Code-compliant attic access in garage

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Topic by srzsrz posted 06-03-2014 07:15 PM 18202 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2906 days

06-03-2014 07:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: attic garage code

The only attic access in my house is a tiny panel in a closet. I want a bigger hole, and I’d very much like it in the garage, which shares the same attic. How do I do that without creating a fire hazard?

California code says there has to be sheetrock between the garage and the rest of the house, and it says doors penetrating that boundary must be 1 3/8 inches solid wood, or steel clad, or 20-minute fire rated. It doesn’t say anything about attic hatches, though. Or if it does, it’s in code-ese and I don’t get it.

What would you do here? If 1 3/8 inch solid wood is good enough for a door, should I just assume it’s good enough for attic hatch? (Probably easiest to laminate 2 3/4” plywood sheets.)

Some online sources suggest you make the panel out of plywood but cover that with sheetrock, but I’m not sure how to protect the edges of the sheetrock without using wood, which would sort of defeat the purpose. Metal drywall bead, perhaps?

View joecot's profile


40 posts in 2597 days

06-05-2014 03:27 PM

Sure, why not put a metal edge over 5/8” drywall? Most important would be a tight-fitting door. Any air gaps would allow fire to pass through. (I don’t know the exact code either, but I’m a contractor in California and I’ve seen plenty of attic/garage access panels, most of them rather flimsy.)

-- Joe Cottonwood -- 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2580 days

06-06-2014 05:26 PM

A door made of two pieces of plywood (3/4”) glued together gives you a 1 1/2” door. This would exceed the code, use screws on the corners to keep it together.

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View srzsrz's profile


6 posts in 2906 days

06-13-2014 08:58 PM

Thanks, guys!

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02-27-2017 05:14 PM

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06-16-2018 12:29 PM

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