Built-Ins for Dormers

Follow these steps to solve your storage problems with built-in dormers.


After: Recessed dresser-drawers as well as a built-in shoe caddy and laundry hamper help free up more space.

After: Recessed dresser-drawers as well as a built-in shoe caddy and laundry hamper help free up more space.

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The Karps are a busy family that loves spending time together. They've been in their house now for four years and love it, but the lack of storage space in the bedroom is something they've wanted to change. Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It team help the Karps create more space in the bedroom with built-in dormers.

Materials and Tools:

plywood (three sheets, 3/4")
hinges (2)
trim paint
dresser hardware
7-drawer chest
casing (30 linear ft.)
air compressor and hoses
circular saw
electric miter saw
finish nailer
reciprocating saw
safety glasses
stud finder
table saw




1. Carefully measure the area both inside the wall and between the dormers for the built-ins. Use a pencil to mark the outline where you will cut through the drywall. Then use a utility knife to score the paper of the plaster. This will enable a clean break (both inside and out) when it's time to knock in the wall. Use a reciprocating saw to cut the stud out of the way.

Tips: Start the saw before it makes contact with the stud. Make sure the saw is level, and then cut all the way through the stud. Also, before breaking into a wall, use an AC finder to make sure there are no electrical wires behind the wall.

2. The "built-in" dresser will actually be built outside of the dormer then inserted later and finished with casing trim. We purchased an Ikea dresser and modified it to fit in the wall.



3. Measure and build the shoe caddy/ laundry hamper based on the dimensions of the window openings. Prime and paint dresser, shoe caddy and laundry hamper to match surrounding trim.

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