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johnnymnemonic 11-09-2011 08:05 PM

We're renovating our condominium. My contractor intends to charge us extra for some of the blocking on the walls, because we don't know exactly what is going to go on all the walls.

The contractor seems to think we need to know where our heavy paintings or Murphy bed will go, even though we will only buy these well after the renovation. In fact, he would have liked us to point out what items what size we have, so he can put the minimum amount of blocking based on these items. The rationale is that the things we may want to move are light items, and these can be moved without trouble to areas that have no blocking.

What constitutes standard in terms of number of blocking "panels"?

joecaption 11-09-2011 08:31 PM

A Murffy bed is one thing but were picture are going is another.
If your going to put grab bars in the bathroom, heavy towel bars, toilet paper hangers, shower curtin poles, all are good to have some extra support.
But in the living area, he's trying to rip you off. A block takes all of 5 min. and some scrap material.

BridgeMan 11-09-2011 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 63403)
A Murffy bed is one thing but were picture are going is another . . . . But in the living area, he's trying to rip you off. A block takes all of 5 min. and some scrap material.

That all depends on the quality of work being done by the contractor. Was inspecting an ADA job for the State Department of Human Services last year, and gave the wall-mount bathroom sink my usual hefty downward push (ADA says it has to resist a 250 lb. force in any direction). Wasn't too surprised when the sink pulled completely away and down from the wall (making it unusable), based on some of the other sloppy work by this contractor I'd already observed and put on his punch list that afternoon. When I came back the next day to monitor the corrective work being done (drywall removed), it was no surprise that the so-called "blocking" was a series of splintered scraps of junk 2 x 4s, toe-nailed in between the studs in probably less than the 5-minutes advocated by joecaption. To make the sink mount ADA-compliant, I had the contractor's carpenter install a continuous 2 x 6 block across 3 stud spaces, inset into the 2 x 6 stud (non-load bearing) wall, and reinforced with 2 x 4 short stubs on top.* And install all of the sink bracket-mounting screws that had been left out during the previous, faulty "5-minute" installation. Complete rework took more than an hour, not counting reinstallation of the sink.

*Probably similar to what I expect would be needed for a properly-installed Murphy bed.

west 11-10-2011 06:37 AM

It takes time and thought to know where to put blocking...for a murphy bed its a big deal to frame that out, decide where you want things and pay for it!

Architect in Westchester county NY

johnnymnemonic 11-10-2011 12:02 PM

Well, I understand it takes time and thought, which is why I can't and don't want to do it now. It sounds silly that I should have my mind set on the position of my Murphy bed. Surely people must have had this undecidedness problem in the past few millennia and figured a solution for it that goes as the accepted standard and doesn't cost a ****load of money.

In other words, if I don't know where my Murphy bed will be, the contractor should know that a priori unless I mention otherwise, and unless the contract mentions it, it should be the accepted standard.

When I said pictures, I meant large heavy paintings, see Andy Warhol. Surely I must have the option to have those too without having to decide my layout now and stick with it for the next I-don't-know-how-many years.

I don't know what to read into the post about the crappy work with the sink. It's obvious I want a quality job done. What I'm asking is whether I should pay extra for it and for not knowing exactly where I want to put my stuff.

Any other thoughts?

joecaption 11-10-2011 12:40 PM

Every brand of Murphy bed it differnant in the way it's installed and placement of fastners. So unless you had the exact bed your planing on install with the directions in front of you it's impossible to know exactly where to put the blocking. Most often it's simply attached to the walls studs using no blocking behind the wall.
Some come with cabinets that get attached to the walls and the bed pivits at the bottom pivits attached to the cabinets.
He's one example.
Murphy Bed Installation

johnnymnemonic 06-28-2012 09:45 PM

BridgeMan: I'll have to keep your notes in mind when it comes time to put in a Murphy bed. It sounds like we'll need to pry open the dry wall and put in proper heavy duty blocking.

inspectorD 06-29-2012 06:26 AM

My :2cents:
In the past when we installed blocking, we had a general Idea where it needed to go, That is why contractors ask the questions they do. And a couple or 2x6's on their faces and some PL400 glue makes a good 11 inch block.
In one extreme case, we even put 3/4 inch plywood over the face of the wall. Those cabinets are never gonna move!:D

CallMeVilla 07-01-2012 11:21 PM

Murphy beds can be installed by using mounting hardward into existing studs. My only worry is if you have metal studs . . . always a problem for pictures, mirrors and grab bars.

Honestly, if you have wood studs, you can mount large pictures -- if you know what you are doing! You can even install a ledger board across the top that hits the studs.

Here is what I found recommended for the beds: Not all walls are created equal; therefore your specific wall type will have a specific fastener that will work best. Below are some suggestions, but we always recommend checking with your builder, building manager, or local hardware store for the best recommendation.

1.Toggle bolts are the recommended fastener for walls with metal studs or lathe and plaster.
2.Hollow wall anchors, also known as Molly anchors, are also good for metal stud walls or walls with lathe and plaster.
3.For concrete, block, or brick walls, concrete anchors, like TapconŽ anchors, are the most common fastener. You will also need a concrete drill bit 1/16” larger than the screw diameter for this application.

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