How To Build Recessed Shelves In A Mobile Home

No matter the size of your home, all of us generally find that we could use a little more space. Rather than buying a bigger place, why not DIY your own organization and storage system?

One of the best storage solutions is recessed shelves. These built-ins are not only attractive and interesting to look at. But they are extremely space efficient too.

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Read on our for our guide on how to build recessed shelves in your mobile home.

1- Choose a location

The first thing you need to do is decide where you want to install your shelves. Try to imagine how it will look in different spots. Is there a specific place where it would be more useful? For example, if you want to turn it into a bookshelf for your office, place it next to your desk.

Keep in mind that you can’t put recessed shelves just anywhere. You need to figure out whether the spot will be suitable or not. This part can be a bit tricky.

The key to recessed shelves is that they need to be built into the wall. Therefore, there needs to be open space in the drywall to expand into.

2- Check for space

Luckily, most homes have plenty of empty and unused recesses. Look at the building plans to check for an adequate place. Once you have decided on a spot, cut a small hole into the drywall to check if it will work.

You need to be extremely careful. There are pipes and wires all throughout the walls. So you need to avoid damaging any of them.

They should be marked on your plans. But it can’t hurt to consult an expert like a contractor or the home’s manufacturer.

Besides this, you need to look for studs in the wall. Don’t remove any load bearing studs. Try to figure out how you can place the cabinet so that you can brace it on the studs.

Check out this video on how to cut a hole through drywall.

3- Draw up some plans

This is not the type of project that you can just jump into without any thought. Getting any part of this wrong can mess up the durability and appearance of the recessed shelves.

First, you can decide how big the shelf will be. Take the time to work out and write down some exact measurements. Make sure that the wall will support this. Consider all dimensions of the shelf.

Now you can decide what you want it to look like. How many surfaces do you want? What type of wood are you going to use? How will the shelves be spaced out?

Sketch table pad with pen

For some shelving ideas, take a look at these stylish examples.

Work out how much material you’ll need to finish the product.

4- Gather your materials and tools

The next step will be to gather all your supplies. It will make the process much quicker if you have everything on hand.

You can choose planks of wood and cut them yourself. But you will need the right tools to get them to the exact measurements. A pro tip is to ask the hardware store where you buy the wood to cut them to size for you.

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5- Build the shelf

Some people prefer to start by cutting the hole for the shelf. But it can work better to build the shelves first. This way, you can make sure that they will fit perfectly.

It’s up to you to decide how you are going to fasten the parts to each other. You can use screws, nails, pins, bracers, or a combination of these. Just make sure that they will be secure enough to hold the load.

Because it will be placed into the walls, you need to make it with a back panel.

6- Cut the hole

Check the exact dimensions of the cabinet now that it’s done. It can be an excellent idea to draw out the measurements on the wall.

Make an incision in the surface along the lines with a carpet knife. Then you can cut out the piece with a drywall saw.

7- Installing

You should now be ready to install the cabinet. If your measurements are right, the piece should slide right in.

Next, drill corresponding holes in the studs and shelves so that you can nail or screw them together.

If you feel this won’t be secure enough, you can install additional bracers. Mount some planks in the wall that you can attach the shelves to.

8- Final touches

The end is in sight. Finally, you can finish off your recessed shelves. This step is all about making it look good.

Chances are there will be some slight gaps between the different planks of the cabinet or between it and the wall. You can use wood fillers or caulk to fill in.

Another expert tip is to cut out some trim that you can place over the edges of the shelves where they connect to the wall. With this, you can easily create a neat and rounded off appearance.

Paintbrushes and a bucket of white paint

If you haven’t done so yet, you should paint the shelves. Otherwise, look for some spots that might need some finishing touches.

9- Stack’em high

All that is left is to reap the benefits of your hard work. It’s time to fill the shelves with whatever you want – whether that be books or decorations, or kitchen appliances.

Job well-done

By installing recessed shelves, you can dramatically improve the space in your mobile home, especially if you do this in conjunction with decluttering and organizing your home. Luckily, it’s a DIY project that’s easy to complete.

A well-built recessed shelf can undoubtedly help you to increase the value of your house. If this is your goal, check out our article on more high-value upgrades for your mobile home.

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