Ok folks, it’s time to get back on track with DIY’ing our way through our home remodel TWO SUMMERS ago. Yeah I’m REALLY behind. The last time I talked about the house excursion, we began reviving our stuck-in-the-70’s entryway, by removing a pesky undersized doorway. And let me tell ya, that storage nook was more than a hot mess when we tackled the next piece:
Check out more before’s here.
Don’t even get me started on the stale smell, cigarette residue, and general musty smells oozing from this little nook.
Let me begin by saying the method we used for this update is meant for “Temporary Construction.” As in, we’ve only intended to get a few years out of this storage area as we’ll be reconfiguring the entire area in our 7 year Plan. We used a lot of creative materials using scrap/left over materials for the majority of this revival. Since we knew everything would get a nice coat of fresh paint, we didn’t worry about matching up the scrap wood and trim.
Moving on, when we originally planned the entryway one of our top priorities was storage, you know so our treasures wouldn’t reside in a leaky basement. The plan was to re-route the existing storage nook…
to make room for our newly inherited freezer from the beaus parents, as indicated by the gold arrow. As you can see, from the teal arrow, when we squeezed the free freezer (from the in-laws) in that little nook, it would have cut off all access to that storage area if we left the opening where it was. The beau also figured that once the wall was up, we could take advantage of the space above the freezer and add more much-needed storage in the form of a cupboard.
First, the beau swooped in and scored the wall using a regular utility knife and began removing the drywall.
Then, he removed the railings which didn’t quite come out as easily as we anticipated since they weren’t attached to any studs. Good thing it never came crashing down on someone’s toe after leaning on it too hard. This left large holes in the drywall and paneling. So he used drywall compound to fill the patches:
He then cleaned things up and squared the hole using his trusty Sawzall.
*You may have noticed a few changes on the left hand side that the sewer stack disappeared (the long pipe that went from floor to ceiling) and the wall on the left is now magically smooth- we’ll get into that when we talk bathroom remodel.
And this, my friends, is the part where my boyfriend comes in and uses some pretty creative materials I never thought were possible.
To close off the freezer side of the wall, instead of buying lumber and more drywall for something temporary, he opted to use what we had. It just so happened that we had some extra doors lying around (which you can see in the photo above leaning against the paneled wall). The beau and I love scouring Craigslist for free (usually ‘curbside’) building materials, plus when he helps friends remodel their homes he requests the ‘good scraps.’
I think he used some magical powers because I have no idea how he finished off the door wall. And of course this was pre-blog time so I wasn’t all up in his business requesting tons of photos. I’m pretty sure it involved some pocket holes using his Kreg Jig and some REALLY good measurements for a tight fit. I must have been making dinner like a good girlfriend should (har har) or more likely painting something else in the house.
He closed the gap inside the cabinet (between the wall and the shelving) by using, surprise surprise, more scrap wood. Just a few measurements (length, width and then reducing the height on the tall pieces creating a square), and a few pops with the nail gun and they were securely fastened.
He then filled in the gap above the closet door and to the right of the closet door with Drywall (left over from a friends patch job). You may notice they’re actually triangles and using a little geometry, he pieced them in. From the square side of the wall on each piece, he measured the height and length to get the angle. He then cut the scrap drywall accordingly and screwed them into the studs. To finish off the joints he used a corner trowel, mesh, drywall compound. For a more detailed tutorial on drywall patching check out our tutorial.
Of course when it was all up, I had to ask, aren’t you going to see the seam where the doors meet?! And his response, “no, the freezer will cover it.”
Trusting his word, he moved onto building some overhead storage which would go above the freezer. He measured the freezer height and depth (we already pre-measured the width) and added a few inches around to give the freezer some breathing room.
Again using scrap materials, he cobbled together scrap trim for shelving support and doors for shelves. The trim pieces and doors were then cut to the proper dimensions. As you can see here, the shelf rests on the trim pieces:
He decided to go with a square ‘face frame’ (the piece that acts as a lip to support the actual cabinet doors) as opposed to angling the joints together since their main purpose was to carry the weight of the doors. The advantages? It took far less time measuring, cutting angles, and other putzy unnecessary work for our temporary structure.
As you can see (toward the top) the ceiling trim pieces and outer walls were used to hold the ‘face frame’ in place with his trusty nail gun at various contact points. He also added a middle shelf- using the second half of that door and more trim pieces.
He added two shelves forming an L in the newly enclosed storage closet using the same method- trim and extra doors. We also added a coat rack using a railing he scored from our second floor demo.
Lastly, the beau has this standing agreement with his boss that any building materials he plans to throw away or has been sitting around for years- would find a good home with my boyfriends touch. The beau simply asks and most of the time it’s gladly given away for free or extremely low costs. This freebie was no exception:
This closet shot was taken after we painted, so consider it a sneak peek.
What you’re looking at is patterned hardwood tiled flooring in our new half closet, probably from the early 90s. Since he received a small batch of tiles which we figured would be perfect to cover up the spots of wall paper and kick up the ‘sanitation’ a few notches. Instead of the normal gluing installation, the beau opted to continue using the nail-gun for ease and the possibility of reusing the tiles again in the future (if we so choose). It was as easy as laying the tiles in a pattern, running a few pieces through the table-saw, and a few triggers of the nail-gun.
So far, this entire entryway update cost us a big fat $0, since it consisted of all recycled materials. I hope, once it’s all finished, that I’ve inspired you to get creative with materials when you update your own home.
Now that everything is prepped and ready to go in our upper storage area, all that’s left are two more corners, new flooring and some much needed paint to brighten up the space. Oh the power of paint!
Do you have an impressive collection of scrap wood? Does it make you feel borderline hoarder, or do you meticulously organize it, like my boyfriend? Have you worked on projects using scrap materials?