Tutorial for building a sloped ceiling knee wall with hidden access doors. Step by step photos by ANA-WHITE.com
Sloped ceilings add so much charm and character to a home. But they can make a room awkward and challenging to use. We recently took our attic room sloped ceilings that looked like this -
And built knee walls out of 2x4s and plywood
But since I wanted the space behind the knee wall to be accessible for storage, we created hidden doors in the knee wall.
The entire knee wall is actually hidden doors - so the area behind is completely accessible.
You could take this project a step further and add closet rods and shelving to create a built in closet. We'll be using the knee wall storage for totes and off season things.
This was a fairly easy project - but time consuming since the walls are each sixteen feet long - that my husband and I tackled over the course of a few days, working a few hours each day on it. We are confident that the average homeowner could tackle this project. Here's how we built our knee walls with hidden storage -
First we chalked lines on the ceiling and the floor where the wall is going. Since the ceiling and floor may be out of square, we used a level and plumb bob to figure out exactly where these lines are.
We choose a height that was slightly less than 48" as plywood is 48" wide - this will help us use the plywood up in the most efficient way (plywood is 48" wide)
On the floor, we screwed a 2x4 and brought our flooring all the way up to the 2x4.
NOTE: You may also need to screw a 1x4 to the ceiling if you cannot just screw into the ceiling. If this is the case, make sure the front edge of the 1x4 does not where the front of the wall will be under the chalked line on the ceiling (you'll hold it back from the chalked line).
On the 2x4 on the floor, we marked out for the vertical studs. We choose 32" spacing since this works out well for a 96" long piece of plywood (you can get exactly three 32" panels from a 96" piece of plywood)
From there we measured and cut each 2x4 to fit. The ceiling sloped from end to end so each stud had to be custom cut. We knew our roof pitch so we just set our miter saw to make this cut. You can use an angle finder to find your roof pitch, or make a pattern and translate that to your miter saw.
We then pocket holed the bottom of the studs to the 2x4 on the floor. You can also use wood screws at an angle.
We screwed the top of the 2x4s right into our ceiling since we have a SIPS ceiling (OSB everywhere).
Then we found the shortest stud, and marked it down 3-1/2" from the top edge of the 2x4 stud.
We then measured the space in between - it ended up being right at 44 inches.
So then we marked the stud on the other end up 44" inches, and chalked a line in between.
Then we screwed 2x4s so the bottom edge of the 2x4 is on the chalked line.
Also note we added a 2x2 to the bottom to cover the gap between the flooring and the wall.
There is a gap on top of the wall framing that we need to fix too.
We finished this gap off with a piece of trim.
For the doors, we purchased euro style overlay hinges for FRAMELESS cabinets. We figured the size of our doors exactly, leaving 1/4" in between the doors - for our 32" spacing of studs, this meant our doors were 31-3/4" wide x 43-1/2" tall.
We cut our doors on a table saw and installed the hinges and hung the doors in the framing.
To disguise the door spacing and provide a handle, we nailed 1x3 boads to the opening edge of the plywood door.
This is what it looks like before paint -
And after paint - We used about a gallon on 32 feet of walls, four feet tall.
We love how this project turned out and know it will greatly improve the function and look of the room.
We also shared in video format this entire build