hollow walls

ronbreFebruary 16, 2009

My husband and I have been thinking ..we have a lot of hollow walls taking up room in our home. why?

So (being an interior designer) I have written up plans for two of the hollow walls..we have one 27" wall west and one 32" wall east of our rear sliding door, and stuff always gets dumped by the door, dinette / eat in kitchen.

This spring I plan to use a drywall saw and knife to check to see if there are any studs in those walls..(not likely) and then cut out a section of the wall and frame it in with 1x lumber..one wall is thicker than the other..and then in the 27" one I plan to install just shelves..not sure if i'll go with lumber or glass shelves..great spot for dishes or cookbooks in the kitchen area..the other one is much larger area and deeper, and i was thinking either do the same or possibly put a place inside the wall to hang brooms, etc. and then put a door of some sort over it, i have salvaged stuff from my old house that burned, lumber and louvered doors and cabinet doors..so that is a thought for a broom closet.

but after thinking about this idea, i began to look around the house and I realized that there are many of those empty walls in very opportune places in other rooms of our house..

for example behinid the entry door..(shoes are always being left on the floor by the entry door, what about a shoe closet there?)

in the hall to the guest bed/bath rooms, this is about 4 " deep and I've never been able to sit anything there as it sticks out too far into the hallway, but going INTO the wall would create that extra 4" that could be shelving for a collection ..or stoarge.

behind the bedroom doors, ??

and then if you see the broom closet i made behind our laundry room door by hanging a strip to hang brooms on ..now i realize..that if i was to open that wall up and set that broom closet deeper into the wall, i could also put a shelf above the brooms and below, and have room for some cleaning products..

everywhere i look now i'm thinking i could recess some storage into the walls, bathrooms by the sink, even inside the closets, storage shelves in the closets for shoes, purses, etc.???? this could go on forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

can't wait to get started, but for me, this is not a winter job, too much drywall dust

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western_pa_luann

"This spring I plan to use a drywall saw and knife to check to see if there are any studs in those walls..(not likely) "

I would not count on there NOT being any studs in your walls!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:10PM
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kathleenca

Bear in mind there will be horizontal fireblocks in the walls, too. All walls have studs - you may be thinking of a load-bearing wall, which is a different animal.

In some areas, such as the laundry room, your idea sounds great. I would have a hours' consultation with a contractor first, before I started cutting out drywall.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 2:13PM
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lilydilly

My dad made mum a shallow pantry by utilising the inner wall space. It was only the depth of a can of fruit, but she surely fitted a lot of stuff in there......and easy to access because it was all only one bottle, tin or jar deep.
There were studs in there, but he was still able to build around it.
Lily

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:21PM
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talley_sue_nyc

yes but studs are often 16" apart, so by testing, she can determine how much space is between them, and if there is a stud bang in the middle of where she wants her shelf to be.

(Totally off topic--I have NO studs in my walls. But, neither are they hollow; they are solid plaster board or plaster block. And no, I don't mean "drywall"; I mean "true plaster dried in board form".)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:59PM
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mustangs81

Ronbre, I went through the same thing i.e. wanting to utilize the space between the studs. With the guidance of a cabinet installer, I have finally decided on using one of the walls in the laundry room. I purchased 3 24" wide X 12" deep X 30" high cabinets. They will be stacked for a 90" tall cabinet that will be a pantry. A lot of shallow shelves is what I am aiming for. As Talley Sue espouses--no wasted head room.

The cabinets will be stacked and recessed into the wall where the picture is (I hate to loose my laundry picture); the other side of that wall is a space off the garage.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:57PM
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ronbre

I'm pretty sure there aren't studs in the walls except at the ends..as we have found that this home was not built with fireblocks or studs as normal houses are..if the walls are longer than 32" there are studs, but the shorter walls, like these that stick out into the room are HOLLOW, they have nothing in them..the ones on either side of the doors if they are shorter than 32" are also generally hollow..where if they are longer than 32 " they do have studs, but are not 16" on center like they should be.

