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Combination spaces can make it easier to get the most out of a room, but it takes some planning and organization to make them work. DIY to the Rescue hosts Amy Devers and Karl Champley have a few tips that help turn problem areas into versatile spaces:
Purge: Most people simply have too much stuff, wasting space and time on items they don't need, don't use and don't enjoy. Getting rid of the excess will free up space and make it easier to create a functional design.
Plan: Think about how the space is used — and how it should be used. Design storage and other features accordingly.
Partition: Multi-use rooms can be convenient, but they also can be cluttered. Partitioned areas like the laundry nook in this project make it easier to stay organized.
Since this room is an addition to the house, one of the interior walls is brick and includes a window to an adjacent room. Unfortunately, the window is in the way, so drywall is applied over the brick wall: Use masonry nails to attach wooden furring strips to the brick wall, hammering the nails into the mortar joints between the bricks. Use screws to attach drywall to the wood framework, then finish the joints with drywall tape and drywall compound. Paint as desired.
Measure and mark the position of the new partition wall and door that will hide the washer and dryer; these should hit the existing wall at the studs. Cut two strips of birch plywood to the height of the new wall and attach them to the studs with screws to support the new wall and door. Also cut and attach horizontal strips to go from the vertical strips to the corner of the room. A stackable washer and dryer free up floor space and make this design possible.
Note: Check these pieces -- and the rest of the pieces in this project -- for level and plumb before driving the screws.
Cut a sheet of birch plywood to form the partition wall. Position the plywood on the outside of the new frame and use screws to attach it to the vertical frame piece. Position a thin strip of wood flush with the bottom of the partition. Use screws to attach this strip of wood to the floor, then to attach the wall to the strip of wood (Image 1).
Note: Attach the plywood to the strip with short screws that won't go all the way through both pieces. Use 1-1/2" screws when attaching material to a wall stud.
Cut a plywood "roof" for the enclosure and fit into place. Use screws to secure it to the plywood frame (Image 2).
Cut an additional strip of plywood the same width as the support pieces and use it to connect the free end of the new wall to the plywood frame. Cut a piece of 2x4 lumber to the same length and use screws to attach it to this crosspiece, on the inside of the enclosure.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, install a bifold door on the open side of the laundry enclosure. Use screws to attach the door track to the 2x4 at the top of the opening and to attach the base block to the floor. Slip the door into the track and attach the knob.
On the open side of the enclosure, cut and install strips of 1x2 lumber to act as ledgers supporting the shelves. Make sure the strips are level and drive screws through the strips into the studs. Cut plywood shelves to fit and slip them into the space, supported by the ledgers.