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post #1 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Built in closet questions

Hey all-

Got a couple design questions for a built in that I'm planning on doing to get rid of our dresser in the bedroom and make more sense of storage.

Closet is 10' 6" wide, and fairly shallow, 3' with a height of 8'1" (ish). Currently the doors are the typical sliding overlap. What I am planning on doing is relocating the doors just inside the opening and running a rail along the front wall so that the doors can slide further to create a large opening.

The built in will run side to side, with an "L" shaped corner piece (maybe with a diagonal front for the transition). I was planning on making 5 separate cabinet shells, 4 of 2' wide and one of 2'6" in the center. All cabinets will be 16" deep. That should allow for 15" deep drawers, and enough room to run some rods for hangars. The deep diagonal pockets at the end will be used for long dresses.

There will be drawers running from the kick panel to about 42" high, then the rest will be open space to the top shelf at ~ 6', which leaves 2' of space to the ceiling. Drawers will be 15" front to back, and either 6" or 4" high. That should give me 3 drawers of 6" and 4 drawers of 4" in each 2' cabinet. I can't go any higher than that, as the top drawers would be unmanageable for my 4'9" wife. The center cabinet will be built last, so I can adjust for any discrepancies in build widths, since I don't have the most precise equipment available. (I'll probably have home depot rip the ply at 16" for me, actually.)

Since I am running from wall to wall, and each cabinet will be fastened to a rail along the back wall and bolted to it's neighbor, can I use 1/2" plywood (Was planning on birch ply, will be painted not stained), or do I need to use the 3/4" ply? Are there any caveats I'm not aware of with regards to drawer slides? (Currently planning on having the drawer fronts overlap the edges, not flush).

Thanks!

John
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 PM
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Yes, you could use 1/2" plywood, many manufactured kitchen and vanities are built with 1/2". The type and quality of the plywood will make a difference. I wouldn't use construction plywood or inexpensive 1/2"x that may be bowed. A lot will depend on the construction of your boxes. To give the boxes some structural integrity, you typically use webbing, dust panels, partitions or corner blocks in addition to faceframes and backs. Something that holds the box together so sides don't bow. Fastening to cleats or the wall won't keep the sides straight and square without some type of internal support in the box. It could be something as simple as a faceframe with horizontal rails between the drawers or something fancier like dust panels in a webbing frame that's full depth between the drawers. It's not so much the size of the plywood as it is the construction.

If you are going to do an overhead track like barn doors, you need either a bottom track, rollers or something to keep the doors from swinging as well as a stop. Have you considered using bi-fold doors? They give almost full access to the width of a closet and should fit in the existing opening. That way you will still utilize the existing jambs and casings and help to match the rest of the house.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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I was planning on a "floor" shelf a couple inches off the floor just below the last drawer, with a kick panel underneath. Another shelf above the drawers, and one at 6' (panels will be 7' high). There will be a cross brace at the back at the top for the wall cleat, and another brace across the back mid point of the drawers.

ETA: Also, from the mid shelf to the top shelf there will be a 1/4" ply backing so it's not bare wall behind.

Not enough?

John

Last edited by JohnWP; 01-08-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 03:54 PM
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I'm going to do much the same thing in my MBR.

I don't recommend bi-pass doors for your project. You'll hate them before you put away your tools after installation.

The bi-fold louvered doors suck IMO because they tend to warp and never seem to stay properly aligned/adjusted. Another type of bi-fold would be prefered if you insist on doors.

You can see the dilemma.

The solution I came up with is to have no doors at all and build cabinets similar to those you describe. If your going to build nice cabs then why cover them up with doors?

My closet is 12' long so I plan to install two 4' wide full height "wardrobe" (think pantry cabinets) on each end with a 4' drawer stack base and counter top between for the TV. I'll install a 4' x 2' wall cab over the TV and between the two full height wardrobe cabinets for extra storage.

With this design I'll eliminate both the dresser and TV stand from the footprint of the room and not have the hassle of doors.

I've already eliminated the wing walls on either side of the existing closet for additional access.

I'd love to see a build thread on your project. I'll do the same on mine when I get to it though I have to finish my kitchen, den, and two bedrooms first.

Thanks for posting.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 03:56 PM
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Almost forgot. If you eliminate the toe kick you can maximize storage space and give your cabs a furniture look.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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