When is a house not required to have an attic access hatch?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Essentially, a house is not required to have an attic access opening when the attic is too small for a person to enter and move around inside. Here’s the two minimum requirements:

1) Attic area exceeds 30 square feet, and

2) Minimum vertical height of 30 inches, measured from the top of the ceiling framing members to the bottom of the roof framing members.

    If the attic space is smaller than these specs, then an access hatch is not required, according to both the International Residential Code (IRC) and the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC). To learn more about it, go to our blog post What is the building code requirement for an attic access hatch, scuttle, or door? Also, you might want to read What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

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  To learn more about attic access, click on the links to these other blog posts:

Where is the attic?

Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

Why are most pull-down attic ladders not approved by building code for installation in a garage?  

 Is a house required to have an attic?

Should I buy a house with no attic access hatch? 

Does the code require a barrier/well around the attic access hatch for blown insulation?

Does a mobile home have an attic? 

What is the minimum size for attic access opening?

• When does code require an attic pull-down ladder to be installed? 

 Are attic pull-down ladders required to be code-approved?

Can the attic access opening be outside the house according to the building code?

• Where should attic access be placed by code? 

     Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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