Old 10-12-03, 09:30 PM
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Question Clueless

My wife and I just bought a condo and want to seal/open an existing closet.

The closet opens on the living room side, we want to seal that side up and open up the "back" of it (in the kitchen) and put the refrigerator "in" the closet to open up space in the kitchen.

The walls are plaster and I'm not sure what to close up the open side of the closet with.

How can I open up the kitchen side without doing alot of damage to the plaster?

Is there anyway I can do it and retain a clean edge, as opposed to putting up molding around the opening?

Any help, pointers, tips, etc would be GREATLY apprecated. As you can probably see, this is my first attempt and any kind of home "remodeling"
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Old 10-13-03, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,722
You have some things to consider first. If the wall you intend to open up is a bearing wall you will have to add a header to hold up the section of the wall from which you remove studs.
If the walls are plaster the best way to reapir them is with plaster. Others will tell you to drywall them. It is true that drywall is more amateur friendly hence its popularity among do it yourselfers.
You should at least consider plastering the public side of the closed area. The inside of the closet behind the fridge could be drywall. As far as not damaging the plaster. There is a good chance that the plaster is over wood lath. A circular saw with a diamond or abrasive blade is the dirtiest but does the neatest job with the least vibration of the lath. A reciprocating saw will do it with some less mess and with care can be used without damaging the adjacent plaster too badly. If the house is new enough that it is plaster over gypsum lath a reciprocating saw will do just fine. Even a hand saw with replacable blades will do for this cut. To finish the edges will require corner beads and plaster of the returns and noses. The plastering is realtively easy but it takes some care to install the beads and make the joinings to the existing plaster. I'm getting tired typing; tell me how serious you are about using plaster before I get into telling you how.
The best bet is to use a plasterer.
Old 10-13-03, 05:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 2,425
I'd agree with Tightcoat on determining if this is a load-bearing wall prior to proceeding, other than that I'd recommend you go with drywall to refiinish the walls after the remodeling.

Keep us posted.
Old 10-13-03, 12:18 PM
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Thanks a bunch for the quick replies. I'm early in the planning phase right now, we just got our closing date (12/15), so I'm still a ways off from actually starting. I'll definitely keep you posted, and I'm sure I'll have more questions.

I did a rough mockup of the place. You can see where the existing closet was/is. It's a framed out closet door now and I want to make it look like a smooth wall.

The next project is making a "passthrough" in the other wall of the kitchen.

You can see it to the right in this picture, and can also see where I want to place the refridgerator

Thanks again
Old 10-13-03, 02:00 PM
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Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,752
I think the easiest way to do this is with drywall and drywall products. Not to belittle tightcoats thoughts on plaster, I think you can find drywall tools and materials easier. Also will be easier for a DIY'er.
Old 10-28-03, 03:36 PM
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Very true,,,,,if youre not an experienced plastering contractor,,, or are planning to hire one,,,,, its in your best interest to drywall.
Old 11-01-03, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
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I need to formerly welcome both Kriztufer and Plasterman to the forums.

That being said, Kriztufer from the mock-up I'd say you're definitely going to be tearing into a load-bearing wall, do a search of the forum threads & you'll find alot of good info, post back with specific questions. Above all thoroughally plan this out prior to beginning, and I'd stick to drywall, it'll be alot easier for you to handle. Plaster work is an art, not everyone has the talent.

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