Build a Hinged Wall to Hide Basement Utilities
While refinishing my basement, I was faced with a challenge that many other basement remodels encounter; How do I hide the utility meters while still providing access? After a lot of head scratching, I finally came up with a concept for a hinged wall that swings open to allow access and otherwise makes the meters practically invisible.
I found a few DIY solutions that involved using cabinetry to hide the meters (like this… Ikea Hack), but I was looking for a more unique (…and cheaper) solution.
My water, gas, and electric meters are all located in one corner of the basement. The biggest problem is that they are spread out just enough that it was a challenge to come up with a workable solution that met the design requirements:
- Looks good
- Minimizes wasted space
- Allows easy access to the utility meters
- Relatively cheap
The hinged wall concept that I came up with seems to meet all the design requirements quite well. It’s basically just a wall built with standard 2×4 construction. At one end of the wall there are four standard door hinges that are anchored to the wall. On the bottom of the wall there are three fixed caster wheels to support the weight of the wall while it swings open. The visible side of the wall is sheeted with 1/2″ drywall and finished just like any other wall. On either end of the wall I used some plastic j-bead to created a clean finished end to the drywall. On the bottom of the wall, I used the same base molding that is used in the rest of the basement. I just trimmed 3/4″ off the bottom of the molding to allow some floor clearance.
What is hiding behind the hinged wall?
Hinge connection detail… make sure you anchor into studs.
Fixed casters on the bottom to support the weight of the wall.
PVC plastic end caps give the drywall a clean edge for painting…
and the bottom of the floor molding is trimmed for clearance.
I also added an electric fireplace insert in the wall just to create some ambiance. I think it’s pretty awesome, but it is completely optional. It’s a wall like any other wall for the most part, so you can decorate it to match your decor… or just paint it to match.
If you are interested in doing a similar project here is a list of materials that I used to help you get started: