Custom millwork can be a tricky thing when it comes to pricing. Very few shops are willing to discuss costs publicly for many reasons. Fluctuating supply and material costs, economic conditions, or a benchmark that may not be apples to apples when it comes to what’s actually being offered in terms of quality and service can all be factors in why it’s hard to find how much it costs to do a closet organizer.
It’s a competitive market, and it’s grown more challenging with big players like Ikea and Wayfair coming into the mix where a consumer can get a pre-packaged solution for what can often be half the price if you’re willing to spend your whole weekend banging your head against the wall while deciphering hard to follow instructions.
Today we’re going to share some of our philosophy when it comes to pricing, and we will share some price ranges you should budget for for different types of closets based on their size, layout, and your taste. We’ll also talk about new construction and some benchmark percentages you should budget out when building a new home.
Reach-in Closet Pricing
The classic reach-in closet is a staple in every home. They can be quite small in width if you have an older home with just a single bi-fold door (or no door at all), or we’ve done some where they’re wide enough to need two full sets of swing doors like the example below.
The first comparison we’ll make is the price of a mid-high end dresser you would get from from your local furniture store, who has similar overhead to a cabinet shop in that they have a brick and mortar location, and you get the benefit of getting to see and feel the product in person. A dresser like that with decent smooth working drawers you’d be looking anywhere from around $900-$1,200 for a nice high boy with four drawers.
For around the same price, you could have around three times the storage in something like a six foot wide reach-in closet which is a common size we like to use as an example (see below).
This closet not only runs around the same price depending on the number of drawers and some hardware options, but it also has other benefits that a dresser can’t give. Firstly, you can’t beat the space saver by being able to eliminate a piece of furniture out of your bedroom. With rising real estate prices, new home footprints are getting smaller, and with that, bedroom space is usually sacrificed for larger living spaces in modern, open concept designs.
The second and probably greatest benefit is the amount of storage you get from having an efficient layout with stacked hanging and adjustable shelving. A typical six foot wide reach-in closet can have as much as eighteen lineal feet of shelving, and six feet of hanging space that is mixed between short and long hanging. Typically all we see in this type of space is a single shelf and a rod, where all you have is six feet of shelving and the same in hanging space, and it’s often sagging under the weight as well!
Walk-in Closet Pricing
Walk-in closets are becoming more popular in new home designs, and are often being added for renovations in older homes. They come in all shapes and sizes, and with that comes the challenge of giving “ballpark” pricing. With infinite possibilities when it comes to design, taste, and options we see walk-in closets ranging anywhere from a small one that’s very simple being around $1,200 – $3,000, to room sized closets that can range upwards of $4,000 and up.
Above is an example of a typically sized walk-in closet in a spec home in Lethbridge Alberta. It’s dimensions are roughly seven feet by five feet, featuring a set of four drawers with stacked short hanging sections on either side. On the shorter wall we have some shelving and a section for hanging long items like dresses, skirts, or formal wear.
Depending on some hardware options like soft closing drawers, material type, and the number of shelves a closet like this ranges in around $1,500-$2,000 supplied and installed in a white melamine finish.
Budgeting Closets for My New Home
Here’s our quick and dirty fix for a rough number to budget in your new build. While this can vary based on your location and the calibre of home you are shooting to build, breaking down the costs for your home into percentages can keep the process really simple and make sure you stay on budget in the areas that matter most.
If you are looking for a modest starter home with an organized, small walk-in closet with some drawers and an assortment of hanging, organized kids bedroom closets with drawers, and a simple set of pantry and linen designs (we’ll do another post on these later, they are a whole topic on their own!), the quick way to budget is to plan for 1% of the cost of the land and your home, or the price you would sell the house for for your entire closet budget.
For example, in the Okanagan area it’s not uncommon now to see $600,000 spec homes for single family detached dwellings. To have a $6K budget would give you ample flexibility with design and even some room to include soft closing drawers, and some different finish choices as well.
1% is Too Much for Closets – What Now?
We’ve done thousands of closets in our 30 years in the industry, and we know that sometimes budgets don’t go as planned. If you’ve found out your groundwork or foundation unearthed some unexpected costs, you might suddenly be in over your head and have to make some tough decisions by cutting back costs. If you’re a contractor, you know this conversation is all too common and a difficult one to have, but we know what to do!
We’ve seen this many times with our clients and our goal is to find the most cost effective solution to outfit your home with the best shelving that will fit your budget. Even half a percent of your home’s selling price goes a long way and doing some simple design changes like changing out shelving for hanging and drawers for baskets you can stay on budget.
If you have any questions about how much a certain closet or project might cost, please contact us! All our quotes are no obligation, you don’t even have to call if you’re just curious, we can do everything by email with some simple measurements and a picture or two of the space. As always, our in-home estimates are also free and we are confident that we are the most experienced closet shelving provider in Western Canada, we know our stuff and we can help!