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Friday, 18 January 2013

Fitting A Loft Hatch

The advantage of being self employed this morning was when I looked outside and saw six inches of snow I decided not to go to work, the disadvantage is that I wont be getting paid!
Our original loft hatch
I decided instead to get some jobs done at home. Putting the Christmas decorations away a couple of weeks ago set me thinking. Our loft hatch is barely big enough for me to squeeze through, let alone massive boxes of decorations - I kind of adopted the open and shove method of loft storage, so I decided to do something about it.
Assembling the loft hatch
Last year, at the big house I've been working at, I fitted five ready made loft hatches with fold down ladders (it is a big house1). These hatches are great as they're ready insulated, sprung loaded and come complete with a ladder so no having to go to the shed first!
Hole cut ready - this is where you hope your measurements were right!
They're fairly simple to fit - well after having done five I think they are. I first went into the loft and found where the ceiling joist ran, I wanted the hatch to be tight on one joist over the door, so I made a hole in two corners and then went below to mark out where the hatch was to go. Checking it was square I then cut out this hatch out of the plasterboard ceiling.
trimming out the ceiling joists
I then cut the ceiling joist running in the middle of where I wanted the hatch to go. I cut this 45mm back from the front edge of the newly made hole to acept the noggins. I trimmed out the hatch by adding timbers fixed with 100mm screws (not too much hammering up here as the artex on the ceiling isn't the best!).
Then the tricky bit, getting the hatch into position on my own! Although they're not that heavy they are awkward (very awkward) and sprung loaded. To make things easier I removed the bottom two sections of the ladder and I also screwed a batten to the one edge of the hole, this was to carry the weight of one side. With some none health and safety endorsed lifting I had the hatch in position, squared up and then fixed.
No more going out to the shed to get the step ladder
It was then just a matter of fixing on the rest of the ladder (and cutting it to length), and trimming round the hole with architrave. Nice way to spend a snowy afternoon. I even used my old Nobex mitre saw as I didn't want to run any leads outside to cut the architrave.
Once I get it painted you won't notice it so much
The old loft hatch will have to stay as it is for now but I plan to get it plastered over fairly soon. This new one should make putting the decorations away easier!
Anyone else done any jobs at home lately?


11 comments:

  1. I can relate to the day off no pay thing... the concept of a paid vacation or paid sick days is completely foreign. Then again slaving for someone else is something I would have a real hard time going back to.

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    1. I would have a hard time going employed again but it did have its advantages. Mine you really we're just employed by that customer on that day!

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  2. That's really great, Kev! I really believe there is nothing as satisfying as getting some work done at the house. The house projects inevitably always get pushed to the bottom of the todo list in order to make sure that bills are paid.
    Currently, I'm mostly done with the clothes sorter for the laundry room (which needs a lid installed and covered to become a folding table and ironing station) and I just yanked out an old trash compactor in the kitchen to replace it with cabinet to store the trash bin.

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    1. There's a phrase in our house that gets used a lot "the cobblers children always go bare foot". But I must admit since moving to our new house I've been good at getting jobs done. Mind you the list is still pretty long! the clothes sort sounds good - just wish we had the space for it!

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  3. Step-ladders are none-too-safe. Glad you made the change.

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    1. Yeah this feels much safer. When your stood right at the top of a step ladder and it almost goes you think "I shouldn't be doing this" but we still do!

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  4. That is so nice and what a great job. You are going to have so much extra storage now. Your wife will have to go shopping for more things to store, LOL. You are a might handy fellow to have around, and getting those jobs done when you can not work outside is the best thing ever. It will clear up more time when the weather is nice and you have days off . . to maybe, go fishing:)
    Have a wonderful day.
    Connie :)

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    1. No shopping for more stuff, the house is too small even with the loft! I doubt I'll have a day off in lue when it's hot, thats the trouble with being self employed you end up taking less time off as you loose money. Thanks for your comment

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  5. Kev, I come your way via Hippo. Great blog! This post is particularly relevant to me, as I am in the process of buying and putting in my own attic ladder. Sadly, as a Californian, I find your terminology, uhmmm... different from my own. However, you have given me confidence - for which I am grateful, and my wife is nervous.

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    1. Good old Hippo! different terminology? Ask me which bits are giving you trouble and I'll try to Americanise it for you (mainly by taking the letter "U" out of words I think). Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. You are so going to enjoy this update! The change-out was already done by previous owners of the old house we bought, and I have enjoyed the convenience frequently. Good on you to get it done! (I popped over from Hippo's, too.)

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