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Old 10-24-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
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Best material for attic access panel

Hi all,

I have a small access panel in my upstairs hallway that gets me into the attic. Currently, there's a piece of drywall that has been painted and cut to fit the space that I have to remove every time I need to get access to the attic. This piece is basically falling apart around the edges and one corner has snapped and is now hanging by the paper backing of the drywall. Last winter (our first winter in the house) there was a bit of a draft coming from that panel.

So, my question: What material would you suggest is best to use for covering the space? Also, is there anything I should do to the material to beef up its insulation capabilities? I've included a picture of what it looks like now. I look forward to reading the replies!

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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Drywall for the htch is indeed poor. Any type of plywood will be fine for the hatch, but should be finished on the side facing the living space. You are not easily going to match the texture of the rest of the ceiling, but hopefully the hatch is in a closet or someplace that is not normally visible. You should put a weatherstrip on the bottom outside of hatch to keep it airtight. I like extruded polystyrene ( the heavier blue or pink stuff, not the lightweight white stuff) on top of the hatch as insulation. Use adhesive specifically intended for foam insulation to glue the insulation to the hatch, and to itself ( you will need several layers - the more the better)


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Old 10-24-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice! I'll head to the hardware store this weekend to get it taken care of. Unfortunately the access panel is right in the middle of the upstairs hallway, so I'm going to just have to deal with the texture of the plywood being mismatched with the rest of the ceiling. I'll paint it white and it'll be close.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:14 AM   #4
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Drywall is fine.

Rigid foam on the back vs. fiberglass is better.
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