How to Cover an Opening to a Crawl Space

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Things You'll Need

  • 3/4-inch plywood

  • 2-by-4-inch lumber

  • Measuring tape

  • Circular saw

  • Sandpaper

  • Hammer

  • Concrete nails

  • Spray foam

  • Two hinges

  • Screws

  • Metal handle

  • Power drill with screwdriver bit


You can also mount a latch to the finished door so you can lock the access door. If you want the door to match the color of your house, add a coat of paint to the plywood before mounting it to the hinges.


Wear safety goggles when using tools like hammers, drills and saws.

Crawl spaces provide access underneath houses so that homeowners and service workers can access plumbing, electrical wires and duct work. The main problem with crawl spaces is that they don't often have doors to close off the opening. Crawl spaces are supposed to promote air circulation, but open crawl spaces allow extremely cold air under the home, resulting in higher heating costs. Children and pets can get under the house, which is the perfect recipe for injury. You can make your own door to close off the crawl space with a few simple tools and construction materials.

Step 1

Measure the opening in your crawl space with a measuring tape. Transcribe these measurements to a piece of ¾-inch plywood and draw your cut marks with a pencil.

Step 2

Cut the door out of the plywood with a circular saw. Sand the edges smooth to prevent splintering. Hold it up to the access opening to make sure it fits well.

Step 3

Measure and cut 2-by-4-inch lumber to the size of the crawl space access opening. You should have a total of four cut boards so that there is one board for each side of the opening.

Step 4

Hammer the cut 2-by-4-inch boards into place around the opening of the crawl space using a regular hammer and concrete nails. Make sure the boards are set at least 1 inch back from the exterior edges of the opening so the plywood can fit into the opening.

Step 5

Apply spray foam to seal any cracks between the lumber and the foundation.

Step 6

Mount the hinges to a 2-by-4 on one side or the top of the access opening using screws and a power drill with screwdriver bit. If you want your door to pull up to open, mount the hinges to the top board; mount them to a side board if you want it to open to the side.

Step 7

Mount the metal handle onto the cut piece of plywood. Mount it on the opposite side that you mounted your hinges.

Step 8

Hold the plywood in place and mount to the hinges with a drill and screws. A second person to hold the board while you attach the screws will be helpful.


Amelia Allonsy

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.