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We recently removed a reach-in closet from the bedroom, leaving three 4-inch gaps on the drywall (left, right, and top/ceiling). We would like to patch the gaps and install a IKEA PAX system.

There are two-by-fours in the gaps so it should be easy to just put new drywall sheets on them. However, the drywalls of the gap on the left are uneven. Closer insepction shows the studs behind it are misaligned.

How are we supposed to fix the gap on the left? Please refer to the photos to see the situation.

photos of drywalls of now-removed reach-in closet

Additional info

  • The depth of the PAX system (58 cm or 22.875 inch) is the almost the same as the width of the closet wall , so the PAX won't be deep enough to cover the gap.

  • The drywalls on the left side are misaligned in a way that:

    • the drywalls near the top are aligned (room wall and closet wall on the same level)
    • the drywalls near the bottom are misaligned (as shown in the picture)
    • only the top half of the closet wall is nailed to the stud while the bottom half is just dangling around because there is no stud behind it

This is what the top-left corner looks like. The stud is not connected to the horizontal 2x4:

top-left corner

This is what the bottom-left corner looks like. The stud on the right is rotated a bit, and the stud on the left is half-extruded. It cannot be pushed in even if the nails are cut, because the stud on the right is blocking the way:

bottom-left corner

I'm considering cutting the nails and pushing the stud in to make it align with other studs, but I'm not sure which is better:

  • reducing the dimension of the stud next to it to make way
  • detach the drywall from the stud, move the stud a few cm's to the left, and attach the drywall back

Update

I checked and found out that one of the misaligned studs was not actually supporting the horizonal beam -- I can insert a plastic card into the top of the it and there were no nails/screws connecting the stud to the horizontal 2x4. The bottom part was also not connected. I disconnected the stud with the drywall and removed it. Now the main room wall can be pushed in to be aligned with the closet wall. The issue is much easier to fix now.

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  • 1
    How deep is the PAX you intend to install?
    – Huesmann
    Sep 12, 2023 at 12:34
  • @Huesmann the depth of the PAX is almost the same as the width of the closet wall, so it won't cover the gap unfortunately... Sep 12, 2023 at 18:36
  • Is that one stud loose in the bottom left. Have you tried cutting the stud loose with a sawzall perhaps, and just pushing it back into alignment and reattaching it. Cutting back a the drywall a little more may reveal why it's pushed out and allow access for fixing it. Sep 12, 2023 at 19:04
  • @RossFranklin Thanks for the suggestion. I'm considering pushing the stud in as well. However, the stud next to it is blocking the way (see my new photos). Sep 12, 2023 at 20:28
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    Just cut the stud or the other one back as needed. That other stud looks like an issue too. I would consider cutting out more drywall to the next stud(s) over so that you can remove and repair the stud as a good option. Patching a 16" or 24" wide gap is pretty much the same amount of work as patching a 4" gap. And it's likely less work than any other type of repair like furring out the wall or floating it out with compound etc. Sep 13, 2023 at 21:20

3 Answers 3

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A few options:

A. Pad the closet wall out. Determine how much extra material has to be added to the left wall to make it flush with the room wall. If you're fortunate, one of the different available thicknesses of drywall sold locally will just be enough. I have seen 1/4", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" thick drywall spoken of by contractors and/or seen in big box stores. It could also be possible to add a layer of something else, like laminate etc, to make up an extra 16th of an inch (mm) etc under the new drywall piece. Tape and mud the joints.

B. Remove the drywall from the left side of the closet. Add furring strips to the studs to bring the stud edges out to the studs of the main room. Apply new drywall of the same thickness as the room drywall. Tape and mud the joints.

C. Ignore it. Cover the exposed stud as reasonably as possible with drywall/tape/mud. Use the Ikea furniture to cover over the difference as much as possible. Store long clothing on the left side so the difference won't get noticed most of the time. No problem seen, no solution needed.

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  • I've not seen 1/4" drywall, but they definitely sell 3/8" around me.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 12, 2023 at 15:21
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    I picked up some 1/4" to skin over a wall with a lot of family-applied DIY self-stick vinyl tile on it before a move. A lot easier than getting the tile off and refreshing the drywall underneath. Sep 12, 2023 at 15:24
  • @Triplefault Before moving into the place the tile, or moving out of it? I want to know how angry to be at your fix...
    – Logarr
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:33
  • Moving out. It was a racing-theme decoration for my son, checkerboard black and white tiles, to look like a victory flag, all over the wall. Sep 12, 2023 at 18:36
  • @Triplefault Thanks! Option B looks promising. The complication of option A is that I forgot to mention that only the bottom half of the drywalls are misaligned while the top half are okay. So drywalls are uneven in two directions. If I pad the closet wall with another layer, it's still uneven. Sep 12, 2023 at 18:53
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Unless I'm missing something, it seems that all you have to do is add trim to that frame. Part of the purpose of wood trim is to cover the transition between two walls (or two materials, or whatever). When one wall is at a different level, you just add a piece of wood to fill the difference.

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  • Thanks. I forgot to mention (added to question now) that only the bottom half of the drywalls are uneven while the top half is okay. Should I only add trim to the bottom half? Sep 12, 2023 at 18:55
  • Trim is made to cover issues like that! You're overthinking this. Trim trim trim
    – Cheery
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:57
  • The 3 main magic tricks of the finish carpenter are shims, trim, and caulk. Very few things can't be solved with that.
    – Cheery
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:07
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On the right side a strip of drywall and tape and mud is all you need.

On the left side, the difference between the drywall surface in the old closet and the room wall is 1 inch.

A simple solution would be to purchase one 8 foot 5/4 decking board. (the thickness is 1 inch) Rip it in half. (doesn't have to be perfectly straight or pretty, it will be covered.) Cut sections equal to the depth of the old closet.

Find the studs in the old closet. Attach the deck boards horizontally at the top, bottom and about every 16 inches.

Measure and cut the drywall and attach to the wood that is now even with the left side stud. Tape, mud, sand, prime and paint.

Now you have 2 walls that are straight to the back of the old closet.

No need to tear anything out, add extra shims, do double layers...Done.

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  • How did you determine the 1" offset? Sep 12, 2023 at 13:21
  • upper left hand pic, shows the wall with a stud short. that stud had the bottom plate ripped off because it was the closet front perpendicular to the room wall. it's 1 1/2" -1/2" for the drywall = 1 inch.
    – RMDman
    Sep 12, 2023 at 13:27
  • what is the purpose of ripping the board? just to save the cost of buying two boards?
    – stannius
    Sep 12, 2023 at 16:42
  • Double layers seem promising. The drywalls are uneven only at the bottom (top half is okay), so I may need to add deck boards to the bottom half... Sep 12, 2023 at 18:59

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