I have built homes and outbuildings and I always have built them conventionally with 16" on center studs, and extra studs for extra support..but this house is not conventionally built..they saved $ wherever they could..and i know they didn't put wood where they didn't feel they had to.

these walls i'm referring to in the dinette..one sticks out beside the frig, and one sticks out between the dinette and the family room..with a pillar beside it and on the other side of the opening..so basically they are "decorative walls"..

Having done interior design for over 30 years..i kinda know where i can cut into without being a problem..but i'm just now getting to the place where i can see opportunities..i've been so busy over the last 10 years caring for dying fil with alz, then mil died, we had the fire the week my fil died, and then i had to totally remodel my MIL's house and put it up for sale and sell it.
this will be my first summer off to do anything for myself in about 15 years.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:52AM
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ronbre

i love your laundry room, it is gorgeous and i hope you don't lose your laundry art, it is so pretty.

when we lost our victorian home (which had lath and plaster walls) in the fire almost 7 years ago, we replaced it with a double wide home, and they skimp where they can .therefore most of the interior walls are hollow if they are narrow in width, or decorative, the decorative ones are just a stud on each side and one top and bottom to nail the drywall to, and the centers have no 16 " on cenbter studs, honestly, they don't unless they are like 32 " or wider..or the ones in the bathroom have plumbing in them..

so i KNOW that most of the walls are hollow and can have shelves built into them recessed..however, being non bearing walls and with my over 30 years of interior design and building experience, I'm sure i could remove a stud and reframe the area just fine..

My thoughts are..will it be a good spot for a recessed set of shelves or a broom closet..or will it just look like too much on the wall area..myself..

and my thinking has been this week, realizing HOW MANY of those type of walls actually i have noticed this week in the house..like behind every door, and in those decorative partial walls..like so much wasted space.

I've spent the last 15 to 20 years caring for ill family with alzheimers, father in law died the same week as our house fire, then redoing everything after the fire, and then my MIL died 2 years after FIL which left us to totally remodel her house for 2 years and sell it..this is our first summer coming up where we haven't had someone elses projects or work to do, since our fire..that i have had a clear enough head to think about doing something for us.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 10:06AM
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mustangs81

Ronbre, You certainly deserve some me time. I'm sure the challenges of hollow walls pales to taking care of ill family members for that length of time. You have my admiration.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:22PM
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bbstx

Ronbre, the easy way to find out if there are studs in the wall, without cutting into the wall, is to use a stud finder. They are about $20, but if you didn't want to invest in one, perhaps you could borrow one. Or see link below for video on how to make a cheap stud finder.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to make cheap stud finder

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:58AM
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ronbre

we have 3 stud finders and they aren't all they are cracked up to be, half the time they don't work very well..even the costlist ones..unfortunately..

Thanks..after I posted those last posts I realized they were a little selfish sounding..sorry..I really didn't mean them to be but it was too late to go back and edit them..oh well..

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:46AM
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kathleenca

ronbre, you don't sound selfish at all - you have more than earned your own "home time." I didn't realize you have so much experience; you know what you're talking about & getting into!

mustangs, your laundry room is wonderful. I surely would also hate to see you lose your laundry picture - it's great there!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:21PM
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ronbre

thanks so much ..i honestly am looking forward to trying to cut out some of those walls soon, well when winter breaks here ..and i will post photos..

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 2:29PM
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grittymitts

Once visited a new home where they'd taken advantage of space between studs in several rooms- two I thought handiest were behind the bathroom door (it held oodles of bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap, tissue, alcohol, toothpaste, etc.) The other was in the kitchen for mops, brooms 'n such.
Suzi

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 2:59PM
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ronbre

thanks, i'm sure i'll take apart some of my walls this spring or summer..looking foward to it

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 5:44PM
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