Thursday, July 19, 2012

Constructing the Nursery Closet (but first a small issue)


The closet in our nursery was not as easy to put together as one might hope. I wish I was posting about a few trips to Home Depot and The Container Store, resulting in the photo above. Or, see this post. Instead, the story starts with a not-so-small issue.

The closet in the nursery shares a wall with the kitchen.  During the kitchen project we updated the microwave to match the other appliances.  There is a vent outside the kitchen that was assumed to be our kitchen exhaust.  The microwave is the over the range type with the exhaust fan.  When I removed the microwave I saw the hole in the wall for the vent.  I noticed that there was no sheet metal in the hole and immediately got concerned.  I felt a cold draft coming from one of the mounting screw holes.  There was my sheet metal I was looking for.  The genius builder missed the correct wall cavity, but covered it up instead of fixing it.

I checked with a local home inspector and perused the building codes.  By code, I am not required to have a vent that vented outside.  Microwaves have a few options for the exhaust to exhaust out the back or top to a vent or filtered and blown back into the room.  I chose to set the microwave to exhaust back into the room.  The only way I saw that I could fix it would be to take down all the cabinets and relocate it into the right cavity.  I figured that maybe one day I will get around to it.

So, the nursery update gave me an opportunity to tackle this problem.  Since I was redoing the closet and demoed all the old shelving I saw that empty wall with the incorrect vent inside it calling my name.  So, Mrs. Fix-It wasn't home and my drywall saw was within reach.  I assumed this would be an easy fix.  Pulled out the saw, started making a mess, and found that I had no shot at making this right.  What I assumed to be a round vent pipe was actually a full rectangular duct going into the ceiling joists before transitioning to the outside.  There was no way I could get this corrected without MAJOR construction.

  What a little investigating looks like

I admitted defeat and decided to patch the wall.  I pulled out the laser level and marked some lines so I could open up the hole to be a perfect rectangle.  I widened it to span a couple joists so the edges had something to screw into.  I had a piece of drywall in the storage closet that was luckily the exact width of the hole.  I cut it to the right height and fit it into the hole.  This required me to do one of my least favorite things.  Patching and taping the hole.  The closet also had dozens of holes in the wall from the old closet "system."  I pulled out an old bag of joint compound since it dried in 20 minutes.  I knew I was going to have to do more than one coat so the quick drying time was very helpful.  Well, except that it dried really fast.

 ...and patched

So, a quick lesson.  Put a little joint compound over the joint, lay some tape over the joint and then drag a putty knife across to press the tape into the compound.  Let it dry and then do a couple coats to hide the joint.  After drying, sanding should help blend everything together.  Well, it sounds simple.  I put way too much compound on for each coat.  I realized WHY you don't do that.  Cause you then have to sand way too much.  Light coats help minimize the amount of sanding necessary.  So I got things sanded down and somewhat even.  Putting on some paint, the patch luckily disappeared.

The closet was ready to get the new shelving and stuff.  I am glad I at least tried to fix the problem, because as you will see, there will be no turning back once that closet is done.

What mess, honey?

Next, Mrs. Fix-It will share the before and after details plus her thoughts on organization!

14 comments:

  1. 1) That closet is insane.

    2) I am totally impressed that you did all of that investigating, cutting, drywalling, etc. all by yourself. I'd be clueless.

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  2. Yea you are way WAY more knowledgable about that wall/sheet metal/construction crap than I ever have been. Major kudos!

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  3. we just had our first and we made the nursery, it took us a lot of time :) my husband built the shelves on the wall http://branchandtwig.com/category/noahs-nursery/page/2/

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