The Great Coat Closet Remodel Project: Before and After

It snowed this morning, which means that the yard tidying that I had planned will have to wait. So instead, I will finish up a few odds and ends involving our new coat closet.

I plan to install some thin trim around the junction box to cover the gap between it and the drywall. I will probably cut and install some quarter-round along the inside door facing as well, just to give it a finished look where the drywall meets the framing. There is not actually enough room to install proper trim, but I think the quarter-round will be fine. And the paint on the frame has had a whole week to dry, so I will rehang the door as well.

Looking at the closet now, I really can’t believe it is the same space that we had this time two years ago, damp and stuffed full of junk.

Once we removed all the junk, we were left with a space with just the water heater in it, that looked like this:

If you recall, the closet was originally lined with beaverboard, which was commonly used in unfinished spaces and outbuildings like hen houses and sheds back in the 1920s.

At some point, the beaverboard had been wall-papered. And then later painted over.

Pretty! Well maybe in 1920.

Some interesting choices in finish work had been done in the closet as well.

Painted-over duct tape to mend a hole in the wall. Quality!

When we ripped out all the nasty beaverboard, we figured out why the closet was always so cold and damp: no insulation in the outer walls!

And dig this super-interesting way to run wiring!

Whaaa? So wrong!

Once we removed the water heater to begin remodeling, we could see how bad the floor looked.

First I installed insulation along the outside wall.


Then I add a couple of nail plates, so that I would not get killed whilst hanging drywall in the closet.


Then, we hung new drywall and spackled.

Then I refinished the floor.

Then it was time to paint and install new trim.

And of course, reinstall the water heater.

Time passed, and I installed a branch circuit in the closet for outlets and overhead lighting.

New junction box for branch circuit – with sparkle paint!

Then it was time to drywall, spackle, paint, and trim the front part of the closet.

And here is the finished result!

Let’s review!

Water heater – BEFORE
Water heater – AFTER
Floor – BEFORE
Floor – AFTER
Closet – BEFORE
Closet – AFTER

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