I did something similar last summer in my wife's home office. I thought it would take a day. it took me 3 days. Probably 30 hours of work/Home Depot runs. I am the only one who notices the "mistakes". My wife got compliments for months about her new zoom background. Any way nice job.


Nice! I’m sure I was WAY over 30 hrs labor and half a dozen big box store trips by the time this got done but I agree. My work zoom calls look much nicer now. :)


My dad's neighbor has "chop" saw I was able to use. it saved me a bit. I also didn't go to the ceiling. my wife wanted to put plants up top. I wanted to put lights and a library ladder on it. I was told no.


If I owned a house I would want a library ladder.


I am trying to find somewhere to put a book case tall enough as an excuse for one.


The ceilings at my place are 7.5 feet tall. Don't think you'll need a ladder...


That's not the point. Also, I am almost 5' tall.


My wife wants a nice background for her zoom/teams calls instead of my computer desk... so we're investing in a pulldown green screen. I'll show her how to route her signal through OBS so she can utilize the green screen.


but you can just use images as zoom background using zoom itself. granted it probably isn't as smooth as using an actual green screen but it is good enough


I took a picture of my actual office as it would be seen by my webcam and use it as my background. Other than the halo effect, no one knows if I'm at work or WFH!


I didn't think people actually thought those backgrounds were, "good enough" but based on the upvotes I guess they are to some people. To me they look amateurish.


I mean, you can upload your own photos to use as backgrounds..


That's not the issue but I can see I didn't explain myself correctly, so thank you. The cropping around the person's body and hair borders on cringe for visual effect. To me, using one of those effects is the same feeling I get when I see something on r/DIYwhy


I always feel like most people just end up making the room tiny but this looks great.


Outside window sill rotting. Watch a "how to replace" video at 7am. Video is 8 minutes long. Seems easy enough. 12\. Hours. Later. _In the dark **and now it's raining...**_


I always take videos like that with a pinch of salt because: 1. I always take longer to do something the first time because it’s new to me and I’m learning. The person in the video has much more experience than me. 2. I don’t know what I might uncover when I start. Could be nothing, could be another costly job. 3. What I’m trying to work on may not be the same as what they’re trying to work on. Some modifications might be needed. And that’s why I’ve been too afraid to remove my toilet in order to put down a new bathroom floor for the past year or so 😄




That could be "flat rate time". In auto mechanics lingo that means "on average" it takes a tech X Hours to do a job....But if you know the job from previous experience it often takes less real world time. Often not tons of savings, your 14 hour job probably still took 10 to 12, maybe 16 even if they had issues. That's the rub, as a customer most of the time you end up paying labor time that never actually got spent on your car. So when the youtubers and the dealership hours match up like that, that's what the "book" says it should take.


“Book time” is the average of three “New to this job” attempts by three mechanics. No power tools are allowed and all actions must follow the instructions as written. Naturally, if you are new to auto repair, it will likely take more time than “Book.” On the other hand, if it is your 10th time, you’ve noticed some shortcuts and have power tools available, you can often do the job in half of the “Book time.” You get paid “Book time” regardless.


Yeah, that's more accurate, I didnt know the details of how they came up with book time, but I knew most mechanics beat it.


Ain’t it always the case .😆


> I swear that it's the outlet that's crooked and not my frame. I absolutely believe this. My home was bought off a guy who I think favored himself as a handyman, but maybe could have used a little more practice. The majority of my outlets were crooked when I bought the house. There's a reason "Goddammit, Al!" is commonly heard when I'm working on a project... Also, we have the same record player and great choice of record in the photo.


My dad was a joiner for years, fucking houses aren't built square never mind the outlets lmao


My old house had a 22’ long hallway on the second floor that was 11” wider at one end than the other. Nothing was square in the ENTIRE house. Your project looks great!


345 it baby


Took my longer than I care to admit to get that.


Help me out. Is this for finding square with a triangle method?


Yes, it’s a simple representation of Pythagorean method


inside angles of a square does not make 345, unless it's a house I suppose.


