How to Build a Temporary Wall in an Apartment

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Source: Manhattan Pressurized Walls

For years, temporary walls have answered the prayers of NYC apartment hunters looking to save space and money. With a one-day installation and a one-time payment usually between $800 and $2,000 (based on wall size and type), a 1-bedroom apartment could turn into a 2-bedroom Offering a convenient and affordable solution, temporary walls are an easy fix for young professionals and students looking for rental space on a budget.

Three Types of Temporary Walls to Know About

There are three different types of temporary walls to choose from:

  1. Pressurized walls
  2. Partial walls
  3. Bookshelf walls

Determining what type of temporary wall is best for you will depend on your budget, apartment size, your building’s regulations, and of course, your personal preference. Just remember: Get your landlord’s approval first.

Pressurized Walls: The Rolls-Royce of Temporary Walls

If there was such a thing as the Rolls-Royce of temporary walls, the pressurized wall would be it. Of the three options, it is the only one always attached to the ceiling. This gives it more of a “real” wall look, and also creates more privacy throughout the unit. The wall is installed without any nails or screws, which assures that at the end of a lease it can be easily dismantled without leaving so much as a scratch.

Image of how to build a temporary wall in an apartment
Source: Manhattan Pressurized Walls

Unfortunately, finding a building that will give the okay to install a complete pressurized wall is hard. Back in 2005, a fire in the Bronx in a residential building with pressurized walls resulted in the deaths of two firemen. Since then, the city government has cracked down on pressurized walls, keeping them out of many apartment buildings.

Partial Walls: The Happy Medium of Temporary Walls

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Source: AltexSupplyInc

Since most buildings won’t allow a floor-to-ceiling pressurized wall, partial walls have become a go-to for renters looking for temporary solutions.. Like complete pressurized walls, partial walls are installed without screws or nails. They generally stop about 12 inches from the ceiling (that 12-inch clearance is often required by landlords) and have an opening rather than an actual door. Although the no-door feature isn’t a crowd pleaser, putting up a curtain is one of several creative ways to fill the empty space.

Bookshelf Walls: The Multi-Purpose Temporary Wall

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Source: Pinterest

Bookshelf walls are a particular favorite of New Yorkers because of the extra storage space they offer. Typically, a bookshelf wall is any form of temporary wall with attached shelving.  Depending on your building’s regulations and your size and style preferences, you can choose between several designs.

Temporary Wall Installation Providers in NYC

All Week Walls

All Week Walls is a popular local option for renters looking for fast and affordable installation of temporary walls. Booking an appointment is easy – installations can be scheduled over the weekend and take-down service is free with 30 days of notice. They responded to our request for a quote about 12 hours after we submitted it.

Sample Rate

  • 10 x 12 ft wall: $1,250

Additional Rates

  • Small Window: $175
  • Medium Window $200
  • Large Window $250
  • Soundproofing $100
  • Seamless Finish $250
  • Single French Door $250
  • Pocket Sliding Door $250
  • Pocket Sliding French Door $500

Manhattan Pressurized Walls

Manhattan Pressurized Walls is highly rated on Yelp, with many past clients citing their efficiency and excellent customer service. MPW can add in custom built closets and shelving units. Worth noting: They do require you to obtain permission from your landlord as well as certificate of insurance before construction can begin.

Sample Rate

10 x 12 foot wall: $1,199

Room Dividers NY

Room Dividers NY is a Brooklyn-based temporary wall installation service with a showroom in East Williamsburg. Room Dividers has mixed reviews on Yelp, but are said to be more responsive than the competition. That said, they were the last of the three temporary wall services to respond to our quote request.

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