March 2004 Edition

Insulated Attic Stair

We have high utility bills both in the winter and summer. Is there a way to save energy without sacrificing comfort?
Do you have a folding attic stairway in your house? These useful devices provide access into your otherwise inaccessible attic space.

 Attic Stairs

However when installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet!) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed. And what is installed to cover this opening? A thin, unsealed, uninsulated sheet of plywood! Did you know that your attic space is ventilated directly to the outdoors? In the winter, the attic space can be very cold, and in the summer it can be very hot. And what is separating your conditioned house from your unconditioned attic? That thin sheet of plywood! Also, the folding attic stairways are a major source of air leakage and heating/cooling loss. The doors are not weather-stripped and often do not shut tight. Often a gap can be observed around the perimeter of the door.
Try this yourself - at night when it is dark, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door - do you see any light coming through? These are gaps - large enough to provide significant air leakage and subsequent heating and cooling loss!

AS 2

Consider an average attic door - your door! A standard door opening is 25"x 54" or 158" around it's perimeter. If the gap averages only 1/8", that is a 19.75 square inch opening into your attic where your heated/cooled air leaks out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year! Why even a 1/32" average gap around the perimeter of the attic door is equal to a 5 square inch opening! This is like leaving a window open all year around!
Compounding this problem, as attic stairways age the doors don't close as well, the springs weaken and the cracks around the perimeter of the door widen. This creates a chimney effect, causing the transfer of air between the unconditioned attic space (which leads directly outdoors) and the heated/cooled living area of the home, costing the homeowner energy dollars.
 There has not been a simple, quick, easy, inexpensive, and efficient way to seal against attic door air leakage and heating and cooling loss, and still allow easy access to the attic - until now! Now you can order an insulated cover to go over the entire stair. 

AS 3

The kit consists of everything needed to reduce air leakage through the attic stairway door and restore the insulation removed during the installation of folding attic stairways.
Included in the kit are the attic stairway cover, a supply of weather stripping and complete installation instructions. The kit is quickly and easily installed in minutes with no tools required! The insulated cover can be covered with the desired amount of fiberglass batt insulation to restore the insulation removed during the installation of the folding attic stairway or overhead access ladder. The price is very reasonable. For a 22"x54" or 25"x54" stair, the cost is only $29.50. For more information contact Battic Door, PO Box 15, Mansfield, MA 02048, (508) 320-9082 or

Digital Photos Included


We now include digital photos of construction defects with every inspection at no extra charge. We are one of the few inspection companies in the Metropolitan Atlanta area with the ability to provide digital photos with the computerized inspection reports on site at the end of the inspection. This is a tremendous help in explaining defects to both the buyer and seller. It is especially helpful to photograph areas not normally accessible, such as attics and crawl spaces.
We are working hard to raise the standards in the industry. If you have any other recommendations on how we can improve our services, we would appreciate hearing from you.

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

 Quote Of The Month

"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute - and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity."

Albert Einstein

 A Tip Of The Hat To:

Susan & Tom Hamberger

Prudential Georgia Realty

2168 Scenic Highway

Snellville, Georgia 30078>

**** Thank You****