Nah, a triangle with side lengths of 3, 4 and a hypotenuse of length 5 is a right angle triangle


Seriously, american house construction is absolute garbage. Nothing in my house is straight, easy to find, or sensible. It's just "Whatevers cheapest, fuckit" the house.


r/purplecoco I have not one, but two, outlets wired to the ceiling at random in the middle of rooms


Ahhh... Purplecoco, remember when that place started. Still a fun weirdness.


Not only was my cousin's house like yours, the landscaping was planted based on juvenile size. I was constantly trimming all fourteen different types of trees and bushes. I did get the short arborvitae cleared off the front sidewalk.


Oh god, yep. And the crabapples, god I hate crabapples. They contribute nothing other than growing fast, no shade or anything, and they stay tiny. Trying to get them ripped out and replaced with oaks or something at the moment.


I forgot the plum tree the city butchered. The fruit was inedible, but messy. There were two big, old birches in the front yard. A five mph wind would knock branches down. When you plant trees and bushes you need to routinely prune them. Which reminds me of a little evergreen sandwiched between an everbearing rose and a Winged Euonymous. I learned everywhere you trim a euonymus branch five more will grow.


The Bon Iver 10th anniversary album just finally shipped for me also!


We have "fucking Gary" here. $25,000 in repairs on a seven year old house because of his handywork


Ours is "fuckin Marcus".... The previous owner did quite a few updates. Seems like just enough to shut up the wife and hide the stuff she couldn't see


In my house it’s “Goddammit, Bob!” for the same reason. Solidarity.




I believe I may just be able to beat all of you. It's "Goddammit Willie," the guy who decided to add a wall in the bathroom to run plumbing for a showerhead and faucet. I am assuming some original clawfoot tub with no shower. Anyway, the guy just built a frame, screwed it to the floor, and mounted the drywall. Secure it to the ceiling joists or the wall for support? Nah, too much effort. When I was tearing it all apart, I found an empty beer can behind the drywall.


My house it's. WTF now? 100 year old house i rebuilt my kitchen, tore it down to the studs and found a boxed in pantry. 3' wide by 3' deep. I was renoing the kitchen to make more room for storage space as there wasn't enough space. We joked about leaving a playboy in the wall for the next person to find.




All the baseboards in my house are just a little short. Fuckin' Ray.


And in my house, it’s “Jan, Rest In Peace, Mr. 48.5 degrees.”


"Fuckin Harvey" around my house. "Why is neutral hot?! Fuckin' Harvey!" "Why is there an AC register pushed into the attic wasting my AC above the bathroom?! Fuckin' Harvey!!!!!!!"


If you take the cover off there is some horizontal play in the receptacle screws so you can loosen them and level it if they're not too far off.


Thanks for the tip, friend!


Which audio phonica record player is that?


That's an AT-LP60.




If all Al did poorly was crooked outlets the he sound great compared to Cliff. Cliff jacked up the kitchen roof and cemented around the roof plate with no regard for air flow, roof pitch or safety. He also dug out a mooring and used all the excess mud to raise our garden by 4" compared to the neighbours. He ran electrical and plumbing all over with no regard for safety or regs. And he boarded the house with no regard for moisture making sure everything behind his work slowly rotted. On the plus side he wrecked the house so much it made it cheap enough for us to afford even if it did take 5 years to fix up.


Ours is called a "Malcolm special."


Don't be too quick to blame the previous owner. My house was built by a "home builder" (Pulte) and I'd say 75%-85% of the outlets and switches were crooked when I moved in (many were loose too).


"Damnit RONNIE" is the equivalent saying in our house. Same shit. We found pictures hanging off of drywall screws, toggle bolt fasteners (sans toggle bolt obviously), framing nails, tapcons... Literally anything except picture nails.


...if the drywall screw pulls out it leaves the perfect size hole for a plastic anchor. If the plastic anchor pulls out it leaves a hole big enough for a toggle bolt. Why bother planning ahead when nature provides? My legacy will cause so much swearing.


Many houses nowadays are pre-built and just assembled on site. Working in the construction industry is a tough low-paid job so workers just stay in this business until finding a better job. So many of them don't really have the skills to even properly assemble the materials on site.


Lmao. I think I'm going to yell "God damn it, Al" now whenever I find something F'd up.


I'll take B+ work with a story over a store bought job any day. Solid DIYing friend 😄


Agreed! Thanks, friend.


