Who doesn’t love extra storage space? Whether it’s a dresser or a closet, it’s always nice to have an area to organize your belongings so that they could be easily found. One of the common areas for storage in the bedroom is a closet, but what if your room does not have a closet. To fix this problem I’ve made a tutorial on how to build a DIY closet in a bedroom.
Besides the storage space, in many locations, a room without a closet is not considered a bedroom. Our house had one room without a closet, so to make it officially a bedroom; I decided to add a closet.
An average pro-installed closet costs about $350 to $1200 or more for materials and installation. The total cost really depends on the size of your closet and the type of accessories you add. But if you are inclined to build DIY projects with your hands, you could save a lot of money by building it yourself. This project cost me about $150 for the material.
You also might be interested in a closet organizer with drawers that I’ve built last year for our kid’s closet.
Time to Complete
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Measure and Mark the Closet Wall Location
First, determine what size closet you want to build and the type of doors to use. There are many different doors to choose from. You could install traditional hinged swinging doors, sliding doors, bi-fold doors, and so on.
For this project, we’re building a standard 67″x28″ closet with sliding double doors. Sliding doors do not require clearance to swing open like traditional swinging doors, so installing sliding doors is a better option for a closet like this.
When building a closet, it is important to follow your local building code requirements. The standard minimum depth for a reach-in closet is 24”, but a closet intended to store coats or other bulky hanging items may need to be as deep as 28”. So keep that in mind when determining the size of your closet.
Once the size and location of the closet is determined, draw guidelines where the new wall will be installed. Keep in mind that the wall thickness will grow when you add drywall. Use a level to draw the vertical guidelines plumb.
When attaching a new closet frame with screws to an existing bedroom wall, be sure to have studs behind drywall for the screws to attach to. The new wall needs to be firmly secure to studs or attic trusses and not just drywall by itself. Use a stud finder to locate the studs behind drywall and mark their locations on the guidelines.
Step 2 – Attach Top Plate to the Ceiling
The top plate is a framing component used as a top runner to secure wall studs. Usually, the top plate spans the entire length of the wall.
Measure the total length of the closet wall and then cut 2×4 to that length to serve as a top plate. Then using 2 ½” wood screws attach this top plate to the ceiling following the guideline. Make sure that the screws go through the drywall and into the truss or a joist. Attaching the plate to drywall by itself will not be strong enough to keep the wall stable.
Step 3 – Build the Closet Wall Framing
Similar to the top plate, the wall also has a bottom plate. Both top and bottom plates hold the framing studs that make up the wall.
Take a 2×4 and cut the bottom track. Then place the bottom track on the floor and pull a measurement from the bottom to top track to determine the length of the studs.
The closet that I was building was positioned between two existing walls. Since the sliding door takes up most of the rough opening the actual wall that comes down to the floor is only 8″ long. This makes the bottom plate only 8″ in length. The bedroom had a laminate floor, so I removed a section of the laminate for the bottom track to sit on the concrete.
Attach the studs to the bottom plate using 2 ½” wood screws. Since the top plate is already installed, drill pocket holes at the top of studs to attach to the top plate. Use 2 ½” pocket holes to secure the studs. The trimmer stud at the end of the wall needs to be shorter for the header to lay on. See step 4. Typically the sliding doors are 79″ in height, plus the sliding rail and drywall. The header should be attached about 81 1/2″ from the floor, so the trimmer stud needs to be 80″ long.
Step 4 – Install Header and Cripple Studs
The word header refers to a beam-like support in a wall. Typically the header spans an opening for a window or door. For this project, the sliding door and the rail is being supported by the header. Since the rail and the door are not very heavy I used only one 2×4 for the header. If you’re planning to hang heavy doors, then you might need to make a double 2×4 header to support heavier loads.
Usually, the header is placed on top of the trimmer studs. But for the closet that I was building, I had only one trimmer stud. So I attached the header to an existing wall on one end and placed it over the trimmer stud on the other end. Since I didn’t want to use nails, I decided to attach the header to an existing wall with 2 ½” pocket holes screws. The screws go through the header at an angle into the existing wall. Check out my article I wrote on how much weight pocket holes screws can support.
When installing the header, make sure it’s set back to compensate for the drywall thickness. So when you attach drywall to the framing it lines up with the existing wall.
Now measure the distance from the top plate to the header and cut 5 cripple studs. Drill two pocket holes on one end of each cripple stud. Then install these stud 16” apart using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws on top and 2 1/2″ wood screws from the bottom.
Step 5 – Cut and Install Drywall
Start by cutting the biggest/longest sheetrock pieces first, and then move to the smaller sections. Measure and draw the line where sheetrock needs to be cut. Then follow the line with a utility knife cutting through the paper layer of drywall. Turn the drywall board over and lay it face down. Snap back the board on the cutting line. Use your utility knife to finish cutting through the paper.
Place the drywall against the wall and secure it to the studs with drywall screws. Finish installing drywall on both sides of the closet wall.
Step 6 – Install Corner Bead
Cut the corner bead to length with tin snips, keeping its bottom end about 1/2″ off the floor. Lightly press on the corner of the bead, squaring the legs of the strip against the wall. Drive drywall screws or nails through the holes in the bead for a secure hold. Space the nails about 8 inches apart along each leg.
Step 7 – Apply All Purpose Compound to a Closet Wall
Cover the floor with plastic sheeting before using all purpose compound mud.
Use a 6-inch drywall knife to apply the first coat of compound to the corner and at drywall joints. The blade of the knife glides should be positioned along the raised bead and the wall, laying the mud into the valley between these two high points. Don’t try to build too much thickness with this first coat or you’ll risk cracking.
Once the first coat completely dries, use a sanding block to sand any high or rough spots on the drywall. Then for the second coat choose a 10″ knife, and again bridge between the metal corner and the surface of the wall. Feather the compound along the wall to create a smooth transition.
Step 8 – Apply Texture Over Drywall
Before applying texture run through the drywall lightly with a sanding block. Then use a Homax Wall Texture spray and apply the texture on the drywall. The sprayer has an option to select heavy or light patterns. I usually apply a heavy pattern.
Step 9 – Paint the Walls for DIY Closet
After the texture completely dries, use a sanding block again to sand any high areas. Then use a paint roller to paint the wall.
Step 10 – Install Sliding Door Rails
Install a sliding door rail by following steps on the instruction guide. Paint the sliding door and then attach the roller wheels. Insert the doors into the rails. Above the closet doors, install decor board to cover the door rails. You’re done with a DIY closet in a bedroom.
Here’s a picture before the closet was built.