This is a “I bought a freezer that was too big to fit through my doorway so now I have to move and widen our doorway post”! Even though it’s not a step by step tutorial, if you are getting ready to tackle a project like this, there are links to some resources that may help you!
Hey Honey, We Need a Bigger Freezer
I’ve mentioned before that one of the ways we stay on top of our budget is to buy multiples of the things we use regularly when prices are low so I don’t have to buy them at all when they are regular price. A lot of people call this stockpiling – I just call it being thrifty! Whatever you call it, it has saved us a ton of money over the years!
When you buy multiples of items, you have to make sure there’s enough storage space. In addition to the refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen, I had a small upright freezer in the pantry but as a part of the pantry redo, I wanted to upgrade to a bigger one. My goal was to get the largest upright freezer within our budget that would fit in the panty and still allow the space to flow well. After convincing my wonderful husband that we needed to buy a big freezer to save money, I bought a large white, kind of plain – nothing fancy, manual defrost freezer. It is almost 21 cubic feet! I wasn’t sure how much that would hold but it sounded like a lot – and I liked that! No more squeezing stuff into the freezer trying to make it fit.
Gonna Need a Wider Doorway!
When you buy something online – you never really know what you have until it you actually see it. This is a BIG freezer…I mean a really big freezer; so big my husband calls it Big Foot’s freezer! You can’t really tell from the picture how big this thing is but think 34″ wide by 33 deep! I am in actual awe of its size! While there was plenty of room in the pantry for it, it was too big to fit through the doorway. There also wasn’t a place for it to sit without blocking the doorway. There was only one thing we could do to make this work – move and widen the doorway!
Moving a doorway was new for me and I didn’t even know if this door was in a load bearing wall. So I did what I usually do when I run into a problem – I googled it. Then to double-check google, I asked a contractor buddy to take a look at the wall and let me know what he thought. The verdict? All signs pointed to the wall not being load bearing.
I’d gotten the green light but I was still afraid to tackle this project! I kept imagining the worst case scenario – the second floor caves in and our insurance company refuses to pay. A little extreme but we did not have the money to rebuild a house if I destroyed it.
Sometimes You Just Have to Go for It
Believe me, I tried to think of another way to make this freezer work in the pantry…but I came up with nothing! And I was not returning my “I can fit as much ice cream as I can buy” freezer! So that was it…I was moving a door. My husband demo-ed the shelves and helped with the wall (at least if things went south, we’d be in it together!) Then, I measured the door and cut a small square in the wall on the pantry side to make there were no immovable objects! Moving a few power lines was okay but rerouting plumbing was not on my agenda!
Once that was done, we measured the side of the wall that faced the back hall (there is a back hallway that connects the kitchen and living room). If everything went as planned, I would have a spacious 36-inch opening! More than enough to get that freezer through! I decided where I wanted to put the door and literally drew the door opening so I would know where to cut. Once I cut the opening on the hall side, I used that cut as a guide for the pantry side. It worked perfectly! Now it was time for some weight lifting.
We All Need a Little Help!
Hanging a 175-pound door is no joke! Without proper support, I knew this could become a hazard. So to help support the door, I installed a 2 X 4 beam across the top of the door opening while the wall was open. Again, the internet was my go to!
Now this post is not a step-by-step how to move a doorway tutorial! But there are some great resources that helped me when I tackled this project and if you are tackling a similar project, these resources can help you too! I married Kristi’s post about moving a bathroom door on Addicted2Decorating with the YouTube video by Lance Sabbe. This video – along with my pause, play button – saved the day! I am a visual person and actually seeing how Lance moved his doorway was a huge help. And even though this was not a load bearing wall, I followed those instructions…better safe than sorry!
I Don’t Do That
Proud that I’d pulled this project off, there was one more thing to do – hire a dry waller to patch and mud the wall. (Sorry folks, drywall is non-negotiable for me). I will hang drywall…but that’s where it ends! Besides, I am a believer in not only doing things to save money but knowing when to call in the professionals…and I hate everything to do after the drywall is hung! The drywaller did a great job – you would never know that the wall had been taken apart and put back together!
Here’s a glimpse of the finished wall with the gorgeous door we found! Next time I’ll tell you where we found it and how we made it our dream barn door!