area. Previously there wasn't any foundation or basement. By putting in a basement, they classify that as "increasing the living area". I was pushing it by having such a high crawl space! It is simply bureacratic BS.
When we were looking for land to build on it had regulations that you must have 90% blue grass, no TV antennas, no close lines, cannot leave garage door open except for enter or leaving with vehicle. We bought elsewhere. Bought on a hillside that overlooks the city, and overlooks 3 mountain ranges. So glad the restrictions caused us not to purchase the first place. ww
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So much for the land of the free and the brave? Wondering if anyone ever challenged those regulations as being unconstitutional? A particularly stupid regulation in this day and age with concerns about energy consumption/conservation etc. is 'no outside clothes lines'! The post also mentioned a) Blue grass; a variety which is particularly susceptible to cinch bug! b) Not leaving garage door open except when entering/leaving with a vehicle! So the garage never gets aired out; judging by what gets stored in my garage and a couple of garden sheds that door would be opening and closing fairly frequently. Mower, snow blower, wheel barrow, couple of pedal bikes, some spare siding for the house, during the summer the extra weights one puts in the vehicle for better winter traction; in winter the extra set of summer tyres/ wheels. The chain saw and other garden tools; etc. etc. Guess we just wouldn't fit in; eh?
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On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 21:21:12 -0800 (PST), terry

By what argument. You're not required to buy there.

Neighbors don't want to see your undies. If this were something that changed *after* you bought, it might be something to be pissed about.

Well, my table saw got dibs on the garage (no basements here). ;-)
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I'd rub some poop on the underwear and hang it out for all to see. Lots of poop. Hang it out in the front yard.
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There isn't a closet somewhere that you could install the ccess in? Would it be possible to put in a door to access the space from outside -in the back side of the house?
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On 18 Feb 2010 02:45:10 GMT, Stepfann King

You must be an Obamanite.
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wrote:

I'd use your poop since you have a huge output.
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On 18 Feb 2010 06:24:49 GMT, Stepfann King

Oh my, another scatological leftist crawls out of his sewer.
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wrote:

Well that explains it. Actually your regulations are rather loose, allowing you a loophole to build a second house on one property. Most areas, in my area as well, will not allow a second residence on one property without severing the lot into two, then you really hit the bureaucracy and lots of fees and regulations.
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On 2/15/2010 12:21 PM, caledongrl wrote:

Have you considered moving the opening to another part of the house. I have a trap door in my utility room. The living room would be my last choice for an opening to my crawl space.
Find someone who knows construction for advice. Done properly a trap door can be located almost anywhere in a standard wood frame house.
Here are a few handles that might work for you
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&pU181&cat=3,43520,43521,43559
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&pV237&cat=3,41427,41377
LdB
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Watch out for the people who live beneath the stairs. eeeeeekkkkkkkkkk
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On 16 Feb 2010 22:52:52 GMT, Stepfann King

Don't look in the basement. <woman screaming>
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