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Top Things to Consider Before Building Your Own Custom Closet

With the many phases and thousands of decisions you make when building a new home or completing a home remodel, it’s not surprising that little attention is given to your closet design and what goes into your closet. After so much focus and effort in other areas of the home, decision fatigue and budget realities set in, and it’s easy to see how your custom closet plans end up on the editing room floor, so to speak – and you opt instead for cookie-cutter, wire closet organization systems or a simple rod and shelf. Poor design, or no design, this results in this seemingly basic area of the home becoming an everyday source of clutter and disorder – ultimately leading to stress and anxiety.

To relieve stress and get organized, homeowners often resort to buying a mix of organizational products like baskets, bins, and drawers, and before they know it, the closet has become a do-it-yourself custom closet, albeit unintentionally. Adding to the stress is the fact that most of the solutions purchased at retail or online aren’t sized to fit the space and often don’t coordinate all that well with the broader space, usually the primary bedroom. If this sounds familiar and attempts to make your own closet system have left you feeling frustrated every time you walk into your closet because your do-it-yourself closet design isn’t ideal, then it’s time to bring in a professional.

As with any home remodeling project, finding the right partner is critical. You might be thinking about hiring a local handyman you trust who’s done work for you in the past, or maybe a Google search for building custom closets is leading you to consider working with a kitchen or bath company or a cabinet company that also sells custom closets. After years of working with clients just like you and hearing their stories, we understand why these options seem appealing. However, a closer look at the experience you have when you partner with a custom closet company, like Inspired Closets, may have you reconsidering your options.

Working With a Custom
Closet Company

Before hiring someone to build your own custom closet, think about the end-to-end experience you desire, how much time you can give to the project, and how equipped the company is to deliver on your expectations and support the project from the initial conversation through to post-installation service and warranty.

Below are five key questions to ask when meeting with the companies you’re considering for your custom closet plans.

Question 1:

Is closet design their core competency?

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The level of design service varies greatly depending on the option you’re considering. A great handyman is often a jack-of-all trades, but not a master of closet design. A handyman who has limited custom closet design experience and likely doesn’t have custom closet design software will talk through ideas leaving the visualization to you. This option might leave you feeling like you’re building your own custom closet, and more specialized features like lighting will be left to you. Kitchen and bath companies often market themselves as “all things home improvement” but a closer look at their website and client projects usually reveals a focus on kitchens and bathrooms. Their design expertise often lies in mapping out kitchens for optimal traffic flow and sight lines for preparing meals and hosting guests. And while home organization is a service they provide, it’s generally last on the drop-down list because it’s not their core competency. This option might leave you questioning their custom closet plans.

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While Walk-In Closet With Built In Lighting

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White Closet Top Shelf With Built In Lighting

At Inspired Closets, we are expert problem solvers who specialize in home organization and space utilization. Our core competency is solving everyday organization problems in beautiful, functional ways that leave you feeling inspired. We specialize in closets, meaning most of our work is done in closets. We don’t design kitchens, bathrooms, decks, or the like, although we love working alongside builders, contractors, and other home improvement companies while completing larger projects. Our design service starts with a free in- home consultation. During our initial design consultation, our goal is to get to know you and your space – what you like about it, don’t like about it, what’s working, what isn’t working, what you own, and what’s important to you – so that we can design custom closet plans that are tailored to your exact wants and needs. Our designers listen, design, and iterate as much as needed. From start to finish, our designers guide you through the process offering expert advice and making it fun and easy to have a closet that is both functional and beautiful – a space you will love.

Question 2:

Does the company have a showroom?

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Let’s be honest. Closet design is a niche expertise. If you’re like most people, this is your first experience with a custom closet company, and as in other areas of life when something is unfamiliar, that lack of prior experience can create doubt, fear, and an increased perception of risk.

At Inspired Closets, we understand and more importantly empathize with feelings of uncertainty and apprehension, which is why we believe in the power of a showroom to reduce doubt and increase confidence.

A showroom that features a variety of closet sizes and types gives you the opportunity to see the product in person, see colors in full scale, interact with different custom closet features all while getting to know the people who work there.

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Inspired Closets Custom Organization Display

Handymen, while great at what they do and invaluable for certain projects, typically do not have showrooms, which means you can’t see their work unless they give you a list of references you can contact. However, even with references, the ability to see a handyman’s work is limited. If you’re considering working with a kitchen and bath company, perhaps because you’ve worked with them in the past, you likely know that their showroom features cabinetry, countertops, tile, glass, hardware, and fixtures, like lighting. Kitchen and bath showrooms often feature a variety of kitchen and bath displays but offer little in the way of custom closet displays. This is important because there are numerous custom closet features that make your closet unique to you and your needs and seeing the features in a showroom can help you narrow down which are right for you.

