Introduction: Attic Stair Cover

Picture of Attic Stair Cover

Introduction

Here is away to reduce heat transferred during the winter and summer by encapsulating your folding attic stairs. Folding attic stairs, unlike your ceiling, does not have any insulation. Because of this, heat is transferred between the attic and your living space.

Last spring I built 2 Attic Stair Covers and monitored the results. In short my living space was on the average 12 degrees F cooler then without the Attic Stair Covers (your results will differ). I had been monitoring the attic temperatures for 3 years. Looking for ways to reduce the heat being transferred.

Because of these ASCs I didn’t run the AC at all. I look forward to tracking the results this winter.

Are you ready to make your own Attic Stair Cover.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1)*Ridged Insulation sheet (4 x 8),

2) Aluminum Tape (10 yrds),

3) Duck Tape and

4) Self adhesive Foam Insulation strip (I needed 13 feet).

* I used 1 * 4 * 8 with an R value of 3.85. If I had more space between the rafter and the attic opening I would have used a thicker sheet. Even at 1 inch thick, there was only 2 inches between the finished top and the rafter. Just enough to lift the Attic Stair Cover up and move it over to enter the attic.

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools

1) Knife,

2) Tape Measure,

3) Straight Edge and

4) Pencil.

Skill Level:
Easy

Time to Complete:
1 – 2.5 hours

Now that you have your materials and tools, let’s go and make an Attic Stair Cover.

Step 3: The Opening

Picture of The Opening

Measure the Opening - Width & Length & Height*

* The Height is measured from the casing to the highest point of the folding stairs.

Step 4: Sides

Picture of Sides

Measure, Score and Cut the sides.

Step 5: Top

Picture of Top

Measure, Score and Cut the top.

Step 6: Insulation Strip

Picture of Insulation Strip

Peal the strip off the Insulation and place the sticky side to the Attic Frame.

Step 7: Secure Sides

Picture of Secure Sides

Frame the sides and Duck Tape the sides together.

You may not notice how close the roof rafter is to the top edge of the side. I only had 3 inches from the top edge of the side to the rafter.

Step 8: Secure Top

Picture of Secure Top

Add the Duck Tape to secure the top to the sides.

Step 9: Aluminum Tape

Picture of Aluminum Tape

Peal the backing off the Aluminum Tape and seal the sides and top. Also, tape the bottom edge of the cover where it will rest on the frame.

Once I Duck Taped the top to the sides I had to work in the attic to complete this section. Because of the location of the roof and the opening I could not make the Attic Stair Cover and then put it into place. I had to assemble the whole thing in the attic.

Step 10: Observations & Summary

Picture of Observations & Summary

Observations

The benefits of this design are:
1) Inexpensive, $20 USD, and easy to make,

2) Reduce heat transferred during the summer. I took 3 measurements - in the Attic, inside the cover and 4 feet from the floor of the room.

5/26 - 95 attic; 71 cover; 70 room

June Average - 101 attic; 80 cover; 77 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 89 room.

July Average - 125 attic; 87 cover; 85 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 94 room

August Average - 120 attic; 83 cover; 82 room. Norm without Attic Cover: 93 room.

Your result will differ.

3) Reduce heat transferred during the winter. Result will be posted when they are measured.

4) Eliminated fecal droppings when opening the stairs.

Summary:
I am satisfied with the results.

Then I saw, and considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction.

Comments

annaking (author)2015-01-17

Thank you, "Perfect" is the only thing to say. I made the attic stair cover based on your instructable last night. In the past i was concerned about the amount of light and air that seeped from the attic, while the stairs were in the up position. I was cleaning up the attic and noticed a major temperature difference while climbing up the attic stairs. so It became the top priority on this cold winter night. I had all the materials from another project and the build took me about a hour and a half, with breaks. Very glad i found your, example keep sharing.

ezman (author)annaking2015-01-18

I am glad your project came together so well for you. It really is great in reducing heat transfer. We recently had some sub-zero weather and there was 30 degrees difference between the attic and the bedroom. Enjoy the saving in heating costs and feeling warmer. Thank you for reviewing and commenting.

Todd Messler (author)2014-11-29

Nice, clean and straightforward instructable. It went together so well that I went back out for another sheet to box in my through the wall air conditioner.

ezman (author)Todd Messler2014-12-01

Thank you for commenting. I am glad your build went well. I would like to see a snapshot of your Attic Stairs Cover as well as your wall air conditioner build.

Maybe you could create an instructable on how to build Wall Air Conditioner Cover?

Todd Messler (author)ezman2014-12-01

Thank you for a solid and worthwhile instructable. I am travelling but will send a picture in a week or two. The thru-the-wall A/C cover went just like your instructable except I added a few pieces of velcro to the A/C and the interior of the box as well as a bungee cord to keep it all in place when wind and inside/outside air pressures vary.

ezman (author)Todd Messler2014-12-01

You are very welcome. Your thru-the-wall A/C cover instructable would be helpful to anyone who would need to create one; specifically noting your Velcro and bungee cord modifications. They sound like a great way to secure the cover, not just 1 but 2 methods to keep the cover in place.

Harvard82 (author)2014-10-12

Great idea!!!! I made mine this afternoon.

ezman (author)Harvard822014-10-13

That Looks Great!! Great Job! Was it easy enough? Did you have to build it in the attic or were you able to build it outside and carry it in?

Thank you for reviewing, commenting and building an Attic Stair Cover.

Harvard82 (author)ezman2014-10-14

Yes, fairly simple. Measured the opening in the attic, cut pieces in the garage, dry fit the items in the attic so I could make final trims. Taped it on the floor and installed. Took about an hour.

ezman (author)Harvard822014-10-17

Your project went easy, that is great. Thank you again, stay warm.

primosanch (author)2014-10-11

Very well done. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

ezman (author)primosanch2014-10-13

Thank you for reviewing and commenting. It was my pleasure to share this project.

WildOne1985 (author)2014-09-25

"4) Eliminated fecal droppings when opening the stairs."

Say what? My English isn't perfect, but I do suggest you google that word as I think you've used the wrong one.

Closer (author)WildOne19852014-10-09

I assume he is refering to either the droppings of rodents or bats.

bdemers1 (author)2014-09-25

I did something very similar to this but added additional pink non-faced insulation you would usually find in your attic around the entire box. Can't remember details of attaching the pink insulation to box. I think possibly some sort of spray sticking can or maybe double sided tape. Both would probably work well. Then also wrapped string around the sides of the box somewhat loosely to make sure sides stayed on.

ezman (author)bdemers12014-09-26

That sounds interesting; you found another way to accomplish the same end, to keep the house at a more constant temperature. Good job.


Thank you for reviewing and commenting.

seamster (author)2014-09-25

Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing this!

ezman (author)seamster2014-09-25

Thank you for reviewing and commenting. I am really looking forward to analyzing the winter's data. I feel warm already.

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Bio: I like to tinker, That is what I like to do. Sometimes I drop a rhyme, Along with a tool or two. I use what ... More »
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