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Under Stairs Storage Space

In this instructable, I will show you how to create additional storage space in your home to avoid stumbling over scattered items on the floor. This project is not only practical but also fun to work on, and can be completed within a day or two. To begin, you won't require many tools, mainly a hand saw or electric saw to cut the timber parts. If you don't have a router, you can use ready-made moldings and glue them on. Safety should always be a priority, so remember to use ear and eye protection when working with electric tools. Keep your body parts away from sharp blades and work in a safe manner.

Before starting the project, it's essential to ensure there are no electrical cables or pipes behind the wall where you plan to create the extra space. You can use a wire detector to check for any hidden utilities. Once you've determined the size of the door, you can start cutting the plasterboard using a plasterboard saw. It's recommended to avoid using electric saws for this task, as you never know what you might accidentally cut behind a plaster wall. Start by creating a small square hole that will allow you to look inside and feel with your hand where the joists are located, making sure not to cut anything important. Use a measuring tape to mark the dimensions with a pencil and draw lines on the plaster wall where it needs to be cut.

After cutting out the plasterboard, use a timber saw to cut the joists that may be in your way. Secure the edges of the plasterboard where you made the opening using plaster wall nails or screws. If necessary, add new back support joists for the plaster wall to provide extra stability for the door's inner frame. Opening up the wall might reveal a surprising amount of dirt and debris accumulated behind it, so give the area a good cleaning before proceeding.

Under Stairs Storage Space 1

Once the plaster wall is cut out, you can start placing the inner door frame into position. Cut the timber pieces to the appropriate size, and drill shallow 10mm holes followed by 3mm pilot holes. I used 90x20mm timber for the frame. Later on, all holes will be closed with hardwood plugs. It is crucial to ensure that the inner frame is square, especially at the 45-degree corners. To ensure the correct size for the door, it's best to make a drawing of the door opening, incorporating the frame material size into the drawing with a 2-3mm gap between the doors and the frame. Once the drawing is complete, place the timber on the drawing and transfer all the lines onto the timber before cutting. I used planed 2x2 timber for the doors, and the inner panel thickness is 18mm.

After all the frame parts are cut, use a router to make grooves for the inner wood panel. Additionally, you can add molding with an electric router or glue ready-made molding when the doors are finished. Once the glue is dry, lightly sand the doors. For joining the frame parts, there's no need for special joints; simply use wood adhesive and screws into every joint, closing the screw holes with wooden plugs. Secure the frame using 45-degree steel angles for the corners and a ratchet strap around the frame. Place a small MDF block under the strap to protect the soft wood. You can also add clamps to secure the frame to a flat surface to prevent any twisting. Once two of the doors are ready, check the fitting. If the doors are too big, don't panic. Use a small sharp block plane to shave off a bit of the door and then try fitting again.

Once the doors fit nicely, make recesses for the hinges. Brass hinges with pull-out pins are recommended as they allow for easy removal of the doors without having to take off the hinges. Once the hinges and doors are securely in place, close one door and mark where you want to nail the door stopper all around the inside frame for both doors. The stopper can be rounded or beveled on the edges to add a decorative touch while preventing chipping. After the stopper is in place, attach the locking system. I used locking clamps, which are affordable and excellent for storage doors of this type.

Optionally, you can attach a strip of timber to one side of the doors, halfway out, to cover the middle gap between the two doors. Once the doors are in place, you can attach any handle that matches the style of your doors. Inside the door, you can add hooks and other storage accessories for added functionality. Lastly, place decorative moldings around the door, fill any holes in the plaster wall with filler, and cover any remaining screw holes with hardwood plugs. If you have ample space, consider adding shelves, a small light, and give the area a fresh coat of paint.

Before you know it, the new storage space will be full, and you may find yourself scratching your head, wondering where else you can create additional room. By following these steps, you can effectively increase the storage capacity in your home while maintaining a consistent theme throughout the project.

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