The Absurdity of Plywood Closets

Happy almost 32nd birthday to me! Instead of celebrating with a rare dinner out to Free State Brewery, we will be buying framing and drywall materials and writing a check to the nice contractor guys who just finished painting our house trim.

The almost "before" picture. Here, I'd already taken off the plywood closet doors and the shelves from the half shelf space that will be part of our slightly larger new closet.
The almost “before” picture. I’d already taken off the plywood closet doors and the shelves from the half-shelf space.
With the half shelving torn out, we had expected only to patch this patch of drywall. Except, of course, there's no drywall.
With the half shelving torn out, we had expected only to patch this amount of drywall. Except, of course, there’s no drywall.

Our closet project was supposed to be a breeze. We wanted to tear out some awkward shelving and push the wall back so we could slightly expand our closet. We expected only a bit of demo, patching the hole in the drywall, installing the kit, and painting the bedroom. And presto chango, we have a bigger and infinitely more functional closet!

If only.

When I started the demo, I learned that our closets were made entirely out of plywood. In both our closet and our spare room’s closet, not a single 2 x 4 could be found. The closets are not original to the house, so at some point, some brilliant individual thought: I’ll make closets out of plywood! What a great idea! I’ll tack them into the ground and the ceiling with a 1 x 4! I’m so clever! Woo!

Except, of course, it’s not clever. It’s absurd.

Moreover, we cannot install our closet kit on plywood, so we need to frame in not one, but two closets. We need to hang a LOT of drywall, not a 12-inch wide piece of it. Of course, my back is a mess, and I’m worried about Lee’s hands. I hate that he hurts, and I hated watching him bust out our bag of “sad corn” to ice his hand last night after an hour of demo.

This is our cheap ice pack. It's way more functional than using real ice, and we drew the sad face on it so we would never be tempted to eat it.
This is our cheap ice pack. It’s less messy than using real ice, and we drew the sad face on it so we would never be tempted to eat it.

So, I called back the contractors to whom I had just paid the last painting check, and they came back today to give me a quote for the two closets. When the first contractor arrived, he said, “I’ve seen a lot of weird things done to houses, but this is really ridiculous.” I couldn’t agree more. After all, while I was mid-demo of the first closet yesterday, I sent Lee an email where I called that oh-so-brilliant previous homeowner “crazy.” After we apprised the second contractor of the plywood-closet situation, I asked, “on a scale of 1 to absurd… how absurd was that remodel?” The contractor nodded his head thoughtfully and declared, “pretty absurd.”

The 3/4 inch plywood wall in our room, and the back of the closet in the spare room. We did not expect to tear out this closet.
The 3/4 inch plywood wall in our room, and the back of the closet in the spare room. We did not expect to tear out this closet.

The contractors gave us a fair quote, and I think the likelihood of raiding our emergency fund is quite high, medical bills be damned. Unfortunately, we also learned that every other closet in our house is also made from plywood. They, however, are going to remain plywood for the time being.

So, on my birthday this Friday, we’ll stay home instead of going out, and I’ll toast our health, good-guy contractors, and the absurdity of plywood closets.

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