Build trapdoor yourself

How big the effort for self-build a trapdoor is determined primarily by the location of the site. While for roof hatches usually a kind of cover function is sufficient, in case of trapdoors on entrances to lower-lying premises, the stability must ensure safe accessibility.

Gravity helps and bothers equally

Unlike building a door yourself in a vertical orientation, gravity in a trap door is both a help and a risk factor. It ensures a stable support with appropriate construction. Trap doors without a guide mechanism are operated freely by hand and must have a safety lock and, if necessary, a fall protection in the opened state.

If the trap door is accessed from above, sufficient load capacity must be provided. This can be achieved by adequate thickness of the door or wings or by reinforcements with cross braces. When using metals, the inherent stability can bring the necessary load capacity even at low levels.

How to build a trapdoor

  • Perfect fitting door leaf
  • Frame beams or metal rails as a circulating support
  • frame boards
  • Possibly reinforcement strips
  • Two hinges or flap bands per door leaf
  • Lock with snap lock function (door latch)
  • Chain or rotary bolt
  • Possibly railing rails
  • Eventually guide mechanism such as springs or telescopic rods
  • Screws / nails
  • Cordless Screwdriver
  • drilling machine
  • plastering tool
  • Masonry thickness screw clamps
  • For wooden constructions planers and rasps
  • crowbar

1. Mount the frame

Mount a sturdy wooden frame in or at the top of the soffit. You can plaster the soffit, but you must attach a rotating support from my wooden beam or a metal rail. There must be at least two anchor points in the masonry on each side of the door recess.

2. Stabilize the door

If you are using wood or fibreboard less than three centimeters thick, you will need to attach the crossbar to the underside of the door leaf by screwing or nailing. Pay attention to side recesses so that the door leaf fits into the support later.

3. Attach hinges and lock

First attach the door hinges or door hinges to the door leaf. Mount the snap lock and pry open the recess for the door latch in the frame.

4. Hang the door

Hang the wing and screw the hinges to the frame. Plan or grate the wing until it lies in the frame with a gap of about three millimeters.

Tips & Tricks

To prevent the open trap door from accidentally closing, construct a retaining mechanism with a rotating bolt or a chain that can be hung or unhooked.

Video Board: Building a Trapdoor to the Basement