Whenever you plan to have a renovation or build a new project, it is essential to consider installing access panels; it has many benefits regarding the safety or easy and safe access to utility services in your space. You can see access panels often in public buildings, office buildings, commercial areas, and residential.
What is an Access Panel?
Access panels are panels or doors that can be opened easily or removed to quickly access a part that needs occasional access in your space during the repair. Usually, it conceals HVAC, plumbing, gas lines, electrical wirings, or anything that might be flammable.
Access panels come in a wide range and dimensions, from small cable panels to huge doors that allow the entrance of tools, equipment, and people with a double or single leaf. As a result, it is advantageous in a wide range of residential and commercial settings. It also offers attractive, nearly invisible, and flatness to suit any office and home design.
Here is the quick guide in installing access panel professionally:
Do Your Research
First, you need to determine the exact spot where you need to gain access. Next, you need to ensure that you know where the location is on whatever you are looking for, such as water valve isolation or electrical cable access. If necessary, you can ask for help from a professional access panel installer.
Then, you need to ensure that you have the suitable materials and tools, like paint, drywall compound, keyhole saw, adhesive tapes, and screws that will come into play. Make sure you have them all before you start the installation process, then measure and mark your openings.
Get It Pre-Cut
Prefabricated access panels like fire-rated doors ideal for wall installations are great options to be installed. These ready-made access doors are a breeze to install and come in various dimensions or sizes. And it also provides a simple and aesthetic look to your space.
It is best to start by simply making a small pilot cut into the drywall. Do this at the point where you would find the fixture using a drywall saw. It will give you a target to adjust to the thickness of the wall as you work around and move forward to get the perfect fit of the access panel.
Trace Your Steps
Trace the measurement you have made earlier by placing your access panel against the wall and make your second marking by tracing the access panel itself. This step will provide you an outline within your actual measurement, affirming your placement. Though it might seem overly cautious for somebody, this final measurement adjustment is an important step to fit your panel snuggly to the wall before starting the cutting, so it is vital to cover all of these bases.
Make The Cut
Using your drywall saw, slightly cut the outer part of the traced outline you have made earlier. It means you need to have an inch clearance of that measurement you have made to fit the access panel snuggly.
The reason for this extra width clearance is that the frame of the access panel needs a little more space on its four sides to fit correctly.
Start Fitting In
This step is called a dry fit. First, make a test-fit to ensure that the hole will snuggly fit the panel by placing the access panel to the cut-out part of the wall; if it is too tight, use your saw to cut thin edges to make the whole a little bit bigger until it fits perfectly. It is essential to be careful in this step, to avoid extensive cuts on the drywall to the point that the hole will lose the access panel frame.
Screw It Into Place
Drill through the four side embedments of the frame screw it by using a drywall screw; the screw should go directly into the studs.
Apply Drywall Compound and Sand
Mix a drywall compound, then apply to the edges around the panel perimeter to cover those rough edges caused by the cutting and let it dry. Next, sand smoothly the coating compound, apply additional drywall compound if necessary until you meet the smooth final finish.
Paint to match the access panel perimeter, including the door, until it seamlessly fits your wall or ceilings. Then your installation is done.
Access panels can provide protection to homeowners and some of their precious items. Call us today to discuss your options! Aside from giving safe and easy access for repairs, it also helps limit unauthorized access to various parts of the building and conceal valuable and less decorative aspects of the building or home. Nowadays, they still serve their primary purpose of covering precious utility services in the building, like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.