DIY: A Shutter Becomes a Fake Utility Closet Door

Before. Here’s what remains after changing shower valves and piping. Missing wall section shows the drafty back of the shower tiles, pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Normally you would have this gaping hole patched and stuccoed like the white spot above the valves and pipes.

But no normal for me, I do things the fun way (the cheap way too).


Needed to remove this faucet prior to drilling the hole and screwing on the fake door.

And the patch will never match the old stucco in texture or, probably, color.


The ‘door’ awaits whilst I cogitate mightily on where to drill the crucial hole after measuring thrice.

Which makes zero sense to me, those valves will wear out and need to be accessed again some day. Why pay for stucco and labor only to see it cut and busted out over and over?
Besides, it is cheaper, better looking, more ecological, more practical and more fun to scrounge and build a fake door, total cost: $9.00 USD.

Don’t know what stucco jobs cost but it’s more than that.


I thought I might make the entire fake door out of these cheap $1 house louvers but ended up using just one, reversed.

Anybody need any louvers?

The door cost $8 and the louvered vent cover cost $1 at Habitat for Humanity’s warehouse called ReStore off Industrial Avenue. Highly recommended.

These real hinges came with the shutter but here are faked on with non-structural short sheet metal screws.


I suppose I should putty and paint (which makes a carpenter what he ain’t) but eh…

In my garage I already had found the old glass drawer pull knob, finish nails and wood trim scraps I needed to fake up the hinges and to cover the fact that my wooden discount shutter was at least two inches (5cm ) too short to cover the cavity width.

I stapled foam inside the opening and aluminum foil to the inside of the door, and then aluminum taped the seams to stop drafts and help insulation.
I very carefully measured and drilled for the copper pipe opening, drilling with progressively larger bits, finally smoothing with a Dremal. This followed turning off the main house water valve and screwing off the faucet.


White stucco patches from the plumbing job still need smoothing and painting. The louvered shutter corresponds with the two louvers on the water heater closet door.

You can see the four square-head drive wood screws actually holding the door on while the hinges, barely holding themselves up, pretend to hold it.


Still need to fasten on the louver and find some paint in the garage to match either the house or trim color, either would work. Or not.

Though I will paint stucco patches and the bone white trim piece when I find the LO house paint in my crowded garage. And when I get a round toit in my busy retirement.

And when the plumbing goes bad again it will be a ten minute job to access the shower fixtures and just as easy to hang it up again when the job is finished.

[‘Before’ images shot with old Samsung Galaxy S5. Noticibly inferior ‘after’ pics from my new Galaxy Tab A 8″ tablet.]

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2 thoughts on “DIY: A Shutter Becomes a Fake Utility Closet Door

  1. Nope, but as noted it will be a 10 minute job to detach it for sanding, paint, varnish or whatever if it starts to show weathering. It does get some amount of direct sunlight and some rain spatters so it’s something I need to watch. The whole job will look more finished when I paint the white trim board and the white stucco patches the wall color. Thanks for your comment.

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