When you have more items to store than closet space, something’s got to give. Building and installing a closet is a fairly low-cost solution that the average adult is capable of doing. In a weekend’s time, with a little planning and knowledge, you can transform an unused area into the most useful spot in the room.
Planning a Closet
If you’re going to build a closet, you might as well build it right. It’s too late, after it’s built, to wish you had done something different. Taking time to plan any home improvement project will prevent regrets later.
If you want to skip the DIY process and hire a professional to build your closet, these planning tips will still help you determine exactly what will work for your space and budget.
- How will you use the closet? A closet full of linens can be narrow and shallow and still work well, while a walk-in closet for clothes needs to be much deeper. Consider what you want to store and how much space it requires.
- How would you like to equip it? Decide whether you want clothes rods, shelves, organizers, drawers, or any special features such as cedar plank walls or wiring for an overhead light.
- Where will you build it? Perhaps you have the perfect nook, such as an awkward spot between two walls. Maybe you have a large room that can spare the area you want to use. Either way, armed with a tape measure, map out the closet dimensions exactly where you wish to build the closet. Adjust as needed, adding or taking away closet space to fit the area. Also consider clearance for nearby doors, windows, or traffic movement. If it’s awkward to open the closet door, the space won’t be as useful and you won’t be satisfied.
- What is your budget? Take a realistic look at what you can afford to spend, and price the tools and supplies you need as well as any labor cost required. If you want wiring in the closet, you’ll probably need to hire a professional. Get estimates for what you need and add about 10 percent extra for a little “wiggle room.” It’s always better to come in under your budget than above.
- Don’t forget the cost of a closet door! Decide where you want your door, how big you want it to be, and purchase it before you start. This will make wall construction simpler as you can measure the pre-hung door and build the doorway to fit.
- Will you use organizer systems? It’s especially important to consider organizers before you build so you don’t end up with a closet that won’t hold the organizer you purchased. If you’re a more advanced DIYer, consider designing and building your own organizer systems. Even beginners can build a simple organizer system that will be functional and much less expensive than most off-the-shelf closet organizers.
Before you begin your closet project, it might be useful to browse the Internet for closet ideas. Never be afraid to try something new. With basic DIY skills, you can generally install any shelf, paneling, or other detail once you have the bare bones of the closet framing complete.