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HandymanWire -Shelving Questions and Answers
I am looking to cut into existing sheet rock wall and build-in a bookshelf. Can I do this without jeopardizing support to the house? How deep is the avarage wall? This will affect how deep my shelves will be. Where do I start? Will I have to anchor the shelves to something?
Is this wall an outside wall? Or is it a "load bearing" wall? Here is the scoop on walls. Generally walls are just 3 1/2 inches deep. They are built with 2x4's. You might have a house built with 2x6's but that wall is only 5 1/5 inches deep. With outside walls, you would be opening up the area that is filled with insulation.
| The support they provide requires a stud every 16 inches. If you were to want to go wider than that you would need to support a header (horizontal 2x6's or bigger depending on the span) above the bookshelf area. All in all, I would NOT recommend building it into an outside wall.|
Now about inside walls. A load bearing wall is one that typically runs the same way as the ridge of your roof line and supports the upstairs floor. Some walls are not load bearing and you can remove them entirely or cut into them to your hearts content. For load bearing walls, again, you would need to replace the studs with a header supported at either end. First thing of course willbe to determine if the wall is a load bearing wall.
What makes it load bearing, is among other things, does the floor above have joists that end on and are supported by the wall in question. If we are talking a first floor wall, is it above a beam in the basement, running parallel to it, just above it.
So where does that leave you? I am not sure what you had in mind for size or location, etc. But you may be better off building it against a wall as part of the wall instead of inside the wall.
As for attaching the shelves they sell many different kinds of shelf supports. Many you can just drill holes in the shelf side walls and by placing the pins in the different holes adjust the height of the shelves. Or you can go with a permanent mounting of the shelves by cutting dadoes (slots) in the sides into which the shelf fits and permanently glue them in.
Looking for a cost effective and durable way to mount shelving to a wall? Wall is plaster board with pressed wood panaling.
What sort of shelves. What will they have to hold, weight-wise and what about appearance?
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