Hi everyone! I’m looking for some detailed advice to mentor me through a project while I can’t access workshops or courses! I’m enthusiastic but self-taught and haven’t tackled something like this before. I’m hoping to install some inbuilt bench seats flanking my fireplace and frame out the fireplace or spruce it up some other way to modernise it. The first pic is the area I’m working with and the rest are my inspo. My questions so far are:
1) Would you attach the framing to the walls or build it freestanding and then secure it at the end?
2) Would you remove the carpet in that area, given that at some point we’ll want to replace the flooring for the whole room?
3) Do I need to use treated timber for the framing?
4) Would a circular saw, driver and nail gun be adequate in terms of tools?
Any other tips or things I should consider before starting are most welcome! Thank you in advance
Hi @AS19. Many thanks for your questions, I'd be happy to kick the conversation off.
It sounds like a fantastic project, I'm sure our creative community members will have plenty of ideas to contribute. Your inspiration pictures certainly let us know where you want to head with the project, which is a great start.
Your project will be more structurally sound if you build the bench seats off the existing walls frames. I would consider not doing that since you may remove the carpet later. Depending on what flooring you replace the carpet with, it may leave the bench sitting too high or low. That may not be an issue, but if you do build it in place now, fixing it to the wall, you will need to access fixings to remove it later.
There is no need to use treated timber, as it is only required for external use. Timber such as pine will be perfectly fine for the frame. A circular saw, drill/driver and nail gun will get you most of the way there. Unless you have a particularly nice blade in the circular saw and are near perfect with your cuts, you will need something to finish the edges. A random orbital sander will be great for that job and will assist in many other projects around the home.
I hope that answers some of your questions, I'll pass it over to our helpful community members as I'm sure they will have some great advice to share. Some of our inspirational members @prettyliving, @Mathy, @cupofchloe, @2Belindas may like to join in on the conversation.
Please let me know if you have further questions or need a hand in completing your project.
Do you have an idea what new flooring you will be putting in eventually? If it were me I would remove the carpet in those sections before installing. If you build it off the wall it would be a lot more secure. I found a video on YouTube of a similar project where they built a frame on the wall first, they also had a little vent on the wall same as yours which they made an extension for. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ElPJthzyFLo
Thanks for the reply, Mitchell. The walls are solid brick so I do feel it would make for a much stronger structure if I were to attach it to the walls, but I was concerned about the permanency. Having said that, I can't really see any situation where I would need to remove it since it is just dead space at the moment! I was considering removing the carpet under the bench and leaving a deep trim/skirting at the front to accommodate any change in flooring thickness that could occur in future. Do you think this would be wise?
If you were to remove the carpet adding a deep trim/skirting at the front to accommodate height changes that would solve the issue. In that case, I would certainly be fixing the units to the brick.
Hopefully timber flooring in the long term although that will be a whole-of-house job so we may just replace this carpet with a neutral one in the meantime. We currently have bamboo which is quite thick so I imagine when we do the whole house we'll choose something quite thick again to avoid having issues with gaps beneath the doors. Removing the carpet does seem to be the way to go. Thank you for that video - I just wish it came with more detailed instructions!