Monday, May 9, 2011

Framing and Installing A Bathroom Archway to Add A Door for Privacy or Safe Room

View from outside bathroom (door inside is toilet)
[Update: Part Two of Adding a Door to a Bathroom Archway is posted.  All drywall and texture completed.]

Dad Fix Tip #7: How to Frame in an Archway

Part One

As I was working on my living room niche last week, a buddy from church stopped by to borrow a razor knife. He was a carpenter by trade and was working on adding a walk-in pantry inside a neighbor's house across the street (neighbor's solution to MORE food storage space.) Somehow in the conversation between him and Wifey, they discussed how he added a door to his master bathroom which was originally only designed as an archway (read: shower without privacy door + 6 daughters = no privacy for Dad.)

Next thing I know, he's offering to add a doorway for us for around $150. Seriously? How can I turn THAT down! He came over a few days later and framed in the archway. I'll show the pictures of the framework and update the progress of this structure as it happens (see Part Two.)

Installing the Framed-in Archway for Anchoring the Drywall

Our friend showed up with just a hammer and nails. He also had a few 2x4s of no particular wood type. We took the door off the hinges and removed the hinges from the wall.

He sized up the dimensions of everything and began cutting 2x4s to fit up the walls of the doorway. Then he cut two smaller pieces to form the upward arch. Then he cut one just a little bit longer to serve as the base of the arch. It rested on each end at the top of the vertical runners but was also nailed into place.

After everything was nailed into place, we stood back and looked at the project. I could easily see now how this project is going to work. Having no prior construction knowledge (I work in healthcare), the framing out of the project is what I was most interested in. Adding drywall and covering is all seemed fairly straight forward.

A New Door Can Lead to a Safe Room if Needed

No pun intended but this project opens up a ton of doors for us! Not only will we be able to LOCK our bathroom now (think six daughters!) but we could also potentially turn this room into a safe room. I've blogged about using Armor Concepts and their amazing door jamb armor (police battering ram video) and could use it to create a safe room. You should also know that I'm not paranoid, I live in a suburb right outside of metro Phoenix. We have legitimate and notorious gangs around town, mixed with drug trafficking problems coming across the southern border. The act of building a safe room in your house these days is far from crazy. If you don't have to worry about these things, be thankful!

View from inside the bathroom.

The drywall should be done this coming Saturday and the door will be hung after the drywall is finished. We might have a hard time finding a matching door since our house was built back in 2001.

Nevertheless, we are excited about our soon-to-be bathroom privacy and security. A large part of Wifey cleaning and re-cleaning our bedroom is due to the toddlers pulling out all the scrunchies, hair clips, bobby pins, etc from the bathroom and littering them everywhere else.

I'd like to replace the oversized bathtub in this bathroom with something more practical since we mostly use the stand-alone shower. The toddlers get to use our tub on occasion as their play pool. But until we find some pictures/ideas of something to actually replace the tub with, we'll just leave it.

Thanks for joining me in my quest to learn new projects.  As a fairly new dad with limited background on how to fix things, every time I have to pay someone to do it for me, I try to learn from them. I figured there might be more like me out there so this blog serves as a place to share what I learn with others.

If you find this post helpful, let me know by posting a comment below. Don't forget to check out part two of this project because I learned a lot from a very skilled drywallsman? Spacklesman? A guy who finishes the

So Part Two his here. Go check it out. Here's the list of supplies that were used by the time it was all over:

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