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Step 40: Install a Built-In Shelving Unit - Installation

The shelf can occupy the space between one or two studs, or a custom width. During construction, I specifically left out a stud, in order to install my shelves. These shelves will be installed after the stud walls are in, but before the drywall is up.

First you will need to decide on shelf heights. Using your CDs, DVDs and other knick knacks as a reference, work out the heights of the shelves you'll be installing. I decided on four CD-height shelves, and two DVD-height shelves. When measuring, make sure you include the width of the wood and leave a gap for easier removal of the CDs and other media. To make it easier, I cut two short pieces of the shelf board to use as spacers, equivalent to the height of a CD plus the gap.

Start at the bottom of the shelf. Place a 2x4 horizontally across the bottom, equivalent to the height of three 2x4s. Make sure it's level. Screw it in place, using construction screws, through the stud and into the end of the horizontal piece. Do the same thing at the top of the shelf.

The wall behind my shelf is rough concrete, which needed to be covered with something smooth and even. If the wall behind your shelf is just the back of a piece of drywall, then you can leave it as-is. Otherwise, read on. Measure and cut out a piece from the shelf backing board, to fit from ceiling to floor and across the span of the studs supporting the shelf. Slide it behind the stud wall, between the studs and concrete. Glue it into place against the studs, using wedges to hold the backing sheet against the studs.

Now, cut a piece of shelf board to fit between the studs, and fit it in place on top of the bottom horizontal stud. Using the carpenter's square, scribe a line from the center of the shelf board around to the other side of the stud. Drive two screws through the stud along the line and into the shelf, on both ends.

Using the spacers, work your way up the shelf, cutting shelf boards to fit and screwing them into place. Make sure the shelf is level both side to side and front to back, using the short bubble level. Be careful when turning in the screws with the power drill - the shelf boards are thin. The screws should be driven perfectly perpendicular to the stud, and at slightly lower speed than normal.
Hi..what laser level were you using? I've been looking for one that wont cost a fortune.
Extremely helpful! Hat off to you!
Looks nice! I was wondering how your floor is holding up after a few years. I've been doing some research on waterproofing my basement and I have not seen anyone else use that type of vapor barrier...just other (and much more expensive) options that I am hoping to avoid. Have you had any problems with moisture seeping through or causing problems underneath the flooring?
No moisture or mold issues as far as I can tell. But, we have a relatively dry basement. Before starting on a basement flooring project I'd suggest doing a moisture test - tape a 1 square meter piece of plastic to the floor and let it sit for a week or two. If no water condenses under the plastic in that time, then you're good to go!
Good to know, thanks! I just found out during the inspection that the house I'm buying has already been waterproofed, so at least that part is already taken care of :) Will still do a moisture test regardless.
Most likely, those are spaced like that (the staggered pieces between the studs) as a fire block. This is code in some areas. It prevents, or at the very least slows the spread of fire up the interior of the wall. Homes built without these in an exterior wall may find their attic on fire before they even know there is a fire in the wall.
Think I'd be wearing steel toe cap boots during the demolition. Nails through the instep are not nice....<br />
Agreed.&nbsp; And for most of the renovation, I did!&nbsp; Many of the pictures taken here were, *ahem*, posed a little...&nbsp; ;)<br />
Beautiful work, and a stunningly complete 'ible<br /> Well done. <br /> Steve<br />
Thanks.<br /> <br /> I have plans to do a bathroom this summer.&nbsp; Hopefully I'll find the time to do it!<br />
&nbsp;Did you have to use anything to hold the foamboards in place while the PL300 was curing or are they light enough not to require that? (The user manual that comes with it says you need to use some type of a fastener to keep things under pressure until cured. ) Also, how long did it take in your case to dry?<br /> <br />
Nothing in particular.&nbsp; I stuck the boards down, pulled them off for a minute or two, then stuck them back on as per instructions.&nbsp; After that, they stuck all by themselves quite nicely.&nbsp; The foam boards aren't heavy at all, and PL300 is very, very sticky.<br /> <br /> I'm not sure how long they took to dry.&nbsp; Unused glue squeezed from the tube and left in the open air took about a day to get rock hard.<br />
&nbsp;What would happen if/when adhesive eventually fails? Would &nbsp;you rely on the studs holding the foam and things remaining airtight?
Presumably the adhesive is intended to be permanent.&nbsp; But, in the unlikely event that it does fail, the second layer of insulation pasted on top, plus the tape, plus the studs on top should hold it in place.<br />
I love Roxul too, I'm planning to use it for my basement reno, as well.<br /> but dude, Roxul isn't fiberglass -- it's mineral fiber, so it doens't make you as itchy as fiberglass though.&nbsp; You still need the breathing / eye protection like you describe. :D<br />
Yeah, someone informed me of my mistake on a different step.&nbsp; Whoops!&nbsp; But, it doesn't really matter which you use; either fiberglass or mineral fiber (aka rock wool) will work here.<br />
Have you noticed a significant change in your energy bill from the fiberglass insulation? I'm debating on whether or not it's necessary with the foam panels...I am on a very limited budget...<br />
Hard to say how much more of a difference the fiberglass makes, since it was installed at the same time as the foam.&nbsp; The top of the wall feels *slightly* warmer than the bottom, but that may be because heat rises.<br /> <br /> Think about it this way:&nbsp; a basement renovation is something you're likely to do once.&nbsp; It'll cost a few hundred more to pack in more insulation, but in the long run it's worth doing really well.&nbsp; The foam panels will likely give you your minimum R-value to meet code, but I'm a fan of exceeding code where possible.<br />
amazing instructable!!
Thanks!
Thanks very much for putting this together. It has given me the confidence to attempt this huge task myself.
No problem! Breaking it into smaller parts, taking time to think things through, and asking lots of questions (and asking for help!) will help you get through it. Oh, and one other thing: Don't lose your momentum. Always do something every day, and don't do anything else until it's done. Make sure that everyone else in the household understands this as well.
That is excellent advise! I will definitely follow it. Thanks again! Eric

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Bio: By day, Jeff is the Jack of All Robots at Clearpath Robotics. By night, a mad scientist / hacker / artist / industrial designer wannabe!
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