How To Build A Built-In Wardrobe Step-By-Step

Is keeping your clothes tidy an ongoing battle for you? Or maybe you know how to hang your long dresses in the closet but don’t have space? Trust us. You are not alone. We all try to keep our clothes organized, but we seem to keep failing without a proper wardrobe. It is time to overhaul your storage space by building a built-in wardrobe to store all your belongings!

A wooden built-in wardrobe in home interior

Built-in wardrobes are a great way of getting you added storage room. They are very easy and simple to build, and the whole DIY project doesn’t cost a lot. From shoe shelves to bi-fold wardrobe doors, wire storage and soft wardrobe inserts, where there is a storage crisis, there is a solution! Let’s see how to build a built-in wardrobe step-by-step!

Things you need to know before starting your project

In the modern world of today, wardrobes are more than simply storage spaces. A nice, spacious wardrobe is a must-have in your room to keep everything you own organised. Whether you are looking for a luxurious, custom-made wardrobe, or something easy, quick, and affordable, there are various options for you to choose from.

Before you get started, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s take a quick look at what they are.

Wooden wardrobe with lighting

1. Know your space

The very first thing that you have to think about is how much space you have for building a wardrobe. Are you renovating or extending an existing wardrobe, or are you building a completely new one? Do you want a walk-in wardrobe or a standard one? If you plan correctly, you can achieve a great layout, and your wardrobe can become a highly functional space. 

2. Check if you need permits 

For building a wardrobe, you don’t need a building permit. However, if you are going to add lighting to your wardrobe, you will need an electrical one. Check with your local authorities to know which permits you need, if any.

3. Protect your floor

If there is a carpet in your room, roll it out of the way to avoid damaging it while building your new wardrobe. If you have tiled floors or hardwood floors, protect them by taping down a thin layer of plywood.

4. Keep an eye on your budget

When it comes to storage solutions and wardrobes, there is a lot of variety available. It is possible to find a solution that suits your budget. Do plenty of research and compare all the options.

Planning and preparation process

A built-in wardrobe isn’t very hard to build. Even if you are a beginner, with the right guidance and correct tools, you will have a functional piece in no time.

Built-in empty wardrobe with open doors

1. Make a layout

Ask questions from yourself. How are you going to use the wardrobe? Do you want separate compartments for different items? Look at the space available, jot down your details, and then create a layout that will suit your needs.

Plan where you will place the drawers, shoe boxes, racks, or shelves while maintaining maximum accessibility. Think about the material you want to choose for the wardrobe. Do you want to go with MDF or melamine?

2. Choose your doors

Think whether you want regular doors or sliding ones because of your limited space. You can go with multi-purpose door options like mirror doors, which will maximize the space. Make sure that the wardrobe blends in with the existing home decor. Consider whether you want to go with statement doors, ornate doors, or classic doors.

3. Consider shelving options

Are you searching for an inexpensive storage solution? Wire framed racks, baskets, and shelves are a popular option. Not only are they easy and quick to install, but they provide maximum functionality as well.

They work great if you don’t have a lot of space. You can cut them to fit your DIY wardrobe. Go with laminated shelves as well, which are more aesthetically pleasing than wire-racks. When it comes to shelves, you can do it yourself or buy ones that fit into your wardrobe.

Materials and tools you’re going to need

Here is a list of materials and tools that you will need for your DIY built-in wardrobe.

A man holding and using a cordless drill

Materials you will need

  • Drywall
  • 38 x 89 mm studs
  • Double doors
  • Drywall screws
  • Nails

Tools you will need

  • Chalk line
  • Caulk gun
  • Cordless drill
  • Hammer
  • Framing square
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety headphones
  • Protective gloves
  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw

How to build it step-by-step

1. Attach the base and top plates

Measure out the length and width of the wardrobe and chalk lines indicating the layout of your wardrobe design. Cut two pieces of 38 x 89 mm – one for the top plate and one for the bottom plate of the wardrobe. Mark the positions of the door openings and studs on them. Align the edge of the bottom plate with the chalk line you created and nail it to the floor. Do the same for the top plate.

2. Attach the studs

Now is the time to cut the studs using the circular saw or a hand saw. Measure the distance between the top and bottom plate once more, and cut the studs in such a way so that they fit snugly between the plates. Toe-screw the studs to the plates. Voila! You have created a wardrobe frame successfully. 

3. Add wardrobe lighting

If you want wardrobe lighting, you should fix the electrical cable and box now and check whether it works before you hang the drywall. Hang the drywall on the back of the closet. If you want to paint your wardrobe walls, you should do it now, before you attach the doors.

A man painting a wooden door using paint roller

4. Add the doors

The doors you use will depend on the amount of space you have. If you have ample space, you can go with double doors. Otherwise, sliding doors will do the job. For double doors, screw in the door hinges to both sides of the closet and then attach the other end to your doors. If you are going with sliding doors, add the sliding railings to the bottom and top plate, and then fix your doors on the railings.

5. Install shelves

Now is the time to install shelves and closet organisers. You can make shelves yourself or get some premade ones from your local home improvement store and simply screw them inside your wardrobe. 

You can add a couple of uprights to divide the storage room. Use high-quality angle braces or corner brackets to attach the uprights to the top plate and the base. Fix a hanging rail in your sliding wardrobe to give you space to hang your clothes.

6. Paint the wardrobe

Your wardrobe is complete. If you want to paint it to match your existing decor, you can. Firstly, you will have to use a sander and cover the whole surface. After sanding, you will have to apply a primer coat. Let it cure for 24 hours before you paint it. 

Use oil-based paint since it lasts for a long time and gives an elegant finish as well. The last step would be to seal the paint with a varnish or clear sealant. Make sure that the colour you choose doesn’t clash with existing bedroom furniture such as your bookcase, your nightstand, etc. If you don’t get the colour right the first time, you can always give your wardrobe a makeover.

Need storage extension? By building your own fitted wardrobe, you can gain tons of storage room very easily. In this article, we have shown you how to create a built-in wardrobe step-by-step. Follow the easy instructions, and you will have enough room for all your clothes, shoes, and accessories!

Happy building, folks!

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