I get asked all the time about how we created the hatch door in the floor in our last house when we renovated the kitchen. So I thought I’d write up an explanation on here to make my life and your life easier! Before I start though, I have no idea if this solution is to code. So where ever you live, if you want to try this you may want to check with an inspector first.
I cannot express the magnitude of how genius of an idea it was to take out part of the wall that sectioned off the basement stairs, and have a hatch door created. I have talked about this in previous posts, but OMG it turned out so swimmingly that I had to dedicate a post to it. This is such a great idea for folks out there who have really limited space, as I do. This house is 12′ 2″ wide – so that is the width of the kitchen, and the section where the wall to the basement was made that about 9.5′ wide. Let me show you some before photos. Now, this decision was made partway through the demolition phase so I did not specifically take before photos of the area. Below are some I happened to have already (and one I snuck during demo when I was deciding what to do).
Leaving that wall meant the pantry unit would have had to have been placed closer to the door to my office and with the fridge there, that would have made the doorway very tight. Then with the dining table down the middle of the space, you would have had to shimmy sideways to get by the table, or I would have had to use a small 4 person table instead. Here are a couple photos I took during the reno.
Below, my completed hatch. Genius I tell you – GENIUS!! Worth every penny. And I love that my house, that was previously lacking any architectural feature WHATSOEVER, now has something slightly quirky, and isn’t just a straight boring wall. Of course the hole in the hatch is so the cats can get down there and use the litter boxes.
We used shocks for the tonneau cover of a pickup truck. They were $50 a piece, but they are exactly what I wanted. It allows the door to almost spring open and closed (I keep a grasp on it so it doesn’t do it too quickly) and this also means I don’t need a latch like we initially thought. It just needs a little tug to open and slight pressure to close tightly. FABULOUS!!
Here are some (terrible) photos taken by husband of the details of the shocks we used:
And some details from my husband on the shocks and hinges: