Closet space seems to always be a big problem. No matter how much you have you can always use more. But, some older homes weren’t even built with closets and the ones that were only have small closets. If you have enough space in your room, you can build your own closet!
The closet should be at least 27″ deep, this will allow ample space for your clothes hangers. The closet should be built from 2X4’s and the amount you need will really depend on what size you want the closet to be. You can either build your closet as you go, or you can assemble the walls on the floor and then lift them into place.
But, it’s much easier and there’s less work, if you just build the closet as you go instead of pre-assembling the walls. If it’s a large closet, the walls may be a little heavy to lift if you’re working by yourself. And, since walls and ceilings are rarely completely level, you can make slight adjustments if you build it in place.
If you choose to build the walls on the floor, you will need to build them about 1/4 of an inch shorter than you actually need them. When you lift the wall into place the top will be at an angle, an 8 foot wall won’t allow for that angle and you won’t be able to straighten the wall.
First you should decide exactly what size you want your new closet to be. Make all the measurements and clearly mark them on the walls and on the ceiling. You also need to mark the closets spot on the floor. Hang a plumb bob from the ceiling to mark the area on the floor where the base of the closet will be attached.
You will also need to decide what size you want the closet doors to be and where you want to place them. Most closet doors are in the center of the closet, but you can choose to have them situated toward the end if you’d like. Attach the framework to the ceiling, floor and wall first.
Another decision that needs to be made before beginning on any of the walls, is what type of closet doors you want to use. If you decide to use bifold doors, then you’ll need to install boards from ceiling to floor where the closet doors will be. But, if you’re going to use an ordinary entry door, then you’ll need to build a small wall partition at the top of the door.
Once you’ve gotten the boards in place for your door, you’re ready to start on the walls. Studs are generally placed at either 16″ or 24″ intervals, since the walls won’t really be used to support the ceiling, placing them 24″ apart is fine.
Measure from the bottom of the board at the ceiling down to the top of the board on the floor and cut the studs accordingly. The studs will need to be attached to the frame with the nails angled so that they will go back into the boards. Don’t insert the nails too close to the ends of the wall board, it will cause the board to crack and split. If you have to use longer nails than you really need to make sure they reach deep into the framing boards.
If you’re using a entry door, the wall partition above the door will be installed in the same way that you nailed the wall boards to the frame. Many people like to add extra braces running horizontally between the wall studs. It will add strength to the wall and it will also give you something to nail into if you plan on hanging something really heavy beside the closet doors.
If you want to add braces, simply measure the length between the studs, but a piece of 2X4 and nail it into place. You can do the corners in one of two ways, either place two studs side by side and nail them onto the frame, or turn both of them sideways and butt the ends together. Some people even just use one stud at the corners, the choice is up to you.
Every time you place a board onto the framework use a level to make sure that it’s straight before nailing it into place. Trying to remove the nails from a board that’s already in place is a little hard and often the board will end up cracking. So, check each one before they’re completely nailed down.
You should also attach boards at the spot where you’ll want to attach the rod on both ends. Clothes can be pretty heavy and trying to attach the closet rod into drywall won’t work. Once you’ve gotten all of the walls finished, you’re ready to apply drywall or even just paneling boards to the outside to finish it off.
You can get extra storage by adding a long shelving board over top of the closet rod. It makes a great place to store extra clothes as well as shoe or storage boxes full of items. If the closet is really long, make sure that you add a support to the center of the shelf to prevent swaying.