GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Partitioning Off a Mechanical Room

PLIERS | Posted in General Questions on

Hi hope everyone is keeping their sanity during the pandemic. I’m tossing around the idea of using some kind of movable partition screen to cover my furnace and humidifier in the basement. I could simply build a wall around everything but I’m thinking about if it would be possibly cheaper or maybe just easier to screen it off and make the mechanicals easy to access. Building a wall would make it tighter than it already is and clearances may be a concern. Due to the size of the furnace and how some spots have ductwork dipping low the space I would need to  enclose would be 8w and 4foot deep on each side. So a 32square foot mechanical room. The furnace is against the wall and underneath the basement stairs. I attached a picture to give you a better idea. So my options would be:

a. Build a traditional wall with a side door on left side for easy access to furnace

b. Screen off the front of the furnace (8 foot wide screen) and either do the same on the sides or use something like a 4 foot deep movable shelving that I can move when needed. Like plastic shelves they sell at the box stores.

Something moveable would make access very easy. However I’m thinking my kids would just be knocking the partition walls around like it was a toy. They might not do it when they are older but they are only 3 and 1. Anyone use these before, do you know of anything stable? I have seen the curtain idea but it just looks so weird to me.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    You could make a shallow bookcase and run it in a sliding track on the floor and ceiling so that it would be moveable, but also stable. Two of these side-by-side would let you easily construct a 6 or 8 foot moveable partition. Wall off the remaining end (or whatever else you have), and make sure the moveable part is situated so that it gives the most access possible to the mechanicals.

    You can make a track with fixed casters and furring strips. Use the furring strips to build a track with the caster in between. There are lots of ways to do this sort of thing. You can also get metal track made for the purpose, but while I've seen it many times, I've never work with it. It's common in large commerical meeting spaces to allow moveable partions to split large conferance rooms into several smaller rooms.


  2. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #2

    What are you trying to accomplish? There's lots of reasons for partitions: to deaden sound, to hide something unsightly, to protect the equipment, to protect kids from the equipment.

    If you're just looking to hide the equipment I'd go with fabric.

  3. PLIERS | | #3

    I’m looking to hide the equipment and protect it from kids. I’m assuming fabric wouldn’t accomplish this task but I’m not 100% sure what you mean by fabric. I like the idea of building a wall or bookcase to cover sides and just worry about a large opening in the middle. Only thought is it would make the room odd to have a large opening in middle of room instead of a wall to put stuff against. Maybe I could build too side walls and in the middle use a long piece of furniture or 2 sliding barn or closet doors whatever is easier. I just need access to mechanicals for maintenance a few times a year. Would it look odd to have furniture in front of closet doors or it doesn’t matter because it is a basement. I could put stuff In front of mechanical room and move when needed. Also on side partition walls can I drywall only the outside and leave studs inside exposed. If it’s not a code violation it would be easier if I have to run any plumbing or electrical lines because I could see everything in wall.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |