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Before the homeowner breaks out the sledgehammer to tear down some walls and build a closet, he or she will need to do a bit of planning. It will be important to determine where the closet will be built and for what purpose it will be used; this may dictate the size, shape, and orientation of the space. Further, the homeowner should consider how building a closet in a certain area of the home will affect walkways or other living spaces. Most closets will protrude away from an existing wall, which means the floor space in a room will be reduced.
Aside from the planning stage, framing is the first and most important step when building a closet. This should be done with the proper tools and materials; before the homeowner begins building a closet, accurate measurements will need to be taken to find out how much of each material will be necessary to complete the project. A small closet can be built cheaply and quickly, while larger closets with more features may take longer and cost more. A walk-in closet, for example, will be quite expensive as compared to a very small media closet in which a television, stereo receiver, and other electronics components might be placed. A media closet may, however, be temperature controlled, which means additional features could add up in price.
Remember to plan the doorway carefully by considering which way the doors will swing or slide. Some sliding doors will save space in a hallway, but they may take up more space within the closet. A door that swings outward will conversely take up more space in the hallway but less space within the closet. Think about the direction in which the door will swing as well to ensure walkways are not completely blocked at any time. A blocked hallway can be a general safety hazard.
Shelving and hanging rods can add to the versatility of the space, but when building a closet, it helps to first think about what will be stored in the space. This may dictate what types of shelving will be most appropriate, or if other features such as drawers or storage bins might be more useful. In some cases, a closet devoid of any shelving at all might be the best choice. If, for example, the closet will be used to store a vacuum and brooms, no shelves might be necessary, or simply one high shelf for other cleaning items might be best.
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