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In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to widen a refrigerator alcove.


1. Go into the basement or crawlspace below the kitchen and check to be sure there aren't any pipes, wires or other obstructions running up into the wall of the refrigerator alcove.

2. Lay a sheet of ⅛-inch-thick hardboard onto the floor in front of the refrigerator.

3. Pull refrigerator out of the alcove and onto the hardboard, then roll it out of the way.

4. Use a reciprocating saw with a long blade to cut through the drywall of the alcove wall.

5. Remove all the drywall from the interior surface of the alcove wall using a pry bar.

6. Carefully pull off the corner bead from the corner of the wall.

7. Use a reciprocating saw to trim the drywall flush with the interior surface.

8. Cut the ⅛-inch-thick hardboard to fit over the alcove wall.

9. Cover the interior surface of the alcove wall with the hardboard.

10. Fasten the hardboard using a brad nailer and ¾-inch brads.

11. Install a piece of quarter-round molding along the top of the hardboard panel.

12. Apply joint compound to the vertical edge of the wall, then sand it smooth.

13. Roll on one coat of primer followed by one topcoat of paint.

14. Slide the refrigerator into the newly expanded alcove.