Installing An Access Door During A Basement Remodel

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Whenever we think about renovating a house, we seldom think about the basement area as a place where people can spend some time, either for entertainment, relaxation, or the perfect spot to organize and plan repairs and maintenance to the house.

But it is the perfect place for many activities. When you think of it as an underground extension, you move from whatever you associate with the main household, to an area that is separate. An area where you can do different things that are exciting or relaxing and important. And let’s not forget, some people use the basement as a major living area, as well, when space up top is lacking.

So, it would be a big mistake to dismiss the basement as just the guts of your house which has all the essential utilities you need for centralized temperature, water, electricity, or gas and other such systems. Like any part of your house, this space needs to be great – just as awesome as any living room or den can be. Because basements are the most neglected yet most promising areas of any residential structure.

Suffice to say, there are tons of reasons to spruce up your basement. And depending on its configuration, this space has limitless potential.

The basement area is the designated place for many utilities such as plumbing, electricity, and gas. Subject to how equipment is arranged here, a basement can either be spacious or just have enough elbow room to move around.

Most basements place essential pipes, water tanks, and electric boxes as flush to the walls and corners as possible, leaving an open space in the middle for workbenches or stored materials. But it’s also not uncommon for equipment to stuff nearly every inch of the room. It all depends on how a structure is designed and where essential parts need to be.

So, when it comes time to do a basic basement remodel, it also becomes an opportunity to re-evaluate each element of the space you have. Can pipes be moved? Should wiring be repositioned? Is there a way to improve the appearance of a basement so it looks less industrial and more a place for us to enjoy?

There’s no better way to improve the space than by adding some access doors to really improve the functions of a basement area, both for maintenance and as a place that is fresh and tidy, able to welcome any human activity that needs to be done at any given time.

Access doors enable a clean, convenient way of accessing pipes, wires, and valves behind a wall without needing to destroy, alter, or continually modify the wall’s surface whenever maintenance needs to access these systems. It often comes as a surprise to many how a pre-made product such as an access door could prove so important in changing the way you think about walls.

Anyone planning to use an access door will have a field day with a basement renovation. The sheer number of plumbing and other types of electrical and heating systems running through a basement is enough to push anyone over the edge and do what is needed to hide such ghastly sights. Just imagine all the sides and corners you’ll need to cover, and in your mind, envisioning which type of access door to use and at which points they should be placed.

It’s likely not lost on anyone that exposed basement walls and ceilings resemble the human nervous system. So, instead of leaving that important system exposed, it makes sense to cover and place a protective layer over everything. Of course, we must not forget to plot down the spots where important valves and switches are located. This is where access door installation becomes very, very important.

By itself, an access door is nothing more than a metal frame with a hinged panel attached. But install it to a hole in your wall and you have a literal door which can easily open and close whenever you need to check on wiring or plumbing behind the wall. A simple latch may be enough to secure the door shut, but for extra security, you may have one that uses a cylinder and key lock, or even a padlock if you don’t want anything too fancy. For durability and strength, an access door is usually made of metal. But there are different kinds made out of plastic or gypsum. Basically, anything with a frame and door panel combination is an access door that’s ready to be installed.

How important is it to include access doors for your basement remodel? It’s all a question of keeping things looking neat and tidy while maintaining literal access to the things that need to be constantly maintained and adjusted. No more bare walls with exposed pipes and wiring. Those can be covered up. And at the key points where valves or switches are located, placing an access door keeps the integrity of the wall while providing you with complete access to those systems at any time.

The next time you need to check if certain pipes are cracked or if animals have chewed on some cables, there’s no need to guess and damage a perfectly good wall. Just open an access door and freely do your maintenance, hassle and damage free. With a basement renovation, a space with an access door can be a place to store essential tools and equipment, which makes the area just a bit more tidier for other functions.

Whether it’s a basement or another space in the house being renovated, considering installing an access door as a long-term investment towards easier maintenance in the future.


About The Author: Chris Jackson is the Business Development Manager of Best Access Doors, one of the leading access door companies in Canada and USA. He thoroughly enjoys discussing all construction topics, especially when exhibiting at construction conventions!

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