Building a Butler’s Pantry, Part I

Our house was previously owned by a pair of wine enthusiasts, as I may have mentioned before. One of the things this pair did was install a “temperature-controlled wine room” leading off of the laundry room. In reality what we had was a homemade storage closet with a small refrigeration unit attached to a wall.

We’ve been using this room as a catch-all, mostly to hold our painting and project equipment. Since the west wall of this room is shared with our kitchen, Jordan has been saying since we moved in that it would make an awesome butler’s pantry if we blew out the wall behind our fridge. About a month ago we decided it was time to go for it.

Here’s the view from the kitchen, for reference. We’re taking out the fridge, putting in a doorway into the new pantry, and moving the fridge to the other side of the kitchen, where our current pantry sits.


Here’s the storage room before we got started. We’re looking in from the laundry room. Beyond the back wall is the extra corner of the garage, and to the left is the wall we’ll blow out into the kitchen.


Looking from the storage room back into the laundry room:


And here it is, all cleaned up and ready for demo. If you look closely you can see the doorway we’ve drawn onto the left wall.


And here’s the garage, and the space beyond the back wall of the storage room.


(You can see which other project I was working on at the time… )


All cleaned up for demo:


Day 1 was demo day. I’ll be honest, Jordan has done most of the heavy duty work so far. First we ripped down the drywall in the storage room.


If you’ll notice that plastic and black stuff underneath it lining the back wall and the right wall, that is the insulation. When the previous homeowners added this room onto the house, they put the moisture barrier of the insulation on the wrong side. That black stuff is mold.

Here we were after we had punched into the garage.


Looking in from the laundry room.


And looking into the laundry room. (Our door to the kitchen will be on the right wall, and the current door into the laundry room will be gone.)


We have made so many trips to Home Depot I have lost count. Here’s our stack of 2x4s for framing out the new wall. We also had to raise the ceiling in the garage portion of the new room since it had an 8 foot ceiling and our storage room has a 10 foot ceiling.


And we went back to Home Depot for the drywall. Penny got to come with us on this trip, although she was not very impressed. (I had to tie her for a half second while we loaded drywall.)


We bought 8 foot and 10 foot drywall sheets.


The most difficult step was to get the drywall up on the ceiling. I had to hold the sheets in place while Jordan screwed them in, it took about 5 screws to support the weight of each sheet. I thought my arms were going to give out while I was holding those sheets over my head.


Then we started on the wall between the laundry room and the storage room so that we could close off the house.


Jordan finished the electrical work for the room, following code and placing outlets every so often along the space at counter-height.


And that’s where we are so far! I can’t wait to get everything finished, but this is a giant work in progress and will force us to get moving on our laundry room and kitchen remodels as well.

Hold on tight for installment two of building a butler’s pantry!

Feel free to leave us comments and/or questions! We would love to help you with your own DIY home renovation.


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