Flat Frame for Space Saving

Flat Frame for Space Saving

For anyone doing construction whether homeowner or professional builder, there are times when you need just one more inch of space to finish the job.If you are framing for a new room or kitchen, standard 2/4 studs are set 3.5 inches depth / 16 inches O.C. Sometimes it may be necessary to set the 2/4 framing flat or 1.5 inches thickness to save 2 inches in depth (31/2 inch insulation can be replaced with 1.5 inch thick sheet foam).

Here is an example:
I was working on a kitchen project where the refrigerator stuck out two inches too far and made the egress less than code and just plain too narrow. Something had to be done to get more width. I told the owners I could flat frame an alcove or inset, the same size as the fridge, and gain two inches. At the time this was only theory, so I hoped it would work. So I cut out the sheetrock and existing framing and replaced it with flat framing. Then I installed new sheetrock and mudded and taped it up. After all was done and painted, I slid the refer into its new cubby. The fridge slipped into the new space as planned and the passage into the kitchen was just wide enough to pass inspection and look good.

On another project I needed even more space, so I ‘headered’ the refer opening and eliminated the framing behind altogether. Wow I gained the 1/2 inch of the sheetrock and the 3.5 inches of the framing so I gained 4 inches of space; OK minus the 1/2 inch of plywood I installed to support the exterior siding and give some insulation.The 1/2 inch of plywood is holding the exterior siding in place so it is rather important that it be sealed and papered. This is an extreme measure for space but sometimes these measures are necessary.

Remember to install the electrical outlet to the side where it won’t take up room you worked so hard to gain.

I hope these tips help you to find a few inches of space where they are needed. If you need help, call a Marin Home Restoration professional.

– Dave Mason

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