For what it’s worth, I find your work inspiring!


At least A -, I give it an A. Looks great


This came out great!!! I considered doing a similar project in the fall and after reading this I'm glad I didn't - my skills are not quite there!


You should still give it a go! I’m just a little handy and managed to do it. I think it just takes a full tank of persistence, patience, and time.


I ended up getting two Hemnes shelves at IKEA, and they suffice! I was going to have to buy a bunch of tools I didn't have to do built-ins, and I chickened out :)


I think you did a pretty solid job for your first time doing built-ins! If I could offer one bit of feedback/suggestion... the top is not great. You tried to take it up to the ceiling, but didn't have enough room and it looks like an afterthought. Even after you added the floor trim, it still isn't flush because your ceiling isn't flat (most ceilings are just like yours). I would invite you to consider scrapping the top section completely, removing the 2x4s, and putting the same trim at the top as you did at the top of your door. It'll tie everything together and look more complete. You can set a couple plants up there on top of it, or put more of those wicker baskets or whatever. Alternatively, caulk/fill that gap between the built-ins and the ceiling. I think the glaring issue is that built-ins should look built-in, but that gap gives it away. You really did a fantastic job on everything else though! I spent a long weekend modifying some pre-existing builtins to handle a 80" TV and it required pulling it all apart and new trim, so I can totally relate to your struggles.


Your feedback is very much appreciated. I put up and took down that top part at least 3 times trying to figure out the best way to do it. And I think in the end I just had enough of fiddling with it. What you’re saying about tying in the same style from that door makes a lot of sense though. I would really like to redo that part but I’m not convinced that I should pull it down from going all the way up to the ceiling. You’ve definitely given me some things to consider. Cheers, friend.


I would just slap a small trim piece up to hide the gap. It'll look better than caulk I think but either way will look fine. Edit: actually just get the exact trim that's on the bottom and it will tie in really nicely.


This is where I'm 90% leaning; a small decorative strip. To be honest, I just couldn't bring myself to make one more big box store trip for a small strip of trim. I completely agree that caulking the top would look pretty awful.


You could also use a length of shoe molding at the top to cover the gap.


Other constructive criticism: Bring the outlet into the boxes, not build a hole around it. I see that you are in Chicago, so definitely do not hire somebody to do this and don’t pull a permit. Chicago has absolutely insane and inane electrical conduit and box rules. Why raise the cabinet boxes but not put in recessed toe kick? Gonna stub your toes on those bad boys It looks odd to the eye when you use base for case, or vice versa. They’ve been designed differently for centuries. Anything you do that keeps that baseboard on the top can look odd. Not bad, per se, just odd. And caulk the ceiling line there to get rid of the gap, easy aesthetic fix. You went through the work of making door trim, now paint the door :) Overall it’s nice work for a beginner. Looks good. And you’re correct that a miter saw will change your life in this and other projects. Check Craigslist, there’s always somebody wanting an upgrade and they’ll put your $50 for their nice used saw toward it.


Thanks for the feedback and tips! It's very much appreciated. About the outlet, I didn't want to extend it because the record player cable runs behind the cabinet so that the cords are hidden. And I agree mum's the word to the city of Chicago. I had to google "recessed toe kick" because I had no idea what that was! ;D I'm going to remember that method the next time I try this. And also, yes, I'm embarrassed by the state of that door. I have no idea what the previous owners did to it but it's seen better days. I still have to update the header on the closet door in the room to match and painting them both is on my to-do list.


It’s Ikea furniture. They sell extender shelves for Billy bookcases that would’ve taken them all the way to the ceiling. Edit: and they’re only $30 a piece. $10 more than that fascia board to have a whole extra area for storage.


I did plan on using the extenders and I purchased two of them. Unfortunately, I did not measure the baseboard height + bookshelves base properly against the height of my ceiling and the extenders would not fit. I had to lose the extra shelves and go custom which is another reason why this took longer than I expected.


Why not use a box extender and bring that outlet forward into the cabinet?


Because a) I didn't know box extenders existed and b) I wanted to run the record player plug down from the top of the desk without the cables being visible.


Why are all of your outlets sideways?


