Published on June 28th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Cabinet to hide the boiler and fuse box

Materials: Pax Wardrobe

Description: I had an ugly, 1970′s cabinet that hid our boiler and our fusebox. I wanted the cabinet to match the kitchen just a few feet away.


The challenge was that there’s lots of pipes and electrical wires that can’t be moved.

I purchased one 100cm wide and two 50cm wide Pax wardrobe cabinets with doors that matched my ikea kitchen.

The 100cm wide cabinet was used to hide the boiler. I used only the two side panels, the bottom toe kick and the doors. The board meant to go at the top of the cabinet was cut into several pieces that allowed the pipe, but still provided the needed stability. Holes were cut into the sides to allow pipes and wires.

One of the 50cm cabinets was used to hide some pipes and a fusebox. The cabinet was assembled according to the instructions with only half of the back and holes cut into the side to accommodate a large pipe.

The third cabinet was assembled with no hack. It’s nice to have some extra storage.

I love the final product. I was pleasantly surprised to find the chipboard tolerated cutting and drilling with no problems at all.

~ Jules, Vancouver bc

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

24 Responses to Cabinet to hide the boiler and fuse box

  1. Amistad says:

    I thought that the before picture was better and, after reading the other comments, I see that I’m not the only one. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think what you have done is a big risk to the house and all that lives within. A boiler needs ventilation / air-flow boxing a boiler in like this will bite you in the arse.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can fully understand wanting to the doors to match what’s already in the kitchen – really irritating otherwise. As far as ventilation is concerned, doesn’t seem it would be too difficult to resolve this issue by drilling some unobtrusive holes in the toe-kick and as many as needed in the top. Could even drill a vertical row of decorative holes on the side next to the wall. Not sure if there’s going to be some kind of panel to fill the gap above – would certainly look more finished imo. Did the creator gain a window in the wall to the left? That would indicate some serious remodelling going on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is why they call it a “hack job”

  5. Anonymous says:

    With regards to safety, you could potentially vent in the other direction – out through the external wall. It’s a bigger job, but you’ll still get to keep your PAX wardrobe. You might need to but something above the wardrobe going up to the ceiling also so it looks finished.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i too agree.. the before pics look a lot better.. the whole thing just looks out of place and the exposed pipes on top just make it look awful.

  7. foo says:

    I hope the owner takes heed of all these comments and replaces those solid doors. All you had to do was paint the louvered doors or maybe even change out the louvers for some pretty cut out tin or those nice radiator covers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    had to click myself to see if the pix’s were switched. I see I’m not alone….bad hack guys!

  9. Adam Snider says:

    I’ve got to agree with pretty much everyone else on this one. The before picture looked much better. The hack, in my opinion, made things worse looking. And, as others have suggested, it may no longer be to code.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I clicked on the comments to this post to see if I was the only crazy one here who thought that the before and after pictures got somehow switched. Glad to see that that’s not the case.

  11. Singer Construction says:

    You need some air flow for the pilot light. It must be positive and negative air flow, it needs a vent in the top and bottom. Cut or drill some holes in the top and bottom of the doors and use louvered vent register to cover the holes and paint them white to match.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I agree not only with the fact that the older doors were no doubt to code but that they did a better job of making the room appear bigger…i think smaller cabinets cheapen the room a bit. If it were me i would’ve just visited the as-is section and created some sort of new custom door

  13. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately I’d have to agree with the people first I thought the before picture was your hack and that it looked a lot better..sorry dude.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I agree with all the previous comments, this hack is a FAIL. Also now you have to worry about insurance not covering your house, ugly piping coming on top of the cabinet and your house burning. Perhaps that is why the piping was left exposed at the top? To allow pseudo ventilation?

  15. Anonymous says:

    For a second I thought the before and after pictures were named the wrong way around …
    Sorry, but before looked better.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I would have left the closet inplace and just painted the doors. I should also suggest getting a Carbon monoxide detector.

  17. Moontree says:

    Yeah, this is a case where Ikea is NOT a good idea. For a second i had a hard time determining which was before and after….. the before looked neither ugly nor 70′s, it looked like a closet. Those cabinets look pretty shoddy, sorry. Why didn’t you simply change out the doors??

  18. I think it looks good but agree you seriously must provide air intake. If you buy a drill bit which cuts perfect circles, can you put them (the holes) in front of the plinth but under the wardrobe? About ten should do it at a guess. Carbon Monoxide is a serious risk in the current set up. I seem to have some memory that the air intake should be low down……
    If you left it the way it is, I think you could be prosecuted here in England.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you have to see this cabinet with the rest of the kitchen? When cabinets match, it usually looks better. However, I do agree with previous comments: I also prefer a closed off/solid structure over a cabinet with piping coming out of the top.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If you had home insurance it’s invalid now… great job on a half ass attempt that is for sure not up to building code in Vancouver. delete this post before someone reports you, or your house burns down.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the first comment. I’ve never seen a boiler in a completed closed closet. Over the long haul you will likely cause some mechanical issues there just so it looks slight prettier. Maybe you should consult some type of contractor, possiby add exhaust fans on the tops of the cabinets? Either way I am sure there is some type of building code violated, and even if you have no problems yourself. If you go to sell in the future it will come up in home inspection.

  22. benoit says:

    I do agree with the latest comment. However I think that the project is probably not completely finished and that some paint will cover the visible pipes?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Is it incomplete? I think it looked better the way it was before. At least it was completely covered. Why not just change out the doors? I don’t think the before picture looked ugly at all. Looks like a costly and unnecessary hack. You replaced a solid structure with chipboard. Why?

    Sorry. :-/

  24. Anonymous says:

    Something to be careful about:

    For a particular BTU rating of the boiler, there is a certain mount of air opening needed. If there isn’t enough air venting in the cabinet, then it cause cause the boiler to blow out, or cause CO to come back into the house.

    This is why the old cabinet had louvered doors.

    In the US at least, you have to have 1sq inch of opening, per 1000 BTU. If there are wood louvers over the opening, you increase that by 300%, and 40% for metal louvers.

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