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DIY Access Panel Box

July 24, 2013 |

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We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

This is why I love DIY .....

DIY Access Panel Box

To the Ram, this manifold, mounted at the base of the upstairs hall closet inside each Momplex unit, is the pride of the entire Momplex. When new visitors stop by, it's one of the first things he shows them - look at the manifold, it controls the heated floor!

The manifold dispereses hot water throughout the upstairs floor of the Momplex, and the valves can be turned off in the event that there is a water leak. It's all that's visible of the heat system that we worked for weeks installing in the upstairs floor.

So when we started flooring inside the upstairs hall closet, the Ram wanted to simply cut the flooring around the manifold.

DIY Access Panel Box

Good thing Grace and I were there that day.

I've shopped around quite a bit for a utility access box to cover the manifold, but they can be hundreds of dollars, and don't come in custom sizes.

This is gonna be a DIY fix. And it's a good thing Grace and I know how to build stuff, because the Ram wants no part in covering up this manifold.

DIY Access Panel Box

Since it's just water lines that already run through wood joists and floors, we'll just take a 1x6 board and build a box. We'll place a 1x6 at the base to give room for attaching base moulding to match the rest of the interior base moulding.

The entire box will eventually get painted to match the closet wall. Then, unless you read this blog, or get the Ram's tour of the Momplex, you would never even know it's there!

DIY Access Panel Box

Grace and I went down to the garage and cut the four boards to make up the sides, top and front. Then I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes on the top insides of the sides, and then on both ends of the front board. Just 8 pocket holes in all.

DIY Access Panel Box

And then we used pocket hole screws to attach the boards together through the predrilled holes ....

This took all of 10 minutes and cost about $5 for the 1x6 board ....

DIY Access Panel Box

And we hauled it upstairs to make sure it fit.

DIY Access Panel Box

Perfect.

And we even heard "that looks nice, girls" out of the Ram .... a huge compliment!

Once the main water line is hooked up to the manifold and the pressure valve removed, we can add a door made out of plywood and paint it.

DIY saved the day (and the wallet) yet again!

So what about you? Do you use your tools for little projects around that house that make a huge difference? We'd love to hear your DIY fixes too!

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yurra-bazain's picture

Looks great!

Looks great, even your baby bump. :) I hope morning sickness is subsiding for you!

Yvonne @ sunnysideup-stairs.blogspot.com

posted by yurra-bazain | on Wed, 2013-07-24 16:37
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Ana White's picture

Hi Yvonne - thank you! I've

Hi Yvonne - thank you! I've definitely been feeling a little better ... but it STILL hasn't passed! Been thankful for good days where I can get work done. I really appreciate everyone's paitience with me - these kids sure don't come cheap do they? Thanks for thinking of me! Ana

posted by Ana White | on Thu, 2013-07-25 12:51
clips

What a great fix!

What a great fix! I love it, and your bump is adorable!

I've done DIY fixes around the house. One of the most used is something that's not seen. My 3 year old's toddler bed won't fit up tight against the wall. All of the little tolls and loveys and things she has to take to bed kept falling between the 3 in gap between the wall and bed. Which lead to tears in the middle of the night when she woke and couldn't find them. I got so frustrated one night I went right out to the garage and built something to fill in the gap. It's not pretty. But it's not seen. And it works like magic. Nothing gets lost behind the bed anymore! I'm all about anything that gets everyone in the house more sleep at night! :) I also made spice racks that fit on the inside of the pantry door. Great space saving solution.

posted by niki | on Wed, 2013-07-24 21:28
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Ana White's picture

I love that about DIY - that

I love that about DIY - that you don't have to just deal with things and you have the power to fix problems. What a great solution - sounds like a couple minute fix has saved ours of digging under the bed for toys! Thanks for sharing!

posted by Ana White | on Thu, 2013-07-25 12:48
clips

quick question

I've done some similar things around our home for cheap fixes like this.

Just one thought, for the shut off valves on the left hand side, I assume they close by moving the lever 90 degrees. I'm guessing that you will secure the box into the floor/closet, so if you do that, can you actually manipulate both the top and bottom valves to the fully shut position 90 degrees clockwise if need be? It looks awfully close especially for the bottom left one.

posted by dooger21 | on Wed, 2013-07-24 22:18
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tracysmith's picture

When I zoomed in on the

When I zoomed in on the picture, it looks like those handles will turn to the right, not the left so that would give them plenty of room? Just what it looks like to me. :-)

Have a wonderful day!!!

http://www.simply-designed.us/blog

posted by tracysmith | on Thu, 2013-07-25 12:45
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Ana White's picture

Good catch there! The valves

Good catch there! The valves actually shut off to the right, overlapping, so we've got plenty of clearance if (hopefully never) we have to turn a water line off. They overlap when turned off although it doesn't look like it, does it?

posted by Ana White | on Thu, 2013-07-25 12:46

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