I have wanted to share some advice or “how-to” information that might help anyone following along who wanted to construct a built-in cabinet for their home. The “how-to” of how to share a “how-to” for this particular project has eluded me. So I made an illustration.
With this type of project, you want what you build to fit its space as if it had been there since the house was constructed. I had the extra challenge of needing to hide (but still make accessible) part of a wall that had been removed while rewiring the house.
In the small inset photo, you can see what I am talking about. I remember very well the day that my very best project buddy friend in the whole entire world told me, “John, we have to cut a hole in a wall somewhere to run electric wires up into the attic for overhead lights.”
He might as well have told me, “John, we are going to have to cut off your right arm to save your life.” In those days, demolition did not come easily to me. (That was before throwing out the kitchen sink and sawing out old rotten floor boards.)
You have to trust a friend who will crawl around in a 100° plus attic with you to remove all of the old knob and tube wiring that the insurance company claims is a fire hazard (and most likely so if you had ever seen the tangled puzzling electrical box).
So cutting a big hole in the wall is exactly what we did. The solution to this hole in the wall had eluded me for a long time, but it eventually worked out quite nicely.
By raising the position of the side panels by one foot, I exposed the wall access space at the bottom for any future wiring needs. As a bonus, this added an extra foot in height to the unit. Then I used two removable shorter panels to cover the access areas. They are both two feet high, so there is extra overlap to make the fit more secure.
The top edges of the panels serve in place of the cleats that hold the other shelves. They also have handles for easy removal if needed and cleats (not shown) to hold the bottom shelf. This could also be useful to hide plumbing access, depending on the floor plan of your own home.
The main photograph was taken February 2014. The small inset photograph was taken in the fall 2013 near the start of this project.