Closing Up the Room

Project Type: Enclosing a room opening with French doors and surrounding Drywall

Project Cost: @ $3,942 (NOT INCLUDING the cost of client-purchased French Door unit and hardware: knobs, locking mechanism, etc.)

This nice, young couple from Inwood Forest, off Lake Wheeler, wanted to close off a fairly large room opening with French doors, bringing the walls in to meet the doors. Their plan was to make the room either a guest bedroom or home office, and had been looking at French door units, which they planned to purchase themselves. (I believe they bought and had it delivered from Home Depot for @ $650-ish.)

After meeting them to take a look at the situation, a quote was researched and drawn up over the next few days, and the contract signed less than a week later. The client lived not too far from a municipal waste center, so he had no problem with us just bagging up the demo and he’d carry it there himself. This was good, because we’re not allowed—no trades are—to dump construction refuse at city dump sites, thus no need to arrange for a demo-to-dump vendor to haul it away, saving them a few hundred dollars. (There wasn’t much scrap lumber, drywall and other demo to dump anyway, fortunately.)

Heres the former room opening (I believe it was @ 8’):

After securing the required 1/2 job total initial deposit we put it on the calendar for the following week. First up was taking off the old baseboards and shoe moulding on both sides of the opening, as well as removing the drywall and underlying corner brackets of the wall opening—all to make way for the new stuff. We then started framing in the new wall section, to meet the doors (which we’d put in some days later), then installed the drywall.

Although we’d bought a quicker drying compound to ”mud” the drywall, it was still—as usual— a somewhat slow and tedious affair. (You have to Install the drywall, mud up the walls with compound, then wait for it to dry, before you can sand the compound smooth, then apply more compound. Rinse and repeat. Several times.)

Despite the ”quicker dry time” it’s still really only feasible to apply two coats, then sand, twice per day. It’s a multi-day affair, no matter how quick the ”mud” dries. (The client did have a fan and humidifier in that room, one of our requests, to make it all dry a little faster.)

After a few days of the drywall mud/wait to dry/sand/do-it-all-over-again, we were ready to install the French doors. That went relatively easy; we’ve installed at least a hundred doors, of all kinds, interior and exterior, so the process was rote. We than encased it all with trim we’d purchased with the deposit, as well as the new baseboard and shoe moulding.

There was—only one—very small issue: The new doors and casing didn’t leave any room to install the client-purchased slide bolt, to secure one door closed in place. So we called up the client to ask if we could put the locking bolt in the floor instead. The clients were fine with that, as there really was no other option. (Home renovations often require a healthy bit of improv—a work-around for the small issues.) So we did that, drilling a hole in the floor, screwing in the strike plate, then installing the slide bolt and knobs on the door itself (all purchased by the client before the job).

Viola’. A new set of doors enclosed with new wall. Now the clients can work from home or house a guest in the room. They were very happy, saying we did “excellent work!”

(They even added an extra $60 to the balance check, to help cover our gasoline costs, which was beyond cool on their part. Gas is expensive these days, and there were multiple trips to their house, as well as a few material runs to Lowes and Home Depot.)

We’re carpenters, not painters (the clients knew this), so I believe their plan was to paint or stain the doors, casing and new wall surround a few weeks later, but here’s pics of the (unpainted) final product:

Happy clients; happy Old Raleigh Carpentry!