Built in wall units
November 25, 2012
I'd like to get 2 built in wall units in my office/waiting room. Approx 12'x6' one that includes a tv the other that includes a desk with sitting space.

Any ideas of what might look good and how much it would cost me to have custom ones built?

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Cost depends on several factors...your locality, the size of the built-in, whether you are going to use natural wood or going with the cheaper alternative which would painted to match your trim, etc. Also, are you going with true built-ins or units which appear to be built-in but are actually easily removable? I built a bookcase a few years ago which is 8 feet high and 11 feet long which wasn't cheap storage, just considering the cost of materials. But, it is an investment that adds a tremendous amount of value to a space if done well.

Four factors are involved here and the first is the deliverables...what exactly is to be done and that is the one I usually like to consider somewhat separately from the other three. Those others are quality, price, and schedule. Of those three areas, you can only have one top priority, one medium priority and the other one must float.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:46AM
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You might consider using Ikea cabinets - paint the back a nice accent color before you put it on - and building them in by putting them on a base and putting baseboard and crown molding on them. They have some units for TVs too. A carpenter could do this for you less expensively than a full build probably. Search Ikea & built in on Houzz and you'll find some neat options. Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:55AM
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The units will be about 12' x 6' each with one being a more TV media unit and the other being more office with desk. I am thinking of using just mdf and painting white then dressing up with crown moulding. The price and time schedule isn't really an issue and I can build it myself however I am interested what something along those lines would cost to have made and installed.

Thanks for your reply Linda
    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:34AM
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Thanks such a great idea! I will def check out that ikea option. What do you mean using a base? Like just wood on the floor made out of ply and 2x4s?

Thanks you so much for the reply
    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:38AM
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Yes - that's what I mean. You could do a base just as you described. Here are a couple of links for you to check out: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/01/billy-bookcases-to-built-ins.html and this one with the TV option: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/07/hemnes-pieces-to-built-in-media-wall.html

I'm also attaching an image of a bench under a wall mounted TV. Not sure if you need to hide your TV or not but this could provide some extra seating (sorry I didn't check your dimensions). Good luck!!

1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Thank you so much this is perfect...exactly what I was looking for :)
    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Don't use MDF for shelves as it won't take the weight. Use 3/4" plywood for shelves - it won't cost that much more than other materials and you're only doing it once.

I built mine with 3/4" plywood and covered the front edges with poplar flat stock. If you're painting, you can get 3/4 inch screen molding to cover any raw plywood edges, if you don't need the extra width for looks. My bookcase has 5 uprights and I drilled each upright with holes for shelf pegs every 2" front and back. If I did it again, I'd use pegboard for marking holes but more likely I would buy the uprights already predrilled. The hardware and trim will cost you as much or more than the plywood. I spent a fortune on those stupid little shelf pegs!

I set my unit on a platform built from 1x so it would be separate from the bookcase since my basement has gotten wet once in recent history. Then, I used shoe molding at the bottom and crown at the top to make it appear built-in. Just one note...if you want to build your unit elsewhere and bring it into place, just check your clearances carefully to make sure you have room to get around corners and stand it up. We ended up building in place because we were working in a 4 foot wide stairway hall.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Thanks Linda for the detailed reply! I will def use the plywood for shelving and dress it up nice with moulding and hardware
    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:54PM
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