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How to Install a Crawl Space Door: The Complete Guide

28 November 2019
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You love the home you’ve bought but you do wish it had a few more places for storage. Why not put some of your tools and other things in your crawl space? It’s the perfect place to keep your stuff out of the reach of children anyway.


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A good idea but there is one small problem. There is no easy way for you to get down to the crawl space. You’ll have to rectify this problem by building a crawl space door.

Don’t worry, this won’t be a hard DIY project. So grab your tools and follow us as we take you through the steps for creating and installing your door.

1. Why Even Have a Crawl Space Door?

First thing's first, why do you even need a crawl space door? There are several reasons. One is that your crawl space is a good place to store things out of reach of your children.

Second, even if you don't have kids, a door will give you easy access to your crawl space so you can clean it and perform maintenance on a regular basis. Your crawl space is supporting the weight of your entire house after all. You'll need to take care of it so it can keep performing this hefty task.

Now that you know why you need to have a door, let's head into the planning stage.

2. Planning Stage

Before you can build the door and do any measurements you've got to decide on where you want to put your door. Walk around your home and look around the crawl space.

In a lot of cases, your home will already have an area that's carved out for you. If it doesn't then you're going to have to use a saw to create your own entryway. Find a place that's out of prying eyes like behind your house and get out your tape measure.

Measure out how large you want the entryway to be and use a chalk line to make a guideline. Take your circular saw and carefully cut along the line.

3. Measure the Area

The door you create isn't going to be the exact size of the hole you just cut out. You're going to need it to be the slightest bit bigger. Use your measuring tape again to get an exact number.

You're then going to trace these measurements onto a piece of plywood with a pencil.

4. Cut and Finish the Door

Cut out the door that you traced in the previous step with a saw. You don't want to get splinters so you'll need to sand down the edges until they're nice and smooth. You can then go over the door with any kind of paint stain that you want to make it aesthetically pleasing.

You'll have your choice between an exterior and interior door. An exterior door will be exposed to the elements and will need some form of weatherproofing. An interior one won't need you to take such measures.

So, if you're going with an exterior door then you'll need to waterproof it. You can go without it but if you do, it won't be long before you'll have to replace it.

5. Attach the Hinges and Latch

The door will need to open and shut or you're only building it for looks. This being said, you'll have to attach a few hinges and a latch to your creation. Make sure the hinges are facing out and then screw them into one end of the door.

Next, you'll install the latch. If you're unfamiliar with what that is, it keeps the door in place. It will go on the opposite end of the door. Be sure it's centered before you screw it in.

6. Install the Lock

Your crawl space isn't a place where children should be. There could be mold unless you pay a crawl space cleaning cost to keep it away. Not to mention they could find some of the hazardous stuff that you have stored down there.

To keep kids away, it's important for you to attach a lock to your door. If you bought a padlock latch in step 5 then you'll be able to install it and put a lock on your door no problem.

7. Attach the Door to the Frame

Now for the final step. Attaching the door to the frame. Place the door up to the hole you made and mark where the hinges and latch will go with a pencil.

Use your screwdriver to drill your guide holes and then line the door up with said holes. Screw the door in place and you're done. Close your door, lock it up, and stand back to look at your amazing work.

8. Can You Buy Your Door Instead of Making it?

The answer here is yes. You can look over your budget and needs and go buy a door. If you do this then it will come with all the tools you need to install the door such as the hinges, latch, and frame.

It will even come with a standard lock and key so all you'll have to worry about is putting everything together and screwing the door in place. While you can buy all this stuff separately getting it all-in-one is a much better deal.

Steps for Installing a Crawl Space Door On Your Own

Are you planning to use your crawl space for storage or do you simply want easy access to it so you can make repairs and keep it clean? Regardless of your reasoning, you're going to want to install a crawl space door.

It's simple to DIY if you follow the steps we laid out here. So gather your tools and get to building.

Do you have a couple of home renovation projects on your to-do list? Check out our blog daily for even more great building advice.

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