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Closet Island With Shelves

At Inspired Closets, our designers love sharing our showrooms with homeowners curious about the possibilities for their custom closet plans. Each showroom features closets of different shapes, sizes, and types staged with clothing, shoes, and accessories to help you best relate to the space and feel at home. The displays are designed to inspire you and allow you to experience all our products firsthand – see the dove-tail drawers, feel the drawer handles, soft-close doors or smooth gliding jewelry tray. You can even inspect the hinges! Best of all, your custom closet plans are built in our proprietary software, which allows you to see your design in 3D.

This 3D view of your custom closet plans is displayed on a large flat-screen television in the showroom, which allows you to better visualize your new custom closet. See something in the showroom that you’d like incorporated into your design? Happens all the time and our software allows your designer to easily add features, reconfigure sections, and move things around while the design is projected in 3D. Pretty cool, huh?! When considering your options for building your own custom closet, be sure ask if the company you’re considering has a showroom and go experience it if they do.

Question 3:

What will the total cost of ownership be and what is the long-term
return on your investment?

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Can we talk budget vs. cost vs. investment? Your budget is what you can afford to spend on the closet. Cost is what you actually spend on the closet, and total cost of ownership is what you spend on the closet now and for as long as you own your home. Investment, or rather return on investment, is the relationship between total cost of ownership and what that investment gives you or pays you back.

Let’s look at a car example: When you buy a car, the cost is what you pay at time of purchase, but the total cost of ownership is the cost of the car plus maintenance, tires, gas, etc., and the return on investment is the enjoyment you feel each day you drive the car plus whatever money you’re able to recoup when you sell it.

To learn more, check out our article:
How much does a
closet cost?

Much like the car example, as you’re considering your options for building custom closets, it’s important to consider the total cost of ownership and the return on your investment. As experts in custom closets, we know that having a local handyman install a mass-produced closet system purchased at retail or online or having a kitchen or bath company build your custom closets is typically going to cost less in the beginning. However, our experience with thousands of homeowners also tells us that the lower upfront cost translates into a higher total cost of ownership and lower return on investment long term. Why? Because homeowners end up buying other items or replacing the entire closet to fix the less-than-ideal solution installed by companies that don’t specialize in custom closet plans. At Inspired Closets, we believe in fixing the problem once, which saves you time and money in the long run, increases your enjoyment, and adds value to your home when you go to sell it. When you partner with Inspired Closets, we manufacture your closet to your exact specifications as measured by our design professional and our installers take great care installing it in your home. In addition, our closets are backed by a limited lifetime warranty, eliminating the cost of unexpected repairs or replacements down the road.

Budget

What you can afford to spend on the closet.

vs.

Cost

What you spend at the time of purchase.

vs.

Return on Investment

The relationship between total cost of ownership and what that investment pays you back.

Question 4:

How much time will you need to dedicate to the project?

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Time. Our most precious resource, and something we’re always short on, right? When you’re considering your options for your custom closet plans, consider the amount of time you will need to dedicate to the project. When you hire a handyman, you’re likely going to feel like building your own custom closet has become a bit of a DIY custom closet because of the amount of time invested. Working with a handyman often means you are managing the project details – everything from the design decisions to evaluating different color, material, and feature options to coordinating the delivery of the product. Even the most resourceful and capable homeowners often find themselves wishing they’d hired a full-service, custom closet company to lead the project saving them valuable personal time.

At Inspired Closets, we know you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Our team of experts coordinates all work so that you don’t have to be the designer, project manager, or installer. We lead the way guiding you through every key decision and communicating with you so that you always know the status of your project. We value your time and work to be thorough and efficient in all meetings.

Our Process
Saves You Valuable Personal Time

Consultation Icon
Consultation
Design Icon
Design
Seeing is Believing Icon
Seeing is Believing
Prepare Icon
Prepare
Install Icon
Install
Question 5:

Can the closet adjust to your changing needs?

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As the saying goes, change is the only constant in life, and that holds true for fashion and your wardrobe, which can quickly make a custom closet feel stifling and frustrating if you opt for a closet with limited or no adjustability. The word “custom” can mean different things to different companies and often it means limited adjustability, so it’s best to fully understand what elements of your custom closet plans are adjustable and what elements are not. Many site-built custom closets look beautiful but lack any adjustability. At Inspired Closets, our closets are designed for now and whatever comes later. We make it easy to add or remove shelves, hanging rods, drawers, and almost anything else as your needs change. Simply give us a call. We’re here to make sure you love your closet now and for as long as you own your home.

To learn more, check out our article:
Can I adjust my closet after
it’s installed?

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White Closet Shelves With Built In Lighting

You have many options when it comes to your custom closet plans and building your own custom closet, and while there are several do-it-yourself custom closet solutions to choose from, finding the right fit means thinking through the experience you want to have and how you want to feel each time you step into your closet. We know that a closet is more than shelves, rods, and clothes. It’s where you start and end each day. And when it’s designed specifically for you and what you own, a custom closet brings logical order to disorganization, so that you can easily see and access what you need. At Inspired Closets, we believe in the transformative power of custom organization, which is why it’s our mission to turn disorganized and stressful spaces into organized, inspired ones. So, let’s get started on your project today. Complete this form and one of our expert team members will contact you.

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