Help with Built Ins and Baseboard Heat Design

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Old 02-03-19, 02:35 PM
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Help with Built Ins and Baseboard Heat Design

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for any help on this. Really struggling with how to do this. We just refinished floors in a room that has been under utilized and moved our Piano in there. Making it an adult living room space as it is in the corner of the house and kids dont go in there. I am planning on some built-ins that will be dual purpose. My wife does not have a workspace anywhere so we want to make the built ins with an all white finish as well as a solid wood top for a desk space. We are going to make them symmetrical on either side of our french doors leading to our backyard.

All sounds great except for the baseboard heating going throughout the area. I have a straight section on the "left" side of the patio door. And a L shaped configuration on the "right" side of the patio door.

I cannot cap off or remove as it is next to garage and on slab so it gets cold in there. I cannot remove for toe kick heaters as that would get things complicated so it is just not an option budget wise for me. I need to deal with them.

I originally had the idea of some base cabinets on 10" legs supporting the wood top and bookshelf from the top to the ceiling. That would work well as I could use cleats to get over the radiator on the L shaped and back of the units. However, wife didnt like that idea as it didnt quite have the built in look.

I now created a sketch of a built in with base cabinets that would have a back step up to be above the radiators (I know the sketch is not perfect) and the "inside" by the desk area would not have solid panels to let plenty of air circulate by the baseboard heat. I dont think that would be an issue.... (View 1 of the attachments). But as you can see in View 2 that creates all types of issues by the L shaped baseboard heat.

Any ideas or thoughts? Sorry for the super long post but wanted to be descriptive.

Thanks all!!!

Name:  Music Room View 01.jpg
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Name:  Music Room View 02.jpg
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Name:  Music Room View Alternate Leg Idea.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 02-04-19 at 05:32 PM. Reason: cropped/resized pictures
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Old 02-03-19, 03:00 PM
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Option 3 looks okay (looks a little busy... has too many shelves) but I would probably make the lower cabinets square to provide clearance and openness above the baseboard heat. Open shelves there might be more practical. If you plan on a chair, making those cabinets set back farther or even bevelled back on the bottom will make it easier to swing your legs around a chair without having to pull the chair out fully. It doesnt need legs and doesn't have to sit on the ground. If there is proper backing in the wall, a well built cabinet can just be screwed to the wall.

Similarly, your shelf unit wouldn't have to sit right on the top if built correctly and the backing was in the wall where you need it. Having clear space on the entire desktop would be good imo.

A thin gliding drawer in the middle would be nice under that top too.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 10:27 AM
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Support the right end of the "L-shape area" desk on a wall cleat and eliminate the end panel. I agree that clear desktops would be more useful. Mount the shelf/cabinet units above on the wall. If you think you need to support them on the desks or for a more unitized look just use end panels on the outside ends.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for the response xsleeper and 2john. It sounds like in general you both are thinking Option 3 is the right way to go in lieu of the other options.

Just wanted to address your comments one by one and see what you think:

I can see the business too, something we were going back and forth on. Each shelf is spaced 12" as I thought for a bookshelf that would make sense. Do you think we should go a bit higher, maybe 15" to give it some more breathing room?

Can you better define what you mean by square? Do you mean bring the bottoms "up" so that they are square in an elevation view? My wife really had some issue with the legs as it was killing the "built in" look but I felt the bookcase could have a lot of weight to it so wanted to provide them.

As to the legs in general since I led into that. I am a relatively handy guy and do a lot of work around the house. However, this is my first "furniture" type build and something I have wanted to get into for awhile. With that being said, I didnt want to underestimate the weight between all of the plywood, shelves, and books/items on the shelves themselves. I felt it was best to have good support to ensure this is safe and stable.

Same reason I am afraid to float the bookshelf. We have wood studs in the wall of course, but I dont have any backing between them and dont want to risk purely hanging it.

One more piece of description is that we want it to look more built in and less desk like.... but that might be a bit challenging to do and keep it dual functional.


2john, as to your comment... That is my thought as well with Option 3, to go with a cleat on the right side. I was afraid of not having those center supports hitting the tabletop for strength reasons. You dont think that is a long span between the sides if I dont drop any support? I would add a plywood back so I certainly could nail into it from the back on the shelves to give them some support or I guess I could run a dado across the back to slide it into. How would you recommend doing that to ensure it is plenty sturdy?
 
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Old 02-04-19, 03:23 PM
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Here's an example of the sort of idea I would imagine would work for the bottom half / desk... except the sides would be more square shaped than rectangle, and the drawer would be more slim and flush looking... like a keyboard tray. A dividing shelf could be inserted in the cabinet boxes on either side... I wouldn't put a cabinet door on them, but that's just me.

On the uppers, keep in mind how much weight is in a kitchen cupboard that is filled with cans. It's only fastened through the back, and its fine. That's exactly what we are suggesting you do. Install everything like a wall cabinet- floating, like in the picture I linked to above.

That's why I'm saying you could build the unit and just hang it on the wall. It will be fine, provided you have backing. If you don't have backing--- say the stud is too far in the corner to be useful... just open up the drywall and put solid blocking between the studs. You would repair the drywall and in the end it will all be covered by the unit if the unit has a back.

On the sides... I would make as many of the shelves adjustable as I could. A few need to be fixed to give the unit rigidity, but the rest could easily be drilled for shelf pegs to make those shelves adjustable.

Having the desktop be completely open would be a huge factor in it being usable... and easier to dust/clean.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 11:53 AM
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Here is a picture of some wall mounted bookcases I made for my living room. The carcasses are mounted on a two-piece cleat at the top. The top part of the cleat is attached to the back of the boxes. It is cut at a 45 degree angle on the bottom edge so there is a gap between the bottom edge of the cleat and the back of the box.. The bottom part of the cleat is attached to the wall at the studs. It is cut at a 45 degree angle on its top edge with the gap between it and the wall. When the boxes are hung the angles of the cleats mate and hold them tight to the wall as well as providing downward support. You will also have to shim out the bottom the same thickness as the cleat. If you think you need more support you can provide another cleat set at the bottom or half way up.

The shelves are adjustable but are at 10, 10, 10 and 12 inches in the photo.

This desktop (work in progress) is supported by the file cabinets in the center and a cleat along the back wall. When finished the left end is cantilevered with no vertical support below and supports my weight (150 pounds) with no movement or sagging.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:06 PM
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This is the cleat I was describing:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/hom...h-cleat-shelf/
 
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