Building a bedroom privacy wall over a vacation week with her husband also made it possible for her to save almost $2,000.
Homeowner: Tricia Boucher
Project:Building a bedroom privacy wall
Time for a Bedroom Privacy Wall?
Tricia lives outside Concord, New Hampshire in a two bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhouse condominium. She and her husband, along with their infant daughter moved in not long after it was built in 2005. To make the transition to the new house easier for her daughter, and because she loved the color scheme and border, Tricia decorated her daughter’s new bedroom to look exactly the same as her old bedroom.
Not too long after the décor was completed, Tricia’s son was born. Fast forward 9 years and the kids are DONE with Winnie the Pooh. Tricia's daughter is rapidly approaching the teenage years and her son is an energetic third grader. Although close, the kid's still get on each other’s nerves, and it was becoming apparent that they needed their own space.
Why Build a Bedroom Privacy Wall
They considered finishing the basement so one of the kids could move downstairs, but the size and scope of that project just wasn’t feasible at that time in their lives. At a minimum, finishing the basement would mean electrical work, but to really do it right a bathroom would have to be added as well. With both kids active in sports, Scouts and dance … time and funds were at a premium.
That meant working within the confines of the existing space. The kids’ existing room was a good size (21 by 14 ft). The layout and placement of the windows made a divider a feasible option. A privacy wall seemed like the best way to give the kids the space they needed, in a way that was budget friendly.
Tricia and her husband set out to build a wall framed out of 2×4 wood and covered in dry wall. The wall is located between two windows, dividing the room almost perfectly in half. The wall is anchored to the floor through the carpet. At one end, the freestanding end of the wall is supported by a post that is secured to the floor and ceiling (braces in the attic).
Challenges Building the Bedroom Privacy Wall
When asked about the challenges of building a privacy wall, Tricia had two words: crown molding.
To be fair, Tricia is a carpenter’s daughter so she’s no stranger to construction projects. Still, installing the crown molding at the top of the wall just about drove her and her husband mad. She’s grateful to YouTube for saving her sanity and possibly her marriage. The hardest part for Tricia was getting rid of “the baby’s room”. Removing that Winnie the Pooh border meant her kids were growing up – something she’s not sure she’s 100% ready for.
Advice for Building A Bedroom Privacy Wall
Tricia enjoyed working on the project and her kids are thrilled with their personalized spaces. She does have advice for anyone considering building a bedroom privacy wall.
- Borrow tools from friends and family — don’t buy what you can borrow.
- Read the directions before you begin! Tricia discovered wall paper remover was MUCH more effective when you diluted it with water. This came to light when she read the directions AFTER she’d already wrestled to remove ¾ of the border.
- Buy good paint, but buy it on sale. You will still pay a lot (almost half her budget was spent on paint and borders), but you get what you pay for with ease of application, fast clean up and durability.
- Be prepared for criticism if you post pictures of your project on social media.
Overall, the experience was positive for Tricia and her husband. Tricia believes the wall is over-engineered — why use 2 screws when 5 will do?
The wall is temporary and can be removed in the future. With a few minimal cosmetic repairs, no one will know a wall was there. Her dad the carpenter, even gave the results an A- which Tricia can live with. The only complaint the kids have is that their space for turning cartwheels is now very limited.
Have you ever built a bedroom privacy wall?
Tricia Boucher is a Certified Public Accountant for Nathan Wechsler & Company, P.A. in Concord, New Hampshire. She is on the board of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and volunteers time at her church. She's thrilled that with their privacy wall project, her family will be able to enjoy their home for years to come.