Asked on Aug 1, 2012

Buying new closets - need advice

MaryNaomiGina Kahlstrom


We're buying new closets for 2 kids rooms. I'm not sure whether to have them custom made or to buy ready-made from a furniture (or big box) store.
Of course, custom made is more expensive, but there are a number of advantages:
1.maximizes space, both vertically and horizontally, since it's made exactly according to the wall size.
2.We can pick out the Formica, knobs, wood, pattern, etc. to suit our (my wife's) taste.
But... is it worth it?
Does anyone have advice for us? We'd like to make an educated decision.
10 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Aug 1, 2012

    I've done both....from an economics stand point working with a modular ready made system is going to be the cheapest and easiest route...these systems come with many "options" so it is almost like a custom build. you set up the main components and then use "filler" type components that are easily trimmed to get the perfect fit. In the custom word you also have to factor in lead time etc. this pic is the lower unit of a custom build I bid a few years is a mix of shelves, drawers and pull out cubbies.

    q buying new closets need advice, closet, painted furniture, custom lower closet unit
  • All I can say is do what ever you wife wants. Or you will be buying something other then a closet. A bigger house. For a kids room, I would suggest a free standing type of closet. As they get older they will begin to grow out of what ever it is your storing in them and the needs will change. If the rooms are smaller and in the future you do decide to move by taking those out the rooms will look larger again. I have in the past removed many built in place closets for clients that the new owners simply did not want or need. Remember you can also purchase all sorts of storage options such as under bed types. If you do decide to go with the custom build in types. Build if possible in front of the older closet if there is one in the room. And do not take apart the old door frame on the wall. Use the existing door and construct a new frame in which to hold the door so it looks as though it was always done that way. In addition, not only does this save space as you can make the closet a bit shallower as some depth comes from the older one. But gives you more space as it does not have to be as deep to hang clothes in. The only last thing I would suggest is that you do not cut out the older floor base trim or any ceiling moldings so if you decide to remove this addition to the room the walls will look exactly as they did before you put it up.

  • Warren G.
    on Aug 12, 2012

    Well you never mentioned the ages of your children. So I am going to assume they are preschool age. And in my experience I have found that the wire type of shelf closets assembles are the overall best for children for several reasons. 1. The shelf can be moved as the children grow. This will save you from reinvesting in a new closet every few years as the child grows taller. The shelves can just be moved or rearranged and peaces added as the need arises. 2. Things on the back of the top shelf can be seen on wire selves. You never loose things that slip down behind something else as it can always be seen from below through the wire. 3. And as the children grow and get into sports and smelly guy clothes, it is much easier to air out the closet when you use wire shelving. Things do not seam to mold or trap the must and smells as quickly because air can always circulate within the closet.

  • Yair Spolter
    on Aug 13, 2012

    Thanks so much for the advice! @Warren, I like your idea of wire-shelf closets - very practical. But when I mentioned it to my wife I got that 'Don't even think about it!' look. So I guess that means it's a no. It looks like we're going to go with prefabs in the 2 girls' rooms and a built-in for the (older) boys, with a matching shelf and night table by their beds. I'll see if I can get photos up here once they're in. Thanks again for your input.

  • Yair Spolter
    on Dec 5, 2012

    Thanks everyone. I hope to post pics of the closets we bought soon.

    • Z
      on Aug 27, 2013

      Hey, you may have forgotten to share them, but at least their done. Many of my projects aren't. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you did. @

  • Gina Kahlstrom
    on May 19, 2013

    TY Yair :) I'm a newbie here on HomeTalk I read alot of the postings. This is my first time posting a comment lol. Having a little difficulty trying to reach Phil...Would like to ask him measurements to make the Wishing Well...Love it!

  • Yair Spolter
    on May 19, 2013

    @Gina Kahlstrom , you can reach Phil by commenting on his post the same way you commented on this post. Just click on this link: and then look for the "Post Comment" link on that page, type your question for Phil and click "Comment". Phil will receive a notification with your question. When he answers, you will be notified. If you need more assistance, you can contact me directly at Welcome to Hometalk - you're gonna love it here - such a wonderful community :-)

  • Gina Kahlstrom
    on May 19, 2013

    TY for your quick reply and the help whereas I'm a newbie..:)

  • Naomi
    on Aug 27, 2013

    Would love to see photos of the closets you got!

  • Mary
    on Oct 15, 2013

    How about building your own from reclaimed pallet wood?

    q buying new closets need advice, closet, painted furniture
    • Z
      on Oct 17, 2013

      Thank you @Kevin. We have a good table saw, but I'm the "out table" as I do all the catching of the wood being sawn. Until we have all our stuff arranged in a way we don't have to move things to use them we don't have the space to set up the outfeed table all the time. In fact right now it has our sliding compound miter saw on it. I really like that track saw though. We do have the clamp on glides for our circulars saws, but it's easier to use the table saw now that we've moved the "shop" to the basement. Hubby used it when building our home before we got the table saw.

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