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September 2007
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The Walk In Closet Project – Episode 3

I mentioned in the last episode that we were removing the bedroom closet wall to eliminate the soffit over the door and make the room bigger. Here is that wall.
The Bedroom Wall

The desire to just blast away with hammers and bars to get it all done at once, must be resisted. It doesn’t matter if it is your house, a friends house or a clients. A measured plan will help you control the mess and allow you to minimize surprises. And there will be.
The Backside
Here we have removed the drywall from the backside of the bedroom wall. We now know where the electric runs are and can plan our new runs as well as moving various control panels into the hallway. We also know how the wall is attached and anchored, so that we can remove it, with the smallest mess. This is why we have left the bedroom wall for last. It minimizes dirt and dust into the living areas.

New Wall
We installed some 1/2” plywood and a stud on the left side corner assembly. On the right side I used a 10′ steel stud track to establish my plumb and to provide anchoring for the wall. I anchored it at the top and bottom as well as gluing it to the wall and running drywall screws into the inside corners to hold it in place for the glue to set. PowerGrab does the job.
It has a wide header for the 36” pocket door that will be installed.

Bedwall Demo Right
Ed got the electric rerouted, so now we can take down the bedroom wall. Starting with the soffit and working across. You can see the ductwork that will be cut back, and a rough idea of the patching that will be required.

Bedwall Demo Left
The wall is gone and you can see where we have patched the walls and ceilings with small strips of drywall.

We will use Mesh tape and Speedset to fill in the gaps.

The Walk In Closet Project – Episode 2

In the last Episode we looked at the area where we will be expanding the closet. The majority of work will be centered around combining the two closet areas into the new closet.
Pre Removal Inspection
This is the party closet wall that held the cabinets. Now that the cabs have been removed, the owner did a little demo to inspect the inside of the walls. On the left is the romex that supplied that wall with power.

[Tech Tip] When removing old sheetrock walls, take your utility knife and cut along the inside corners of the walls that will be removed. This makes removal easier, and minimizes damage to adjacent surfaces. By cutting deep enough to cut through the tape, you will have a much cleaner job.

Open Wall

Here is the closet with that wall removed. Notice on the left that the paper has ripped from the drywall, because of not scoring around the boards that were used for shelf brackets. I did this purposely to illustrate the wisdom of scoring the inside corners before removing the drywall. On the left of the door are globs of mirror mastic that attached a mirror to the wall.

In this case the studs that formed the walls are 25 years old. In Arizona these have dried out. To the point where reuse is not an option. The lumber is brittle and will cause more trouble than it is worth. This is fireplace kindling now.

Next steps

Our short wall is open and we can examine our next steps. On the left is the built up corner from the wall we have just removed. On the right is the built up corner from the bedroom wall to the corner wall of the closet. We will be removing the right most stud from this as we are removing the wall. This decision is driven by the need to remove the soffit over the bedroom door and making the wall flat from one side to the other.

We will be moving the alarm, phone, electric and cable wiring around. We will also be closing off the existing attic scuttle hole and relocating it into the new closet.

surprise surprise surprise
On the top of the photo you can see where the return for the HVAC unit is. The square on the ceiling formed the plenum for the return air, and the filter assembly is mounted in the bottom of the hallway wall. One of the things the client wants is to reuse the mirrors. Part of that is to mount one of them in the hallway on the end wall.
I have mentioned that remodeling is biblical in nature by the way one thing begats another. Here is that in action:-)

Since we decided to move the return into the ceiling of the hallway, we need to figure out what needs to be done. A quick inspection revealed that the trunk line for the HVAC runs the length of the hallway ceiling.
(Because I know nothing about AC beyond basics, we called the AC guy. Always get help for areas you are not familiar with. It may cost a little more in front, and set your project back, but on the back side you will have a much better project)
Calling the AC guy brought Bill the Tin Man over and we examined what we had and what we wanted to accomplish. We determined that the trunk line will be shortened, giving us room for mounting the grille in the ceiling and rerouting the supply and return lines.
This will set us back a day with the tin men crawling around doing their thing. That’s okay, as it will take a few days for them to arrive and we have other things to do.