I think it’s a regional thing (Chicago).


It’s a Jersey thing™️


Nothing \*ever\* takes the time you think it will. Budget double or better, and even then be ready to fudge the timeline if need be.


Nice Job! That came out great. The lessons you learned are going to be more valuable over time than the cost of materials. Nice job and thanks for sharing! Now go listen to Bon Ever and maybe a little Father John Misty while you're at it.


That was a rollercoaster ride but the finished product looks nice. Good job


Looks great finished! I love the record holder idea above the record player. Can I ask… do you store your other records on this shelf also? Or just the few that are in the picture?


The little shelf above the player only holds one at a time. I’ll store all the other records not being played underneath.


So you only have like 20 records? Or do the shelves to the left also hold records? Not judging just curious. I’ve been looking for shelves to hold my husbands record collection but nothing has been tall enough


I probably only have about 50 records at the moment so they all fit below the record player easily. But extra records could fit in the bookcase shelves too if there’s overflow one day.




I think built-in's only really qualify as being "built-in" if the shelves are recessed into the wall, or at least there is an illusion of them being recessed (my personal opinion). Requires planning when designing the room or remodeling it. Doing all the work to screw shelves to the walls/floor, then caulk and put trim around, just to still have them jutting out into the room, seems weird. They would look just as good if they were free-standing units, and could be more easily changed or moved later.


I learned the hard way too never to assume floors, walls or ceilings to be straight. I now spend more time to properly measure everything and first prototype to test design ideas. With build-ins I use height adjustable furniture feet, like the ones under some kitchen cabinets to level things out. Anyhow, looks very nice and just the fact you’ve made it yourself makes you look at it differently and appreciate it more. Future projects will get easier too.


Wood shims definitely saved me. This is a 100-year-old house and absolutely nothing was level. Great tip about the adjustable feet.


> With build-ins I use height adjustable furniture feet, like the ones under some kitchen cabinets to level things out. I've been putting off building some built-ins for my ever-growing LEGO obsession and this sounds like a great idea to get me started. Do you use anything to lock the threads prior to boxing them in or no?


Hello! Did you end up using this method?


If I ever get around to starting this project it'll be a GD miracle. Too many other things that need finishing first, I'm afraid.


That looks exceptional!


Great work and nice photos!


Tuned out nice.


Wow. Solid first project. Looks great!


"A weekend." Yeah. Lmao. Beautiful job!!!


Haha! Ikr?? :)




So true! I had started to plan a little side door/slot for the gap next to the record player desk but with the days and weeks mounting, I left that mini-project for another day.




Woah. 👀 Joined.


Nice! if you end up doing something cool with that space i’d love to see it!


the half-assed tutorial on foundation repair? *hand me my patching trowel, boy!*


Another case of DIWhydidIdothistomyself


Took me two months: https://www.reddit.com/r/homerenovations/comments/fmgyso/builtin\_shelves/


Wow! Looks great! The lighting looks really sharp! I love the lounging/reading corner nook too!


Lovely record choice! I'll see you over in r/boniver :)


Bon Iver is a GREAT album. Nice choice! And the built in looks great!


Nice. Do you have any problems with the records skipping when you walk?


Not that I’ve noticed but now you make me want to test it.


Former homeowner was an Elvis impersonator. I cussed him out a lot while sanding down the gold paint on the walls in my bedroom. It was as thick as gold hobby paint and too slick to take primer. And the other bedroom had the word "Hawaii" painted in red. Took so many coats of primer and paint to hide it. I'm getting pissed off just thinking about that man.


Fine work! How did you get the two bookshelves to appear as one? I have three lined up and the gaps/creases are driving me crazy! Did you put some sort of laminate over the vertical edges?


Thank you. All of the edges and creases where pieces meet are secured together with decking screws and the faces trimmed to make them appear seamless. There is a very good primer video on how to do this by This Old House that describes the process nicely. Just Google "How to Build a Custom Built-In Using Stock Shelving | Ask This Old House"


Thank you so much! I will absolutely check this out. Cheers!




I love the record player set up! Very cool.


