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What Is a Scuttle Attic?

What Is a Scuttle Attic?

Different homes have different types of attics, which you can access in different ways. What is a scuttle attic? 

A scuttle attic is an attic you can access through a hatch in your ceiling. There is no conventional staircase leading to the hatch, so you may need a ladder. The main purpose of a scuttle attic is to allow workers to perform repairs. 

Many scuttle attics also them you to crawl, so they are not great places for storage. 

What is a Scuttle Attic?

A scuttle attic is an attic you can only reach through a small door or hatch in the ceiling. There is no staircase going up to a scuttle attic, so you will need a ladder to access it. Scuttle attics are not intended to be accessed as often as attics that have staircases. 

Do Scuttle Attics Have Staircases?

Sometimes, there is a pull-down ladder or staircase. After you open the hatch, you can pull down a stair set to climb up to the attic. 

These staircases are also known as attic scuttle ladders. You can first pull them down from the ceiling and then put them back up again when you are done. You can fold them up and put them into the ceiling or attic when you aren’t using them. 

It is safer to access your attic with a scuttle attic ladder than with a regular ladder. It is also convenient because you won’t have to find your ladder and bring it up to the room that leads to the scuttle attic. 

What Does “Scuttle Attic” Mean?

“Scuttle” means “hole,” so a scuttle attic is an attic accessed by a hole. The scuttle hole is often in a closet or hallway, on the ceiling, and not possible to reach without a ladder. 

Are Scuttle Attics Small?

Scuttle attics are usually, but not always, small. Sometimes, a scuttle attic is so big that you can walk around in it. Other times, you have to stoop or crawl. 

Are Scuttle Attics Small

Some scuttle attics are much longer or wider than others. It all depends on the dimensions of the house the attic is in. 

Can You Use a Scuttle Attic as a Bedroom?

Since scuttle attics are small and hard to access, they are not used as bedrooms or recreation rooms. You could not realistically turn a scuttle attic into a room anyone would rent. 

Can You Use a Scuttle Attic for Storage?

Scuttle attics are more usable for storage than they are for living space. Many people store stuff in scuttle attics. However, they are not that easy to access, so you might not use them for anything you will bring down any time soon. 

Sometimes, leaving your scuttle attic empty is the best idea, especially if it is small. Home repairs require access to the scuttle attic. You wouldn’t want to have to remove all of your stuff from your attic before repairs. 

Again, anyone repairing your home often requires access to the scuttle attic. The purpose of a scuttle attic is to make repairs possible. 

Can You Cover the Opening?

You can cover the opening to a scuttle attic, but that isn’t a good idea because someone might need to access the scuttle attic. You can cover it with a thin piece of plywood and a sheet of drywall. Sometimes, people cover the hole because heat escapes from it. 

Do All Attics Require Access Hatches?

Since 2012, access hatches have been required for all attics at least 30 inches in height and at least 30 square feet in area. The opening must be at least 22 by 30 inches. 

Different Types of Access Hatches

Simple Attic Hatch

A simple attic hatch is the most simple kind of door for a scuttle attic. It is known as a scuttle hole. It is a square/rectangular part of the ceiling you can remove to access the attic. 

Knee-Wall Attic Door

A knee-wall attic door is part of the wall and not the ceiling. They are often used if the ceiling in the room is sloped. 

They can be easier to access than ceiling attic doors. If you use your scuttle attic for storage, you might want a knee-wall door. 

Spring Loaded Attic Scuttle Doors

These attic hatches are spring-loaded and have stairs that come out of the ceiling and let you access the attic. The metal or wood stairs are usually foldable and easy to use. This may be the best type of attic hatch, because it is less safe and less convenient to use a ladder. 

Adding an Access Door

Sometimes, there isn't any access to your scuttle attic. You can either hire a professional to add a hatch or do it yourself. Possibly, there is an access hatch, but someone put drywall over it at some point. 

Key Takeaways to Scuttle Attics

Scuttle attics are usually small attics accessed through a scuttle hole, which is a ceiling hatch. 

There are no conventional staircases leading to a scuttle attic. You may have to use a ladder to access the space. Sometimes, there are pull-down stairs.

Scuttle attics are there so that workers can perform repairs. Therefore, you may have to move stuff you stored out of the attic to enable access. 

There are a few types of doors for scuttle attics. These include knee-wall attic doors that are part of the vertical wall and not the ceiling. 

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.