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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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about “ATTICS":

What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements?  

What is the most common type of roof-to-wall attachment?

Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?  

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

What are the common problems with attic insulation? 

 Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

How do I safely clean up rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) urine or droppings the attic?

Why is vermiculite attic insulation a problem for both buyers and sellers of a home? 

What are the code requirements for NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable or Romex®) in an attic? 

What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?

How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic? 

• When was a fire separation in the attic first required between sides of a duplex? 

     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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