Replace a rotting wooden basement hatch door with a steel bulkhead basement door to keep out cold, moisture, and intruders and eliminate rotting wood that is a potential safety hazard and attraction to insects. Home improvement stores offer several sizes of steel bulkhead basement door kits that are warranted for as long as 5 years and meet building code requirements.
Remove the old doors as the first task in installing a new steel bulkhead basement door. Use a combination of tools and don't be afraid to improvise in removing rusted nuts and bolts on the old basement hatch doors.
Use a nail puller and hammer to detach the flashing from the wooden hatch frame and house siding. We originally thought we needed to preserve the old waterproof flashing, but this new steel bulkhead basement door provides its own.
Prepare for the steel bulkhead basement door with pry bars to remove the rotted wooden side frames of the hatch from the concrete foundation and the old doorway header from the side of the house. Clean up debris.
Position the foundation plate for the new steel basement bulkhead doors as the first part of the new installation. Mark holes for anchors. Pre-drill with hammer drill fitted with a carbide-tipped masonry bit.
Align the steel bulkhead basement door foundation plate with the pre-drilled holes in the concrete foundation. Hammer in masonry anchors into each hole to secure it.
Place the steel bulkhead basement door's right side plate against the house and secure with screws. Attach the left side to the concrete foundation with more masonry anchors hammered through predrilled holes in plate.
Position and attach the door frame for the steel bulkhead basement door. Ensure that everything is square and operates without binding before tightening the frame. Use self-tapping screws to secure the frame to the side panels.