Lodi’s Small Room – Building a Hallway and Closet into a Storage Room

Feb 07 2021
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Making a large hallway and closet into a small room for Lodi. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing this space and giving it four walls. First we scored the jackpot at the salvage yard getting all four doors we needed in a single trip. Then we put a new exterior door (and new doggie door) in the workshop and removed the door here and replaced it with a window on the back wall. Finally its time to make this into a real space!

(Teaming up in our DIY Blog Hop this month with build projects, check out all of the projects following my post. If you’re interested in joining us click here for more info!)

My favorite of all of the doors we scored fulfilled more than all of my bucket list items. It had to be OLD and matching the original doors of the house it also gave me something I had only hoped for: a window!

First task was tackling the door though because it still required some serious work. It wasn’t painted so I asked Lodi what he wanted to do on “his” side of it. (I would be painting the exterior side of the door black to match the other four doors in this hall.)

He asked if we could stain it to match his future work bench and shelves and I said, “Absolutely!”

SO: we had A LOT of sanding to do!

Gorgeous Doors - Winning the Lottery at the Thrift Store, getting lucky and finding all FOUR doors we needed at one time shopping!

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

I knew it would be bad (this isn’t my first rodeo – this isn’t even my 20th rodeo at this point…) I’ve sanded down several pieces of old furniture and one side of one of our other original doors and knew this was going to take some serious time and a lot of sand paper.

I started on the door out in the yard on saw horses with my Dewalt orbitol sander before moving inside the garage.

After a couple of hours Lodi joined to help and I gave him the tedious job of hitting all the inside corners with my little mouse sander. Three hours between the two of us, at least fifty pieces of sand paper and we got his side of the door down to raw wood.

Why did this suck so much?

Because those old shellac finishes might as well be some kind of epoxy. I would never recommend tackling them with just a sander and manual labor – if you have a piece this old just strip with paint stripper first and save yourself the work out!

Moving on to the wall…

Even with a window in the door I still only built an eight foot wall instead of taking it all the way to the ceiling. The room will only be around 7×6 feet so it felt like that would help both the room and the hall feel less claustrophobic.

(I cut everything out in the garage on my favorite tool: my miter saw. Check out the 5 best metal miter saws – REVIEWS 2021)

A couple of things I had going for me that made this an easy job: Nothing here is supporting anything. (I didn’t even bother building a typical header on the door.) There is nothing above this wall that requires it to bear any kind of load besides providing the support for our new door.

I’ve hung nearly a dozen doors in my life and there is really only one important thing: The hinge side board needs to be PERFECT.

With a perfectly level board to hang the door from it gives a door that is also nearly perfect. No swinging on its own, no shutting on its own etc. With only minor adjustments that need to be made.

With that complete we sheet rocked both sides of the wall taking turns being the “hanger” and the “cutter”. Sheet rock tip: Save yourself the math, hang the whole sheet and just cut out doors and windows after its been hung.

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing

Besides a random peak from reveals of other parts of the house this is the very first time I've ever wrote a post about our back hall!

The door came with hardware that looks like it was probably from the 70s and came with keys that actually work. I did have to replace the hinges but we chose to keep the hardware for now as we plan on keeping this room closed and locked most of the time.

(This is north country Minnesota after all with an abundance of bear, coyotes and wolves and with horses I’ve always had a gun in the house. My Grandpa used to just keep a shotgun behind the front door but that feels a bit excessive to me lol I don’t have a yard full of cows and calves to watch over!)

So, being responsible gun owners this room is going to provide us with a locked space for them, as well as a space for valuables as well!

But, mostly, this will be a small room of Lodi’s own.

We have plans for major storage and a work bench etc. You can even see the first sheet of peg board that he already (in his excitement) put up a few weeks ago.

I whittled away at getting everything taped and mudded on the hall side. I skipped taping and mudding the interior corners on Lodi’s side and opted instead for trimming it all out in 1x4s.

Not pretty yet but its officially a real room and the hall is coming together too!

And I’m finally enough weeks away from my hours of sanding that door that I can say with no regrets, “TOTALLY WORTH IT!” Finally the major heavy lifting for this room is DONE.

Moving on to getting all of the trim and floors painted out and both the hall and Lodi’s room painted too!

Making a large hallway and closet area into a small room. There were quite a few steps to finally getting to the point of truly enclosing


Hi guys! Chas and I are teaming up the first Sunday of every month for our DIY blog hop. Feel free to join us by linking up or you can also share it!

This Month’s DIY Blop Hop: BUILD PROJECTS! (Click here for our upcoming themes and more info on how to join us every month!)



Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations – Easy Heavy Duty DIY Garage ShelfChas from Chas’ Crazy Creations – Easy Heavy Duty DIY Garage Shelf



Andrea from Design Morsels - DIY Corner DeskAndrea from Design Morsels – DIY Corner Desk



Mary from Life at Bella Terra - DIY Outdoor BenchMary from Life at Bella Terra – DIY Outdoor Bench



Kippi from Kippi at home - How to Build a BirdhouseKippi from Kippi at home – How to Build a Birdhouse



Niky from The House on Silverado - DIY Farmhouse Coffee Cup StandNiky from The House on Silverado – DIY Farmhouse Coffee Cup Stand



 Kim from Shiplap and Shells - How to Make a Faux Fireplace Mantel SurroundKim from Shiplap and Shells – How to Make a Faux Fireplace Mantel Surround



Amy from Health Home and Heart – How to Install a Wood Trim Accent WallAmy from Health Home and Heart – How to Install a Wood Trim Accent Wall



Comments

  1. February 7, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Wow! That’s really impressive. My DIY skills are evolving, but I’m clearly not in the same arena as you yet.

    Love that old door and how you’re giving it new purpose. And hooray for a space for Lodi! I have my home office, and my husband has the home gym where he also displays all his sports collectibles. I think it’s important for people to have a little space to call their “own”. 🙂

    Niky @ The House on Silverado
    PS. Tarah, I’d love it if you would share on my Sundays on Silverado Link Party!

    • February 8, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Thank you Niky! Yeah I think spaces just for “us” is important even if its just a small space for our own little things!

  2. February 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Fantastic use of space. You found the perfect doors and keep the original integrity of the house. Your grandparents would be proud of your love and care for their farmhouse.
    Have a great week,
    Kippi

  3. February 7, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Love seeing the adventures of your home Tarah! What great improvements and yet paying tribute to the original aspects of the house.

  4. February 7, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    You are seriously one of my favorite DIY bloggers Tarah. What a great project! I love how you transformed the wasted space into something usable. I think I would have needed wine after all that sanding! You’ve done so much to your home, loved seeing the before and after plans. That door is perfect for that space.

  5. February 8, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    What a great way to put wasted space to use! I’m seriously impressed by your skills. 🙂 I love that door you found. I can’t imagine what a beast it was to tackle, but it looks beautiful now! I hope Lodi is enjoying his new space!

    • February 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you Amy, it was a lot more work than I thought it would be but, like everything, totally worth it in the end!

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