Up-cycle/Recycle

Jesse and Marilyn King with Danny Lipford and Allen Lyle.

Jesse and Marilyn King with Danny Lipford and Allen Lyle.

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Marilyn and Jesse King own their 30-year-old home, and during the 18 years they’ve lived there, they’ve made a few upgrades. We help them tackle the laundry room, starting with a very unique project.

First, we up-cycled an old hutch into a cabinet that houses their cat, Angel’s, litter box. Then we built a display shelf that covers two walls for Marilyn’s decorative plates and memorabilia. And, finally, we created a solution for the storage of their recycling.

Converting Furniture to a Private Litter Box

With a little modification, a hutch or other similar piece of furniture makes a great place to conceal a cat litter box. To make room for the box to be taken out at cleaning time, we removed the stile between the doors on the cabinet. After we cut the stile in two at the top and bottom, we glued it to the inside of one of the doors, so no void was left between the doors.

Chelsea, Danny and Allen work on the old hutch.

Chelsea, Danny and Allen work on the old hutch.

A pet door allows the cat access to the inside from the right side of the cabinet. We created a template to make marking and cutting the opening for the pet door much easier. We applied a new coat of paint before installing the pet door and modified cabinet doors on the hutch.

In the back of the cabinet, we cut a small hole for ventilation. This hole lines up with an in-wall room-to-room ventilation fan that draws odors out of the hutch and exhausts them to the garage and on to the outside. Finally, we added a small battery powered, motion detector light to illuminate the inside of the cabinet.

Watch How to Convert Hutch Into Cat Litter Box Cabinet to learn more.

Hutch with cat door and fan for litter box.

Hutch with cat door and fan for litter box.

Creating Recycling Chutes

In the Kings’ house, their laundry room is adjacent to the garage, so creating through-the-wall chutes for sorting and storing recyclables was a great way to reduce indoor clutter.

We began by locating and marking the studs inside the wall with a stud finder. Next, we laid out the location of the chutes on the inside, being careful to avoid the studs. Since we used pet doors to cover the chutes, we used them to mark the size of the holes that we cut in the drywall, avoiding cutting any wires inside the walls.

Up-cycled hutch and recycling chutes.

Up-cycled hutch and recycling chutes.

We built the chutes themselves from pieces of 1/2-inch plywood. The inside opening matched the pet door’s size while the outside was slightly taller to allow the bottom of the chute to be angled down. The holes in the drywall on the garage side were cut to match the larger end of the chutes so they could be fished into the wall from that side. Mounting screws for the pet door secured them on the inside while narrow molding tacked around the outside secured that side of the chute.

As a finishing touch, we added letters to the inside of the pet doors to designate which chute gets what recyclables.

Watch How to Build Chutes for Recycling to learn more.

The new chutes direct the recycling to bins in the garage.

The new chutes direct the recycling to bins in the garage.

Building Corner Shelves Using Biscuit Joints

To display Marilyn’s decorative plates and other memorabilia, we built shelves in the laundry room. We used biscuit joints for the corner shelving, so when everything was caulked and painted, the shelf presented clean, attractive lines that provided a secure place to display her decorative items.

Watch How to Build Corner Display Shelves Using Biscuit Joints to learn more.

The Kings' cat, Angel.

The Kings’ cat, Angel.

Other Tips from This Episode

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Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Washing Baseboards

Mix one quart of water with about one cup of liquid fabric softener. Use a cloth or sponge to wash the decorative molding and baseboards. Watch the video.

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Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi 18-Volt One+ Power Inflator

The Ryobi 18-Volt Power Inflator is perfect for tires and small inflatables ranging from 0-150 psi. The cordless convenience allows for use in virtually any location. It is available at . Watch the video.

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Ask Danny Lipford:
Thinking Green When Remodeling

Consider the impact on the environment when remodeling your home by donating building materials you remove, looking for recycled content in new materials, and choosing water- and energy-efficient products and materials. Watch the video.

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Up-cycle/Recycle