Framing the walls for the closet was fun and much easier than I anticipated. I drilled pilot holes and used 3″ and 2 1/2″ screws instead of nails. Hammering so many nails would have done in my shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Plus, I think the screws will make the walls stronger than nails would, especially nails driven by me. This was my first attempt at the first wall.
Our neighbors did a very clever renovation in their downstairs bathroom, replacing a tub/shower unit with a laundry closet and shower. They bumped out a wall (into the living room) to accommodate the shower and laundry closet. They replaced the sink, toilet, and bought a shower surround, put in a high wainscot, closet doors, and painted. They bought the new fixtures from Lowe’s and hired the construction. They did all this for around $5000. Awesome. It looks really, really pretty.
I tried to imitate the way their carpenter made the wall corners but I realized I had it backwards, so the wall came down and was replaced by this.
Although I’ve had a bit of experience with framing walls, first in the basement when we built the family room (15 years ago! And, I really only assisted), and again when I converted a nook in our bedroom to a cedar closet (about 6 years ago); I am not at all confident, at this time, that the walls are plumb or straight, even after using a level and carpenter’s square. I think they are off by about an eight of an inch. Trouble is, this trend will continue to each of the adjacent walls. I guess we’ll know the truth when it comes time to install the closet door. All I can do is the best I can do, right?
There was just enough space in the room to construct the walls on the floor first.
Here’s a picture of the second wall ready to go up.
The second wall is up!
It’s starting to take shape! You can understand why the framing was my favorite part, right? Almost instant gratification.
As you may have noticed, I’m putting the walls up under the drywall ceiling. Everything I’ve read says it’s OK. The carpenter who did our neighbor’s house did their bathroom renovation that way. I also did the cedar closet this way and after 6 years there has been no movement in the wall–even after a noticeable earthquake last fall!
The only problem with framing over drywall is I couldn’t find a connecting ceiling joist for the second wall. It’s only screwed into the drywall and adjacent walls at this point. All of the other walls are connected but the second wall is a concern. So, what I’m hoping to do is connect the wall in at least two places from the attic when I do the bathroom part of this project. The drywall will need to be replaced with green board (that resists mildew), ceiling included, which will give me the chance to add spacers above and connect the second wall.
Below is a picture of walls three and four from the inside of the closet. The closet will be roughly 5′x7′ with a cutout that allows for the baseboard heat register and bathroom sink.
In the picture below, you can see how important it was to save the board(s) with the angle for the back dormer. You just mimic the angle with the chop saw.
Here is the wall partially framed for a medicine cabinet. I’ll need to add a lower board for the cabinet frame when I decide where it should go.
This is the final picture of the framing event. Joe the electrician has returned to install the light switch and I have built a slide-out hamper. More on the hamper later.
Ready for Sheetrock!