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Access Panels Installation

Access Panels Installation

Access panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some have different specification, by this I mean they could be used for a specific purpose. Some examples of this are loft hatches, security doors, fire doors or it could a be standard access panel or wall panel. The standard panels are probably the most common and are used to access service areas such as stop taps, fuse boxes or isolation switches. This being said most of them are usually installed in the same way.

Installing access panels

First of all ensure the area under where the access panel is going is clear and suitable floor protection has been used. The reason for this is that most access panels are installed in plasterboard walls or ceiling and cutting the plasterboard will create some dust.

Fitting access panels

If you are fitting a picture frame access panel or a beaded access panel most manufacturers recommend you cut the hole 5mm larger than the panel itself. Example if the panel is 200mm x 200mm cut the hole 205mm x 205mm.

Access panel openings

The easiest way to mark the ceiling or wall prior to cutting the hole is by using a template, these are supplied with some panels , or by using a roofing square or joiners square, dependent on the size of the access panel your are fitting. Please also check for wire or pipe behind the plasterboard before marking for the hole.

Access panel safety

Cut the hole using a drywall saw or a normal hand saw, if you have a jigsaw this will make job easier as you can first drill a hole in each corner and cut between the holes. If you are cutting a hole in a ceiling ensure you have suitable eye protection from falling dust.

Once you have cut the hole check that you have something to fix the access panel to, either a timber joist or metal stud. If not you can make a frame to go behind the plasterboard and secure it in place by screwing through the face of the plasterboard into your frame.

fixing access panels

To fix the access panel in place first remove the plasterboard or steel door from the door frame if possible, position the frame into the hole and clamp it in place or get someone to hold it if the frame is too heavy for your clamps.

Plastering access panels

Located around the up stand of the access panel door frame are holes for you to screw through into your timber or metal frame you installed earlier. When the frame is securely fixed in place remove the clamps if these were used and put the door back on, if you have a picture frame access panel it is job done, if you have a beaded frame then you will have plaster over the exposed beaded part of the frame.

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