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Building a built-in Closet

by Lorenz Prem
published on May 13 2012 6:06 pm

A built-in closet is a great way to improve your home. It takes a bit of time to complete a project, but the process is not hard. This guide and the mini-guides linked within will explain what's involved. Let take a look.

Design the Closet

Starting with a good design is the most crucial aspect of the process. A closet must be designed properly in order to delight its users. Great craftsmanship cannot compensate for shelves just out of reach, narrow access, or improperly spaced drawers.

The Closet Design Guide has all the details to help you design a perfect closet. Take the time to understand your family before you make the first cut. The information in the guide will help you translate what your users say into cuts you make in your shop.

Build the Boxes

The closet is made from several oversize cabinets arranges to cover a whole wall. A face frame covers the joints and makes the closet appear seamless. Nothing terribly exciting.

Closet box construction does not differ from building the box for a wall cabinet. Just the dimensions are different. The Cabinet Box Building Guide has the details. There is even a calculator to help you create a cut-list.

Install the Boxes

Installation can be difficult. The walls in a stick frame house are rarely straight and plum. Chances are you'll have to do some site modifications. The Installation Guide explains the most common issues.

Build a Face Frame

Once the boxes are installed, they must be covered with a face frame. There are a few options how to build the frame and how to install it. The Face Frame Guide goes through the possibilities. This is the hardest step of the project.

Building Drawers

The drawers of the closet use the same design as drawers found in cabinets. The Drawer Construction Guide shows you how it's done. Compare to building the closet building the drawers is easy. This skill will help you finish many other projects around the house.

Cabinet Doors

If you want your closet to have doors, the Cabinet Door Construction Guide explains how to build them. For large doors it is recommended the door is made from multiple smaller panels. This increases the stability of the door. Warping is big concern, because it leads to badly closing doors.

Paint or Finish

After the trim is installed only finishing remains. The fastest way to finish the closet is to apply a couple of coats of paint. Especially if the closet was built for a child, paint offers durability and maintainability that a finish cannot match. The Spraying Latex Paint Guide explains how to apply the finish in record time. If you don't have a sprayer, a good paintbrush will get the job done fast enough.


Built-in closets are a simple way to greatly increase the livability of any room. Besides kitchens, built-ins are one of the best ways to utilize your woodworking skills. A high quality built-in can be built in your shop for little money, but will cost fortune when commissioned. If you have questions, simply ask. We all start somewhere.

Built-In Closet Series

About the Author
"Lorenz is the founder of Hingmy. When he is not reviewing power tools or improving the site, he is building things in his workshop or playing hockey."