We’re frequently asked whether our temporary walls will work well in a home as temporary wall dividers. Some people are interested in creating a wall in a basement to section off a laundry or storage area. Some have businesses in the home (such as a hair salon) and want to create a separate work area. We put together a few tips to help you decide which wall system is the best for your home’s when it comes to temporary wall dividers.
We definitely suggest if you plan on using our mobile walls as temporary walls to divide space in your home that you ask about our “KTKWalls” which screw into existing wall studs for additional stability. Our walls can offer a very fast way to create additional spaces, but because they don’t anchor to the ceiling or floor as permanent walls do, you’ll need to take additional steps to be sure the walls are very secure and can’t be knocked over.
Many residents in high rent areas, such as New York City, are trying to figure out ways to temporarily subdivide spaces to create a space for a roommate or guest area. In some cases this may be decorative – such as placing a temporary wall between a bedroom and eating area in a studio apartment. But more often, renters are looking for a way to fashion their own walls to create a divided area for a roommate.
Pareti’s mobile walls make a great solution for creating the illusion of a wall quickly and easily in just about any indoor space. However, there are some very important points to consider when using Pareti’s mobile walls for a temporary wall divider for home use.
- We find that people interact with the walls differently, depending on where they are. Our temporary walls were originally designed for public spaces, such as museum exhibits. While the behavior of people around walls isn’t a documentable social science that we know of, after many installations we’ve noticed that in exhibit areas people generally don’t lean on or touch the walls. Our temporary walls were originally designed for public spaces, such as museum exhibits. Most artwork is created to be viewed a few feet away, so patrons naturally don’t touch or lean against the walls. If you tend to be a rowdy clan when at home, we do not suggest using portable walls of any type.
- Most people’s homes are not like museums. Have you ever heard someone say, “Their house is just like a museum!”? Well, those are our kind of people. In the course of everyday life, most family homes are are lived in, bumped into, roughhoused around. For most of us, life is more active at home – especially if you have kids around. Consequently, things like walls take more of a beating than you may think. If you have children, large active pets, or have a lot of physical activity nearby (such using our temporary walls at a gym or school) you want to give serious consideration to the activity around the portable walls and create your design for extra stability. On the other hand, if your home IS like a museum (frequented by grown-ups and calm serenity), you’ll probably be in love with our temporary wall dividers and portable walls right away.
- We can’t advise on what’s safest for your situation. Safety is a big deal. Our walls are a kit, designed with the same theory as building blocks, Legos, and Lincoln Logs – you do the designing, and snap things together. There are limitless combinations of designs you can create. However, unlike small building toys, the life size version is very heavy so you must use common sense and err on the side of caution when creating your wall layout. This is critical in any space when using the walls, and more so when there may be children or pets nearby who don’t understand that the walls are not anchored as real walls are. Even smaller configurations can weigh 300 pounds or more. Ultimately, you’re the designer and builder, and the best judge of what’s safest in your environment.
- Check your local building codes. While most cities don’t have regulations when it comes to portable walls or partitions, be sure our walls meet your local building codes before you purchase. This may mean your walls must be a 7′ height, for example, which we can build (although our standard is 8′ tall). Our walls are built custom with each order, so we cannot accept returns. The beauty of portable walls is that most regulations allow for them, similar to bookshelves or partitions, allowing you to change what you like, and tear it down when you’re done. But do your homework first to be sure.
- Do the walls move once they’re set up? We get asked this a lot, and the answer varies a great deal according to the configuration you make with your walls. Generally, our customers find the portable walls are very difficult to move once assembled because they are heavy once assembled. They feature adjustable feet on the bottom (better looking, but similar to those you’d find underneath your washing machine). On smooth surfaces, it is possible to make the assembled portable walls scoot a bit, although this takes a great deal of effort, and sometimes more than one person. (We advise against moving the walls as one assembled unit because it’s possible to make the joinery loosen in places, causing the wall to pinch or wrinkle the skin at the seams, or even fall.) We’ve never had an instance where the walls have fallen – but this is because our customers are extremely careful about creating their designs with stability in mind, and moving them section by section. Regardless of the stability of our portable walls, whatever design or floor plan you decide to build, we remind you that once assembled an entire wall can weigh over 1,200 pounds. So, design with the utmost caution and safety in mind, foremost – even if that means spending a bit more for a longer cross-section to maintain stability.
- Are the walls free standing? Our portable walls are freestanding but must include “L” or “T” ends to do so. They do not anchor from the ceiling or floor, or existing walls, and therefore cannot feature one, flat wall. They must have these ends to stand.
- Can you hang pictures on the walls? Yes! That’s why we made them! Normal decorating or wall hangings should be fine.
- Shipping your portable walls. If you’ve decided our temporary wall system is the ideal solution for your space, be sure to figure in shipping and crating. For an 8′ x 8′ wall that can mean spending about $400 in shipping and crating, depending on your location. (You can also pick them up if a trip to Iowa if a road trip sounds fun.)
Hopefully this helps answer some questions about portable walls and their possible uses. In the right environments, our walls are a perfect solution for taking control of your own space without learning major carpentry. (If you’ve put together a book shelf or office desk from a box, you’re already over qualified.) Immediately after receiving the walls they’re ready for set-up. There’s no building, no screwing things together, and a lot of instant satisfaction. In minutes you’ll have a wall, ready for painting, decorating and creating cool spaces.
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