For new DIYer's, get a cheap compound (can cut angles on 2 axis) miter saw from Harbor Freight. If you need to cut wide boards, get the sliding version. You don't have to buy a premium blade, but upgrade to the 80T (80 teeth) for home carpentry. My little Chicago Electric is great (although you can tell it is not built to be thrown in a pickup truck every day)


Thanks for the tip, friend.


Love that peek of Bon Iver. The shelves look great, too!


Things tend to take a while when like you say, “I’ve never worked with wood before.” Everything is a learning curve. I would say don’t bother getting a mitre saw, just build more stuff and get better at it. You won’t nail it first time. It’s the first time. Get some builders fill and a good sander… then just pretend you did it right by filling mistakes.


The fist thing I learned doing DIY: It takes much longer than it’s estimated to. I’m lucky to have it finished in 3 times the amount of time estimated, especially if I’ve never done it before. Now when you do something’s multiple times it does get quicker, but usually still longer than estimated.


Love it!


No offense intended, but what exactly is the benefit of built-ins in this situation?


What is the benefit of built-ins in any situation? It's to make the space more useful to me while also adding beauty. This is my office.


It also gets rid of those half an inch wide gaps that are only good for collecting dust. It looks more uniform and clean so good job!


I understand you worked hard on this, and I hope you learned a lot, but it’s genuinely pretty awful. If you continue to do these types of things, you will grow to hate this project and hopefully redo it. Buy a miter saw, a miter saw protractor, and an oscillating multitool…and a coping saw.


I’m here to learn so any actual constructive feedback about what is “generally awful” would be great. And I already mentioned in my post that next time I would invest in better tools. Sometimes we have to work with what we have though. This is my practice project in my personal office so I gave it a go.


I would like to let all of you trying things like this in on a "secret" . STOP USING CAULK. Jesus please it's messy and looks like crap. Use shrink free spakle. Nail hole ,spakle. Small gap ,spakle. You get the point. Lay it on smooth it with your finger or a puddy knife. Then lightly sand when dry. Once you paint and it dries you will thank me. P.S. you can use this trick on trim joints too.


Looks great! And yes, it always takes longer than we think. Did you have to install the trim on the top because the original trim was not tall enough? Or did you originally intend to create a 2-layer trim at the very top?


Originally I was thinking there would be just a small gap at the top that I could run a little decorative strip across (like just an inch or so). But instead, I had to go chonky.


Looks great! Any idea what the name of the gray wall color is?


Thank you! The walls are [Behr Marquee Hush](https://www.behr.com/consumer/ColorDetailView/PPU26-16/) and the cabinets & trim are [Behr Semi-Gloss Enamel Interior Cabinet and Trim](https://www.behr.com/pro/products/interior-products/interior-paints-and-coatings/paints-and-coatings/behr-premium-cabinet-and-trim/behr-premium-interior-cabinet-and-trim-enamel)


Because “it’ll take four weekends, swearing sweat and blood”. Won’t sell shelving


Looks great. Btw do yourself a favour and get a hifi amp and stereo speakers to replace the sound bar!


Thanks! And totally. Maybe one day I'll beef up the sound; run some wires to the top of the bookcases or something. LED lights might be cool too. But for now, it's just nice to have it all functional and tidy.


Oh yeah for sure! That sounds like a good idea with the LEDs.


I'm just trying to figure out why you used particle board from Ikea instead of real wood if you went through this much trouble. You obviously have the equipment and skills to take the few hours to cut and screw some wood to make that simple bookshelf.


Cost primarily. The IKEA total was just $150. Real wood is not cheap. And as I mentioned, I had never built much of anything with wood before let alone a piece of furniture so I wasn't feeling confident that I could build two bookcases and a side table from scratch.


I feel a little bad for pointing this out, but OP could’ve gotten extender shelves for those Billy bookcases, that would’ve made the shelves go all the way to the ceiling and not wasted that space above the top of the shelves.


Don’t feel bad pointing that out. It’s a good call. I did purchase them assuming that I could use them but they ended up being too tall. I think the problem was that I hadn’t properly measured for the baseboard height plus the height of the bottom of the bookcase when I was planning. Just another reason everything took a bit longer than I anticipated.


Just remove the box and install a new work box into the back of your cabinet! It's less work and will look cleaner.