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Old 05-02-2013, 05:06 AM   #1
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Temporary wall for bedroom


My mother just bought a new house (much smaller than we currently have), and it's looking like my room will be in the partially finished basement. It's a large area but not enclosed. Since the only other room is a laundry area, sound isn't a concern, but light and privacy are huge. I absolutely have to have it completely closed off, floor to ceiling (to prevent light from coming in from upstairs) with a door (we have cats and I need to be able to lock them out).

However, I'm 24 and trying to get a better job so that I can better afford to move out. I'm really hoping that I won't live here long. My mom doesn't mind putting a room down there, but she'd rather have the open basement back when I leave. Funds are also tight. She's given me a $1000 limit, but I don't want her to spend that much, so I'm hoping it can be done for less.

I don't have exact measurements right now, but I think it would be roughly 15-20ft long, maybe less (only saw it once, briefly). I have no building experience but I'm fairly handy and a quick learner. I can also recruit people with more experience, or end up hiring someone. But for now, I'm interested in the cost of materials and how difficult this would be to see if this is even worth pursuing.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.

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Old 05-02-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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Temporary wall for bedroom


This project can be done cheaply enough --

Before a suggest can be made---what is the floor covering now---what about the ceiling?

To make this removable without damaging the existing finishes---we will need to know that.

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Do you realize you will need to have an egress window? That alone would probably cost more than your budget.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:07 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum!

before I'd start any work I'd contact your local building department to determine what code requirements you would be required to meet. I do not know where you're located, or your local requirements so I can only speak of my area. To place a bedroom in a basement here we are required:

1. have two means of egress from the basement. one can be the interior stairs, a second must be a bulkhead or some other means of exiting the basement.
2. a bedroom must have in addition to the requirements of #1 at least one emergency escape and rescue opening. this window must be no more than 44" above the walking surface of the bedroom and must have a certain clear opening width and height. This is not an egress but an ingress requirement so that firefighters and emergency responders can make entry from the exterior directly into the bedroom.
3. the bedroom must have a hard wired smoke detector within the room and outside of the room near the room's entry door.
4. all detectors in the home must be hard wired.
5. the basement must contain a carbon monoxide detector.
6. the bedroom must contain at minimum 70 square feet of floor area, and no dimension within the bedroom can be less than 7-feet.

Again I cannot speak for your local requirements so I would recommend contacting the building department to determine what if any your requirements are before spending time or money adding a bedroom.

hope this helps! good luck!
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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There is no way you're going to get the room you want for $1000. Find that better job or lower your expectations. You'd be amazed at what you can put up with if you have to. When I was in the military, I slept on the ground in jungles for weeks at a time. And we have a wayward 40-year-old son who lives in a tent most of the year. He has a good job (he's a whitewater river guide) but prefers a tent to living in an actual building.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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Temporary wall for bedroom


With the cheapest 2x4 stud wall and the cheapest paneling, a pre-hung hollow core door and you provide the labor, yeah, it could be done. Will it meet code? No. Will it be pretty? No. Will it keep light and cats out? Yeah. Is it a good idea? Probably not.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
With the cheapest 2x4 stud wall and the cheapest paneling, a pre-hung hollow core door and you provide the labor, yeah, it could be done. Will it meet code? No. Will it be pretty? No. Will it keep light and cats out? Yeah. Is it a good idea? Probably not.
But I'd bet it's gonna happen anyway.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Does the area have a window? Fully open what size is it?
An egress in case of a fire so you can get out is important.

What is the flooring? What is on the ceiling (dropped tiles or drywall)? What is on the walls?
If you could take pictures and post them it would be very helpful.

Also instead of a wall would a floor to ceiling curtain work? Or how about something like the divider screens?

Does it have to keep out 100% of the light or just most of it? You could make 'hoolywood flats' (google it).

There are many possibilities for a temporary divide that does not mean a whole wall.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #9
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If you just need some privacy on a temporary basis, Steve's Blinds and Wallpapers has some nice ceiling to floor panels that can be used for room division. They are called panel track blinds. I suspect others sell them as well.

http://www.stevesblindsandwallpaper....9&shopby=Brand

You could pick light blocking material. They will also help some with the sound. They would be within your budget and look nice too. Hang tracks and the panels slide along them. They would not be permanent so no issues with egress and ingress like with a formal room. You do want to make sure you have a way out of the basement though!

I like cats so am not sure why you want to keep them out? Nothing makes them happier than you thinking you can keep them out, you know. Former work study students stayed with me in NYC and up in my sleeping loft. They built a very complex barrier to keep the cats out at the top of the stairs. The cats laughed so loud. "They really think that is going to keep us out right?" Now Spikezilla was 25 pounds of royal orangeness and did drool a lot. I guess waking up to him did take me some time. The first time both cats ran the barrier and showed up, upstairs, the screams made me giggle.

Last edited by user1007; 05-04-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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How about some wardrobe closets and/or bookshelves to divide the space.

The possibilities are endless.

You don't necessarily want a wall just a space divider.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
How about some wardrobe closets and/or bookshelves to divide the space.

The possibilities are endless.

You don't necessarily want a wall just a space divider.
Great idea. And this would give you some storage you no doubt need too!

You could then hang a sliding door on a ceiling or barn door track along the backs of two to try and hold the felines out. Some such doors are beyond cool looking!

If you have something like an IKEA store near they will have lots of inexpensive wardrobe, cabinet and bookshelf options you put together yourself. Search online for RTA (Ready to Assemble) options that can be delivered to you as well.

If you can read Chinese you can put the furniture together. Actually the early Scandy language translations were not much better but the diagrams and pictures have been decent enough to follow what was going on. RTA instructions have gotten much better since. It comes with all the fasteners and you usually need but simple hand tools to put it together. A cordless drill will speed things if you have one but you do not need to go out and get one.

When it is time for you to move out? You can just flip them around up against the wall and Mom gets good lasting storage.

You could try to take them apart or move them but most are but particle board and tend not to like movement much. I did put together some beautiful exotic hardwood RTA furniture made in Vietnam of all places that will last decades. Different price point than your budget allows though.


Last edited by user1007; 05-04-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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