Dear James: We moved into our house two years ago, but we have outgrown the closet space. Our bedroom is pretty large, so I thought about building another closet. What is the easiest way to add one? -- Mike K.
Dear Mike: It is surprising sometimes how clothes seem to reproduce on their own like rabbits and quickly fill up a closet. With the proper design, you can add a second closet in your bedroom without losing much valuable floor space.
Try to determine how large the second closet must be to accommodate your clothing. The first step though is to go through your closet and make a pile of clothes which you have not worn for two years. Put them in a box and give them to the Goodwill so someone else can get make some use of them.
Make a trip your a home center store and look for some of the premade closet storage systems. The metal wire ones are relatively inexpensive and effective. If you are lucky, after cleaning out and organizing your existing closet, you may not need to build a new one.
If you do still need more storage space, you should be able to build another closet over a weekend. Build a partial-wall design in a corner so you will need only two new walls. The partial walls should be high enough to be six inches taller than the height of the new closet door. You seldom store things on shelves over seven feet high, anyway.
This design is particularly easy to build because you can build the closet walls flat on the floor and then tilt them up when they are completed. Also, with the one to two-foot gap at the top (depending on your ceiling height), it gives the room a larger appearance than with a fully enclosed closet.
To even further simplify the project, select a mirrored folding door for the new closet. This can make up the entire side of the closet so you have to build only one actual wall. The mirrors will come in handy for dressing and will make the room appear even more spacious.
The basic framing of the closet will be standard 2x4 wall studs. Since you will not need many of them, carefully handpick them to get straight ones. Lay them on the floor of the store to gage their straightness. Hanging the drywall is the trickiest part of this project, but it will be much simpler to do with straight wall studs.
Assemble the closet wall frame on the floor. Although its squareness is not critical because it will not touch the ceiling, still make it as true as possible. When it is square, the measurements across the two diagonals will be equal.
Position the new closet wall over a stud inside the existing wall and screw it into the wall stud and into the subflooring. Build a double stud header over the open side and hang the folding mirrored door on it. Finish the wall with drywall. If you have the proper-size door, you will need just a narrow piece of drywall and corer bead to finish the corner.
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