This is my first Instructable so bear with me. I recently bought a house but even while looking at the place I thought of how cramped the hallway seemed to be and how nice it may look to take out part of the wall. Here is the log of me building an in wall window / in wall shelves. They add a total of 200" of vertical storage space to my house that I desperately needed but of course can be done fit any wall you'd want with as much or as little storage space as you desire. Let's get started
Step 1: Select Your Wall, Know What It's Made Of
I chose the wall diving my main hallway and the dining room; I selected this wall for a few reasons. The hallway always seemed cramped, the bathroom received no light in the morning and I hated having to turn on a light right after waking up in the morning (♪Blinded by the light♪), and I thought it would look really nice and open up the whole area and make it look bigger. After checking the area out with my stud finder I started by drilling into the wall a few inches away from where I wanted the edge of the 'window' to be; after breaking through on one side i continued through to the other
Step 2: How Big Do You Want It? Be Ready for Unexpected Obstacles
After getting through both sides of the wall it's time to expand it to the rough size you want, don't forget safety first; gotta protect those eyes and lungs. For me I wanted it to be even with the top of the doorways and 2/3 of the way down (~50"). I decided I wanted this to be centered between the door and the corner of the room, unfortunately my stud detector: despite going over the area a couple times did not detect this heat vent that goes straight to my second floor (Oh well it's exposed now and I still want this 'window' to go further over. This is because my wall was made of plaster and lathe and was too thick in some areas to pick up on the metal. It's also good to note; you should tarp/blanket off the section of the house you are working in... this didn't occur to me until later after I had kicked up too much dust (I was using an angle grinder with a diamond wheel because I felt it was faster and easier than the traditional way of using a razor then pulling the plaster off, but hey; live and learn and in my defense it was a lot quicker to do it that way). After cleaning up the area I confirmed the light flowed right into the bathroom and as a bonus flows into the stairway to the basement.
Step 3: Start the Build
Start by building a box based on your internal hole dimensions; we used a Kreg jig to join the wood together easily and it worked wonderfully
Step 4: Frame Your Box In
Pretty self explanatory, but we connected only to the wood we already used to build the box. Also you may notice I removed 2 of the studs to open the window space more, this was done after careful consideration to what would happen to the structural integrity of the wall if they were removed; it was confirmed for me that there was no cause of worry because while / after cutting through the stud they could be wiggled easily by hand, there was no weight pressing down on them.
Step 5: What to Do With That Vent
This is what I decided, rebuild that section of wall and frame a mirror in (after cutting grooves along the inner edge of the wood so it pinches the mirror against the wall. After the mirror was mounted I got painters tape and covered it up so after the shelves were installed the final sanding and the staining could begin.
Step 6: Finished Construction and Final Cleanup
All done, now to handle any leftover mess / dust and to put my stuff on the shelves
Step 7: All Done
Grab whatever you may want to put in your new window shelves