Utility doors attack

I mentioned previously that some things about my house are odd. Time for another installment.

What’s the best way to go about creating a utility door?

Up in the 2/3rds converted attic, there’s a 3’x3’ hole to the unconverted part. When I moved in, there was no door; just a big plywood board leaning against it. I shit you not; I have no idea what the previous owners were thinking. As a temporary hack, I stuck a big 1" foam insulation square on top of it and held it on with drywall screws and twine.

On the bottom floor, there’s a 18"x6" hole in one of the bedroom walls, with a circuit break box cover on top. It looks ridiculous and isn’t actually flush with the wall. Inside is the cut-off switch to either the water or the gas.

Both of these need access, so I can’t just cover them up. I don’t care what the attic door looks like, but I need something more permanent than insultion held on by twine. I’d like the utilty door in the downstairs bedroom to match the hunter green paint and modern look.

So what’s the best approach to getting proper insulated doors on both of these? I really don’t have the right tools to go all carpenter, and I can’t find anything that looks useable as is at the hardware stores. All I can think of is going second hand store hopping until I find cabinet doors that look vaguely appropriate.

Call a handyman…seriously. They will often do little odd jobs like that for you and probably have a material source, too.

As you don’t have the tools, I second the recommendation for a handyman.

You could put one of those bathroom cabinets mirror doors over the cutoff switch, but that would look pretty ghetto. In fact, anything not expressly made for this purpose is going to look weak. Some things you just can’t purchase at Costco.

Why not relocate the cut off valve to somewhere else, and then fix the wall to match the rest of the room?

If there isn’t any building codes that say it has to be right there, I would move it to a location that was convenient and less of an eyesore.

As for the big hole in the attic, you can get small access doors. It wouldn’t be hard to find one close to the size you need, cut it down and finish it to fit, and attach it with hinges to be able to open it.

Spoken like a man who is good with his hands. I say put up a poster of the starship enterprise and call it a day.

For the attic door, is the existing plywood about the right size to completely cover the hole? If so just go buy some good hinges and a latch at Home Depot and attach that bitch on there like a real door or gate. Also, permanently attach the insulation to the back (unconverted side) of the new door so that when closed it forms a reasonable insulative barrier.

In the bedroom, if you painted the circuit breaker cover hunter green to match the walls, would it blend in at all? Perhaps you could paint it and then find an 18x6 photo frame and hang something nice that more or less exactly matched the door size, kind of like having a painting over a safe. You could hang the frame on a nail/screw/whatever on the circuit door itself so that it wouldn’t be hanging on the wall, but on the metal door.

That’s the thing about being a guy. Jobs like these are an excuse to buy tools.

Fuckyabitches. Here’s me and Roger Wong OSB’ing and roofing my new porch last summer.

That picture is only the right half of the porch too. Overall, it was something like 18’x30’. I don’t consider myself a carpenter by any means, but for the most part, but most jobs are not that hard if you think them through completely ahead of time.

Edit: As Roger said, projects are the best excuses to buy new tools. I got all kinds of new goodies out of it.

I remember that Home Depot kept sending you moist, warped wood, and you kept throwing a fit at them. Or something like that.

Jason, you should take and post pics. Between this and the other referenced post - I’m really curious how they did all this (jacked up house and plunked down an extra floor?) and what it looks like.

Hehehe…you said “moist wood”.

That was Lowe’s. They got pissed because I was culling through the lumber to tell them what I wanted delivered. I was having a hard time finding straight 16’ 2x6s for the rafters in their stock. When they found me, I had over half of the pallet out on the floor. They tried to tell me I couldn’t do that, and I told them “I am not buying shit wood”. At that point they kicked me out of the store. So I had to get it all from Home Depot. Worked out in the end, because Home Depot delivered much better lumber. Still a few rejects, but I bought extra, and it all worked out.

I think you and Roger should come to my house and help me build a fort on stilts for my kids.

Last year just as winter was looming, I finished making a little roof/shed where I can park my lawn mowers and everyone’s bikes. I felt very manly and promised to build a fort. They’ve been drawing plans for months.

I just hope whatever shit I build doesn’t collapse on their wee heads!

jp can build the trap door.

We’ve got a bunch of little odd bits of work that have to be done on our house. Things that have accumulated on my honey-do list for far, far too long. Most of these tasks are things I could probably handle, even with my limited carpentry skills. But I’ve got a raft of other shit to attend to and most of my honey-do time these days is taken up being the household IT department (Thanks Treo!).

So my wife finally got fed up–thank god–and called a handyman. I only felt a slight affront to my manhood, at first. But most of what I felt was relief.

Until she got back from Book Club.

She had her book club last week and the handyman thing came up in conversation. No, the book they read was not about handymen. I don’t know what it was about but it doesn’t matter since they typically spend 2% of their time discussing the book and the rest of their time discussing whatever. So my wife told the girls she was hiring this handyman to do some stuff around the house.

The prevailing question: “Why doesn’t Christien do it?”

She thought this was amusing. I heard…“Why doesn’t your husband have a dick?”

“Blah blah blah Ginger…Blah blah blah.”


Ooooh, I want one of those but I’m trying to get over my fear of actually attaching something to my perfectly good house.

Access doors it is. Oddly, google is crawling with places selling them, but they don’t have shit at lowes or home depot.

Am I out of luck on finding them locally?