better quality closet systems?

wkearney99April 13, 2013

We're building a new house and as part of it we've got a walk-in closet/changing room. We'd like to set it up with a fair numbers of drawers, arranged like a chest of them, in addition to a lot of hanging space.

I specifically DO NOT want to use open wire systems. Elfa and the like are fine products, but they're not what I want for this particular setup, so let's not go there.

In looking at various closet systems (calif, stretchers, etc) I'm struck by how cheaply their drawer systems are made. Just not what I'm after. These are going to be daily use drawers so decent stuff is important. I'm looking more for furniture grade drawers rather than plastic or metal (as in, not Ikea or Haefele).

So whose closet/cabinet systems rise to meet a better quality criteria?

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Why not buy a chest of drawers you like and build it into the closet?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Sure, that's one option. But then I'm still faced with the quality of closet system choices for the rest of it. Shelves, doors, rods, etc. That and dealing with matching finishes.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:22PM
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You could go to a store that sells kitchen cabinets and see if their drawer hardware meets your needs.

You don't hear about problems with failure of the drawer hardware from the well known companies you have mentioned. Closet drawers don't usually contain anything very heavy. And think about how many times per day you open a drawer of clothing. It's not a lot.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Have you considered hiring a cabinet maker? It may not be any more expensive, and you'll get exactly what you want.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I've got two 'cabinet makers' over 2 months late just on getting me estimates. So I'm making contingency plans.

Kitchen cabinet hardware is better but their price points are sometimes a bit crazy. We're already about $75k into various cabinets now (kitchen, bars, laundry, etc).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:04PM
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What, specifically, do you not like about the drawers? Are you looking for dove-tailed drawers and all they have are stapled? Have you looked at all price points--do the higher price points have any better construction? Have you checked reviews of the companies you were considering to see if there are any actual problems with the drawers?

Because you have really eliminated most of your options--the major closet companies, Ikea, kitchen cabinets, wire shelving.

It really seems like you need a custom-built system by a cabinet maker. If they are slow getting you quotes, it's probably because they are very busy. They could be very busy because they are very good. So it might be worth waiting for someone to get around to your quote and your job.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:58PM
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We were flooded out by Sandy and had to rebuild/refurnish the house. We had closet organizers, including drawers built into every closet in the house. We got exactly what you are describing on your wish list. I think you'll need to go custom.

Have fun and congratulations on the new house!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Expect high prices for your estimates, along the same line as a kitchen estimate since you want the same quality. I've gone down that route .

If I were you I'd rather have a closet company design the space, they have more experience with clothing storage configuration.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Closet World did an amazing job on my closets, wet bar, and garage. They didn't seem to expensive to me. There is always Ikea!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:54AM
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This may not be the type of information for which you're looking, but it's working for me:

I have two small dressers in my walk-in closet. I bought them from someone in college for $5 each, knocked the legs off, painted them white and used them for years. When I got married, they became large nightstands. Now they're in the closet. They provide us with 8 good-sized drawers, and although they're not wonderful quality, they're hidden behind the closet door.

I bought cheap wooden shoe racks from Target for roughly $10 per rack (each rack has three shelves /holds 9 pair of shoes). Again, they're not wonderful quality, but they keep things organized just as well as an expensive, custom-made item . . . and it they wear out, I can afford to throw them away.

My up-top shelves are just boards that were installed by the builder, I suppose. And my hanging rods are just plain wooden rods. This is a place where I could stand some improvement: I would like to have some two-shirt high storage and more shelves for my sweaters. But it's an organization issue -- not a quality issue.

I totally understand the desire to have everything well-organized -- it keeps things in good condition, and it allows you to find them quickly. That makes perfect sense. But why go custom or top-dollar on something that's hidden in a closet? Is this really a place to splurge?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:04PM
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You can buy drawer boxes, just drawer boxes, that are made to your exact specs. And so you could get the outer shell from somewhere over-the-counter and then install these drawer boxes in them. Or, get undermount or bottom-mount slides and install the drawers onto the shelves themselves. Or get a handyman to do so.

Check out

or Do a Google search on "drawer boxes."

Depending on what you've got for contractor options, a contractor can order custom anything from, which is a slightly less expensive way to get an entire kitchen--not sure how it would work for a closet setup.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:53PM
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