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Old 03-11-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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Need advice on built-in bookcase

Hi all,

I started knocking out a rather ugly built-in bookcase in my condo with the idea of replacing it with a recessed cabinet for my living room electronics. I confirmed that the wall was deep enough, and it appeared to be hollow behind the bookcase, so I thought it would be fine. Unfortunately, now that the bookcase is partially demolished, I've realized there are ducts that will prevent me from making it as deep as I'd like. I now realize I should have just cut a small piece of drywall out to check before doing anything, but the damage is done. Disclaimer: This is my first condo and I'm pretty new to DIY, so I'm pretty much clueless, but am determined to learn more.

I'm looking for ideas on what to do. I could always rebuild a bookcase the same size as the one I knocked out, but it would be nice to be able to follow through with my original plan. Here are a couple of pictures:

What would you do?


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Old 03-12-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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I would proceed with much caution. I see a fireplace there, indicating that is an outside wall?? Possibly a load bearing wall, with a weakened support structure. Have someone that understands such things have a look-see. You may have to abandon the recessed shelf unit and reinforce those cut studs.


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Old 03-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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what he said
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
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ok for a little bit of advice based off of experience, the bookcase itself is not load bearing. The wall very well may be, but for the most part, you can proceed with taking the bookcase out the rest of the way. It looks to me like dead space, and like the wall that is closest to you, is just there for sheetrock, and to provide a space for your ducting, is the wall that is on the other side of the hole an exterior wall? If so, you're probably playing with a non bearing wall, which would give you more space. But for right now, you can remove the rest of the bookcase, and take more pictures for us to determine what is what, or you can just bring someone you know in to determine that. Once you get it out all the way, and provide detailed pictures, then you can definitely get a more educated plan of what to do.
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