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I own two adjacent condo units and I opened a small doorway (24"x80") on the common wall for convenience.

Now I've sold one of the units and need to close the doorway. I recall the wall was simply double drywall on both sides.

My question is: How to close such a large opening? If I can still use drywall, how to secure the pieces to the rest of the wall?

One extra bit of info: one side of the wall was covered by large mirror glasses, and I can easily reattached one glass piece to conceal whatever I do with the doorway (I won't leave it open, of course). But other side of the wall is simply wall-papered so I have to come up with a good way.

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Does double drywall mean that there were two layers of 1/2" drywall? Did you have a door, or was it just an opening through the wall? –  Niall C. Jun 5 '11 at 14:18
    
@Niall C: yes, there were 2 layers of drywall on each side, so in total there were 4 layers. I have a door now. –  Geoffrey Zheng Jun 5 '11 at 16:14
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as shirlock states, if this is a party wall, you need to do it properly and to code. You MIGHT be able to get away with using firedoors if you want to later re-open it, but that's going to cost more than putting the wall back. –  DA01 Jun 6 '11 at 1:25
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in most localities, doors, even 1 hour fire rated doors are not allowed between units. This rule is to eliminate any chance of an individual trying to escape a fire and running into a locked door. I have had to remove such doors in older apt houses. Get rid of the doors, Amen. –  shirlock homes Jun 6 '11 at 18:20
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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

First off, opening a common wall between two separate living units is fine if you occupy both units. It is however against most fire codes to have such a doorway between separate units. Now that you are selling one, you will need to reframe the opening and cover BOTH SIDES with the proper fire rated sheathing, ie: 5/8 or two 1/2 inch pieces of drywall.

To do this, you should frame the opening with 2X4's on sides, top, and a center stud. Attach the drywall as you would for any other interior wall. Tape the seams and use joint compound to smooth the joints. Refinish/paint etc. This will restore the wall to it's original specification. Anything less than a proper fire rated repair should/would be picked up by a competent home inspector and will have to be repaired properly before you can close on the sale anyway. Good luck.

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I found a drywall book in Home Depot with a section showing similar instructions (sans the Good Luck part). Maybe Mr. homes was the author to begin with :) –  Geoffrey Zheng Jun 7 '11 at 12:59
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