How to Build a Wardrobe Closet


Photograph of a wardrobe closet

Closets can be as large or small as required.

Installing a wardrobe closet in a small room helps to make excellent use of the available space by removing the need for a free-standing wardrobe. By converting an existing closet you can also tailor the closet space to suit your exact needs, installing one or two rails, or even building a half rail, half shelving wardrobe for storing clothes, towels and other essential items.

When you build a wardrobe closet for a small room yourself, you also save on contractors fees; which makes the entire job far more value for money.

You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil and paper
  • 12 lengths of 2×4 timber
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Rawl plugs
  • Long screws
  • 2 sheets of MDF
  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdriver
  • 1 inch screws
  • Closet rail

Building the frame

  1. Clear out everything in the closet. You will need a completely empty space in order to be able to work.
  2. Measure the height and width of the space inside the closet using a tape measure.
  3. Note the measurements on a piece of paper.
  4. Measure the depth of the closet and note this value also.
  5. Sketch a quick design of the wardrobe on your paper, so you know how much wood you will need for each part of the job.
  6. Cut 4 lengths of 2×4 to the height of your closet, using the circular saw.
  7. Cut 4 lengths of 2×4 to the depth of the closet minus 4 inches.
  8. Cut 4 lengths of 2×4 to the width of the closet minus 8 inches.
  9. Place the four long pieces of 2×4 in the corners inside the closet.
  10. Drill holes through the wood and into the wall at the top and bottom of each piece of wood, using the hammer drill and masonry drill bit.
  11. Plug the holes in the walls with rawl plugs.
  12. Screw the wood to the walls using long screws.
  13. Mount the closet depth pieces of 2×4 to the walls on the sides of the closet in the same manner as you attached the 4 corner posts, one pair 4 inches from the floor, the other pair 1 1/2 feet from the ceiling.
  14. Mount 2 of the remaining 2×4 closet width pieces to the back wall at the same height as the side pieces.
  15. Screw one 2×4 closet width piece of 2×4 between the front corner posts at the same height as the side pieces near the bottom of the frame, using the mounting brackets.
  16. Screw the remaining width piece half way along the two side pieces at the top, using the mounting brackets, so the side pieces are bisected.
  17. Cut one piece of MDF to the width and depth of the closet, using the circular saw.
  18. Cut a second piece of MDF to the width and half the depth of the closet.
  19. Cut 2×4 rectangles from each corner of the full depth MDF sheet using a hacksaw.
  20. Cut two 2×4 rectangles from the corners of the half depth sheet, along one long edge of the sheet.
  21. Screw the full depth sheet to the frame at the bottom, using a screwdriver and 1 inch screws.
  22. Screw the other sheet to the frame at the top, to form 2 shelves.

Adding the rail

  1. Line up your first closet rail at the height you want it at inside the closet.
  2. Mark the position of the screw holes on both side walls, using a pencil.
  3. Remove the rail. If there will be a second rail in the wardrobe, position this where it will be fitted and mark the position of the screw holes on each wall. Remove this rail also.
  4. Drill holes in the left side wall where the positions of the screw holes were marked, using a masonry drill bit and a hammer drill.
  5. Plug each hole with a rawl plug.
  6. Drill and plug holes in the right wall in the same manner.
  7. Lift the first rail into position and line up the screw holes in the rail with the plugged holes in the wall.
  8. Screw the rail into position on the walls using the screws provided with the closet rail.
  9. Lift the second rail, if any, into position and line up the screw holes with the plugged holes.
  10. Screw the rail into position using the screws provided with the rail. If no screws are provided, use long screws instead.

Rails do not need to run the length of the wardrobe. You can instead decide to have rails only on one side of the wardrobe and shelves on the other. This requires the addition of a fifth vertical pole in the middle of the wardrobe. The rail will then attach to one wall on one end and the fifth pole on the other end. The other half of the wardrobe can then be lined with shelves.

Safety Tip

Always wear a face mask, eye protection and gloves when cutting wood, especially particle board such as MDF. Wood shavings cause skin irritation as well as eye and lung damage and large particles can be thrown off during the cutting process, which can lead to severe eye damage or even blindness if eye protection is not worn.

Photograph by Rubbermaid Products, via Flickr

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