Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kitty Powder Room

What to do with the litter box? It's a chronic question if you've got cats, and one I chose to solve once and for all.


This, my friends, is the door to the kitty powder room, my solution to the where to put the litterbox.

At Modern in MN, this feline size portal goes from the living room into the bike room (where one day, hopefully, the boxes will be inside a cabinet to completely hide them), but in a normal house I think this idea would work great to allow you hide a litter box away in a closet or other room and not have to worry whether the door is open or closed.

Basically, you'll need a drywall saw, some scrap drywall and 2 x 4 lumber, corner bead, some drywall mud and paper tape.

First, figure out where you want your opening. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. You want to plan your opening to fall between two studs, making sure you're not directly in front of or behind an electrical outlet. To make things simpler later on, locate the bottom edge of your hole 3 1/2" off the floor and then use a drywall saw , also called a keyhole saw, to carefully cut out the hole. Duplicate the marks on the other side of the wall and repeat the drywall cutting procedure.

My opening is about 8" x 10", but you can make yours as wide as ~15" (the usual amount of space between studs) and as tall as you'd like, keeping in mind that the dimensions of your opening will shrink by an inch or so once you add drywall.
I made my opening slanted at the top, which I'll explain later, but a square or rectangular hole would be easiest to execute. Feel free to do a trapezoid or a parallelogram or whatever Dali-esque shape you can think of, but don't forget that you're going to have to come up with a way to finish out. From what I can tell, cats aren't picky when it comes to interior design as long as they can fit through, any shape will work.

Next, cut a scrap of lumber to fit inside the wall in the bottom of your hole. If you got the height right, this piece of 2 x 4 should sit on the walls' existing sill and below the cut edge of the drywall by about 1/2". Screw or glue it into place.

Now, get a small hunk of drywall and cut four pieces to fit the size of your opening. You can typically buy scraps at the home center, and lately I've noticed they're selling half and quarter sheets already cut. Make sure the pieces you cut are as wide as the wall meaning they'll probably need to be about 4 1/2".
Starting with the bottom surface, position the drywall on top of the opening. It should rest on top of that scrap of 2 x 4 you already put down there. Either screw or glue this piece down.

Next cut eight pieces of corner bead, four for each face of the hole. For the vertical sides of the opening, you're going to need to use the corner bead to hold the drywall in the opening. Position the first piece and get someone to hold it in place while you staple on the corner bead. Repeat for the other side and the top face and then on the other side of the wall.

Now, put on your patience and get to work with the mud and the tape. Fill the edges of all of the corner bead with mud, and tape and mud the inside corners of your opening. If you've never done this before, it's going to suck, but you can always sand things down and put on another layer. If you're good, it will probably take at least two or three applications of mud to get things nice and tidy looking. On the outside of the wall, you'll want to feather out the drywall mud at least 8 or 10 inches to get everything nice and flat.

Carefully sand everything down and repeat as necessary until you have nice smooth surfaces on the inside and outside of your opening.

Add the paint and trim of your choice. I painted my opening orange and applied a little slanted door, because after all, it is the kitty power room and I figured it was only fitting that it coordinate with its' human counterpart:


I should tell you that I was loosely inspired by this, so if you've gotten through this whole post and decided it's just too much work, save yourself from the DIY fun and go pay the $30. I won't be offended :) Another, possibly simpler alternative would be to frame out your opening with wood instead of drywalling it...

4 Comments:

Blogger William said...

That's a great post on wire rope.

Do you happen to have any more detailed photos of your indoor cable railing? It looks like a good fit for a house I'm building now.

Thanks.

9:00 PM  
Blogger splatgirl said...

Hi William. There are a few more in my housebuilding set on flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/splatgirl/sets/185957/

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance you can send me some more detailed pics. of the curtain set up? In particular the corner where they come together.
Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jackalope

10:30 PM  
Blogger splatgirl said...

Hi Jackalope
There are two separate eyebolts in the corner, one for each wire so that the tension on each is still parallel--i.e. pulling straight out from--the bolt. Trying to go around the corner with one cable and one (or two) eyebolts didn't work for me but YMMV.

8:36 AM  

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