Professional Custom Closets vs. Doing It Yourself

White Astoria Walk in ClosetWhen you first realize that you need either a larger closet or more closet storage space, it’s very common to consider what your options are. For some, the problem is solved quickly and efficiently by calling a custom closet company. A closet designer helps start the process.  Others have budget constraints. At the very least, concerns that a solution for their space will need to stay within a comfortable price range. Then of course there are those that are incredibly handy and like to solve their home improvement needs themselves by taking the DIY route.

Given how popular built-in closet system have become, you are now faced with countless systems and storage products. If you are considering the pros of custom closets verses a DIY closet renovation project, then this post is for you.


The Time Factor

Many of us are busy and often juggling many tasks between work, home and family. Committing to DIY, any home renovation project, means time not spent working, playing, or with family. Often home projects can become a chore. I’ve see closets become one of “those projects” more than a few times. Especially when the closet is a walk-in and if it’s on the larger side.

Sure, building a closet system isn’t as complex as adding kitchen cabinets but they do require some skill, and muscle. Many of the systems are framed out with tall melamine boards that are a full seven feet in height. Because of the height and weight of the boards, your 1-person project may now be a 2-person installation that further invades the family, work, and your fun time.

bedroom reach in closet blue french doors

The Cost Factor

Because there is such a range of products on the market, I am focusing only on what’s considered true closet systems. They have partitions that section the hanging, shelves, drawers, and other sections off from one another so that you can personalize and optimize the space in each section.  These types of systems range in price depending on what components you pick for your space. This is also true of the systems built by custom closet companies.

There are even companies you can purchase from online that allow you to design your closet using their software.  You purchase a kit of the pieces you have then selected. Sure, you need to assemble the closet yourself but you get nice quality and a pretty professional looking design.  However what many consumers do not realize is that the cost on that option might end up very close to the cost of a closet hired out to a full service company, installation included.

Custom Closets :: Large Walk-in Closet Brown Theme with Seat Area

The Quality of Design

Do you have a background in closet design? Chances are you have not designed a closet before. There are many factors that go into the design from the location of hanging garments to the accessibility of your items. Even the stability of the closet itself can be an influence in the design.

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To start your project and to understand what space you will gain you need a professional design. Both methods require it. Custom closet companies usually include a design as part of the proposal, and some online companies allow you to fax measurements and they will design it for you.

If you have a walk in closet, how to properly address the use of the corner spaces, isle clearance, and figuring out the right amount of hanging and shelving is not an easy task. Designers are trained to optimize all the space so that everything is accessible and built to your wardrobe and storage needs. Meet with a professional so you truly understand what you need and how the space can be optimized . . . for you.  Plus getting a quote is often free.

large walk in closet white lacquered cabinetry natural light

The Closet Installation

A professional installation insures that the unit is properly anchored into the wall and is stable. This is especially important with children around. Clothing is very heavy once a rod is filled with it. Proper structure and limiting spans of the sections will keep the system intact for years to come.

As professionals, installers can install a closet in a day or two, depending on the size and complexity of the design. An inexperienced person can’t get it done this quickly.

Products Available

Material and color choices plus hardware selection such as rods and flanges are of a limited selection unless one goes to a professional company. These days, custom closet companies offer colors and wood options they can’t get at a place that sell kits or lumber. Plus in many cases, the DIY selections are 5/8” instead of ¾” thickness and won’t withstand the test of time.

A closet company can make the system any depth the client desires.  These companies primary goal is to make the closet or style as efficient as possible for the user. DIY will be 12″ or 14” deep sections in most cases.  Pro companies can make a closet system 12, 14, 16, 20, 24 inches deep or anything between. Going DIY, you’ll find you just can’t do this.

Bottom Line

A DIY closet system might save you about 10%, but when considering the time invested in the project, the significance of a quality installation, and in many cases, a lifetime warranty, you might decide to let the experts do the job.


Editor’s Note: Nicole Tate writes for Closet Factory. To learn more about this national franchise company visit their website

For much more on Closets and Storage (in all parts of the house), check out those categories right here on Cheers. ~jb

All images via Closet Factory.