I'm hoping to add a cabinet and potentially between stud shelves to the wall that separates my eat-in kitchen from my living room. Problem is that I've got a cold air return where I was looking to go, and was wondering if there's anything I can do to remove or move it.
The wall that I'm looking at in question is just 2x4s and about 7' long, and has HVAC throughout its entire length. At one end is the vent for the kitchen, in the middle is the cold air return for the living room and at the other end is the cold air return for the kitchen/DR area. At either end of the wall are open doorways between the rooms.
I've attached a picture to hopefully give an idea what it looks like.
Will your new cabinet go floor to ceiling preventing having a new return louver higher up?
Is the stud bay where the air return is unlined on the inside and extending from floor to ceiling with no 2x4 horizontal fire stop in the middle?
Can you arrange some kind of vent opening in the back of the cabinet and have a louvered door in front? You will need to maintain the square inch area of air passage and not stuff too many things into that part of the cabinet.
You could move the louver out into the floor in front of the cabinet provided the joists run perpendicular to that wall so as not to need cutting away to provide air passages.
Tornado victims: Do not rush to rebuild. Take your time and look for and get a good contractor. Or consider selling the property and moving to a home that is ready to live in.