building a closet question

andrelaplume2October 28, 2009

I have an L shaped basement and we are finishing the Âsquare partÂ, the rectangular part that completes the ÂLÂ will be done later. When you come down the stairs you are in the ÂsquareÂ. Look right and you see the back wall of the basement. Extreme left is a wall with a door (leading to my work room) perpendicular to the back. There is then about 7 feet of empty space followed by a water heater then a slop sink then our washer and dryer. The dryer actually sits in the opening to the ÂLÂ portion of the basement.

Anyway, the 7 foot section would make a perfect closet. Two three foot follow core sliding doors would work well here. I measured and a second set of three foot sliding doors would nicely Âhide the water heater and slop sink as well. My wife does not want any doors in front of her washer/dryer thoughÂbegrudgingly she might accept an accordion type door but she let me know it would likely be left open all the timeÂhell itÂs a basement!

Anyway, I like the idea of the 2 sets of doors hiding the water heater and slop sink AND hiding a seven foot wide, three foot deep closet. My question is regarding construction.

My idea is really to just build a front wall (if you can call it that) that holds my four sliding three foot hollow core doors. I am not looking to add anything perpendicular to the back wall to partition the closet from the water heater/slop sink or the water heater / slop sink from the washer and dryer. For one, I like the idea of having the area by the water heater open on both sides for ease of replacement or repairs. Also, weÂd like the area between the washer and slop sink opened since clothes are hung above the washer/dryer/slop sink right now.

My thought was to build three ÂrisersÂ, each 8 inches wide with a pressure treated base plates screwed into the concrete floor and a top plate nailed into a stubby wall section that drops from my rafters/joists. This drop would be about 8 inches and run about 20 feet long. The risers would support (?) the stubby 20 foot x 8 inch wall above. One riser would be at the extreme left, a second around the water heater area and a third around the washer area  but not blocing the washer. Eventually weÂd need to do something at the other end by the dryer.

Anyway, is this a safe structure build? Are there code issues? Would it support the four 36" hollow core sliding doors? Would I have to build the stubby 20 foot by 8 inch high walls with 2 x 20 x 4s or I could I use 2 x 10sÂagain, all this is nailed into the rafters/joists above.

Lets be honest, this all just acts as a fancy Âcurtain along the back of the basement but would make things look better while still allowing access to everything if necesary.

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where is everbody...gettin' cold....time to come inside!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Essentially what you describe is a soffit that holds the tracks for the sliding doors as well as 3 support columns. Shouldn't be a problem because those doors a light. You're main concern would be the weight of the structure on the ceiling joists. Are they parallel or perpendicular to the wall you want to build?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 12:25PM
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My closet doors would be perpendicular to the I'd nail 14 or so feet of 2 X 4s into a joist evey 16" inches and eseentially have the 3 columns you mentioned..

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 9:46AM
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....was looking at this tonight and decided to go with 2 set of 36" doors and 54" of those cheap accordian style vinyl door at HD in front of teh washer / dryer. It might look better with accordians all the way accross I guess but the hollow core doors will be more durable and I bet the accordian doors will just stay open all the time anyway.

So, I have a soffit that will be about 19' long and maybe 5" high nailed to the rafters / joists above every 16" (again, this partition runs perpendicular to the rafters) and I guess 4 small columns, 2 one the ends and two in the middle separating the three areas.

Question? Must I build the partition using 2 x 4 x 20s??? Can I just make my partition in 2 eight foot lengths plus a 4 fott and nail it up.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 1:35AM
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followup...if anyone is out there.....I can try to figure how to get 2 x 4 x 20 in my basement and build this 5" tall soffit supported by nails into the rafters every 16" and 3 - 4 columns OR I can use smaller lumber and I guess just make sure I start a new pice under each column...correct?

Also...for the soffit....Do I still space little approx 5" tall 'studs' every 16" or do I go 24 for less weight?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 3:35PM
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Sorry, I don't get here every day.

First of all, you don't need a 20' long 2x. Just have the joints land on a joist.

Secondly, I'm a little confused here. I originally thought you were going to be able to slide the doors the length of the wall. I see that's not the case.

You just want 3 seperate doorways. Correct? If so, just frame it that way. build 3 doorways and you're done.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:20AM
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I see. What I intend to do is build my 20 foot long sophit in 2 sections. A 14 foot and A 6. It is secured every 16". The 14 foot section will have a supporting column on one end, one in the middle and one on the spot where the 14' section meets the 6' section. I believe this will be more than sturdy enough for the hallow core doors. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:39AM
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You don't need to build a soffit if you're not sliding the doors all the way down. Just frame out doorways for each one.

I'm sorry that my first post based on an incorrect assumption. Please ignore it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:52AM
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building 2x6 walls and using pocket doors might be a nicer looking/less obstructive option. As a handyman- I can tell you that bi-fold doors are often replaced because of their dysfunction and presence. I've even had customers have me install them against my advice and then have me back to their homes a few months later to pull them out and install pocket doors.

Make sure everything is secured and the drywall is finished before cutting the sill plate out to ensure everything stays straight..

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Thats why I am using sliders....I fear the abuse BiFolds will take.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 12:42AM
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