New construction, really?

It blows my mind how many new construction homes I see that have an attic hatch in the garage.

Energy-wise that’s the most efficient place to put it. Make sure the cover meets garage fire separation reqs.


You know when I see these I wonder why they don’t build these flush to the ceiling. I understand the indentation but seriously though, it would be so much more fire resident if it was flush mounted and build like a “box” when looking from the inside and you can fill that box with the insulation. Plus the lip on the box that would rest on the frame you can essentially put a gasket there to make it air tight.
I’ve wondered this.

Fire rated access ladder in the garage work well. Was that attic open to the home and insulated? Or was it just for the garage?

Not all garages have insulated ceilings.
And we have a requirement for a gasketed (and where applicable), insulated hatch cover. And half the time they actually install those items…

Inspections would be a lot easier if every scuttle hole was located in the garage.


That maybe just temporary. It looks like they haven’t finished yet.

Approx 80% of my inspections have garage access including mine.
If there’s a vaulted ceiling, etc. there is another in the master BR closet or hall.


That’s what I found in newer construction, also.

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In Wisconsin the have to be mechanically latched.

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Same here. That’s been the norm in my area for many years, even homes built in the 60s, depends on roof design and how many attic spaces there are, then there are other accesses in a closet somewhere. Which of course is a pain to inspect because you have to get in all of them.

Well I have learned a lot from these responses. Changing my ways yet again fellas thanks! The ones I have seen, thus far, have had no separation between the house and garage and I have called them out. Here in Alaska for existing homes it has not been common, in my tenure to see garage attic hatches. But this thread has been a wealth of knowledge.

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It helps to share, but different areas have different needs because of climate, different hazards. Like in Florida, we have different roofing requirements than you do - we don’t get much ice on the roof here. We don’t require seismic stabilization like they do in California - we don’t get many earthquakes. But we DO have hurricane standards that you others don’t have… Alaskans must have a reason for locating the attic hatch inside the home - I’d guess due to the climate. On my inspections, about 99% of 1-story homes have the access in the garage with a second one in a bedroom closet somewhere. In 2-story, it;s often in the 2nd story hallway ceiling.

In my area an access in the garage is almost expected. However through the years there have been some back and forth requirements as far as latches and or Required to be weighted…there was also a time for a few years where they had to be weighted and hinged in a manner that they would not be able to be open unless tied or blocked open. Now it seams (new construction) you might find that anything goes, including your standard 1/2 inch hatch…that gets ‘launched’ into the attic every time the garage door is opened on a windy day.

Since I personally think it is a safety concern, I have about three or four canned statements stating “even though allowed by many local jurisdictions”…Then I describe the safety concern (fire and CO) and recommend they make sure the hatch remains in place and also adequately seal out CO and let the client decide what to do (which is most likely nothing) But I did my job and covered my butt in the event they wake up one morning dead from CO poisoning.

I was going to make a call to the AHJ to get their input on the attic access in the garage. As @lmorrison has just put it, I see the safety concerns over it and will assess the actual install further and probably come up with a few narratives to cover various conditions. Personally, just put it in the closet like most houses.

Most down here are in the garage.

Yeah I’m going to do some research for attic access reasons up here.

mine is just like the one in the picture Jacob, except the drywall is finished and textured…

Why? …

Why what?
If you’re confused on my reasons for researching they are because I am curious as to why there would be a reason for recently built homes to have a garage attic hatch if the garage and main living space share an attic. Why they would put one in the garage instead of or in junction with one in the living space.
Unless I am completely misunderstanding the concept behind fire separation between the two spaces than I’m all ears so I don’t misrepresent anymore clients.