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Office Update: How to Build a DIY Closet

A step-by-step tutorial to frame, drywall, and build a DIY closet from scratch + home office makeover progress.

I reeeeaaally hoped to have a full “the DIY closet is finished and shiny and painted and prettyyyyy” post, but hey progress is progress.

And I realized building DIY closets from scratch is kind of a big job that would be overwhelming all squeezed into one post anyway. It all works out.

If you missed it a couple of weeks ago, I shared all about the office makeover, and the number one need in the plan was definitely to add some storage.

UPDATE: Want to check out the home office final reveal?! See it here.

Home office makeover before

This room that we’re converting technically used to be the formal sitting room back when our house was built in 1960 (from what we can tell anyway), and the owners before us used it as a big formal dining room (they used our current dining room as a piano room, but we’re instrumentally challenged around here so…).

The cool thing about playing “musical rooms” this way though is by adding at least 1 closet and closing off this once open space with doors, that technically makes this a 5th bedroom.

We don’t plan to sell this house any time in the near future, but by adding a bedroom, it can add value to our house.

And since we wanted this room closed off from the rest of our house anyway, it’s a win/win all around.

home office makeover before

When we started on this project a couple of weeks ago, we were so lucky to be able to enlist the help of my brother, Kevin, who happened to be in town.

So in case you’re not sure who this other dude is helping Robert with this project, that’s my younger (not-so-little-anymore) bro.

If you’ve ever planned to build a DIY closet yourself, here’s the skinny on how to do it.

How to Build a DIY Closet Part 1

Supplies:

Tools:

The Steps:

1. First, the prep work. Remove any baseboards with the pry bar and pry up any tack strips, if you have carpet, to roll it away and expose the bare floor.

Use a stud finder to mark any studs and ceiling joists in the existing walls and ceiling.

2. Measure at least 30″ from the closet’s planned back wall. Use your chalk line to mark a line parallel to the back wall.

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

3. Cut 2x4s with your circular saw or table saw and place as the bottom plate (outline) of the closet for the studs. Apply construction adhesive to the 2×4 bottom plates and screw them to the floor.

4. Use a level, chalk line, and 2×4 to mark the top plate location on the ceiling.

5. Cut 2x4s with your circular saw or table saw and place as the top plates (outline on the ceiling) of the closet for the studs.

Apply construction adhesive to the 2×4 top plates and screw them into the ceiling, into the ceiling joists. (If it’s not possible to screw the top plates into joists, use a toggle bolt instead.)

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

6. Cut 2×4 studs to fit tightly between the bottom and top plates and screw the studs into the plates at an angle.

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

7. Cut spacers with more 2x4s and nail them between studs with 16d sinker nails.

8. Nail together two 2x4s and place them and nail them on top of the trimmer studs to create a doorway header.

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

9. Cut and screw cripples (vertical 2×4 spacers) between the top plate and the header.

10. If you want closet lighting, how is the time to rough in the electrical cable and boxes.

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

11. Cut, hang, tape, mud, and sand the drywall. We found this video to be very straight forward and helpful, if you need a good visual.

How to Build a DIY Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

Ta da! DIY closet complete! Sort of. That’s where we are so far. We’re currently installing the rest of the trim and tackling the closet doors next.

By the way, since you might be wondering, that vent in the closet is currently closed off and will be moved soon. It won’t be staying in there. πŸ˜‰

How to Build a Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

It’s been a lengthy process but I’m SO excited to see this office taking shape!

Moving the closets to the French door side of the office was DEFINITELY the right call, in hindsight. I have a bunch of y’all on Instagram to thank for that one.

How to Build a DIY Closet | A step-by-step tutorial to DIY build a closet from scratch + home office makeover progress

We still have a huge to-do list ahead of us in this office, but we’ll get there.

Office Makeover To-Do List:

  • Build pair of closets
  • Install double French doors
  • Install closet doors
  • Add wall molding
  • Paint walls & ceiling
  • Paint doors
  • Install lighting
  • Hang art
  • Hang curtains
  • Assemble furniture
  • Paint cabinets
  • Decorate & style

UPDATE: See the full home office makeover here!

Now here’s hoping the most time-consuming part of this room makeover is behind us. A girl can wish, okay? πŸ˜‰

signoff

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8 Comments

  1. This is going to be gorgeous. Don’t forget to add ‘move the heat vent’ to your makeover to-do list. It’s not another thing to make a longer list, but a ‘feel good check off’ when it’s done.

  2. It really does make a difference… in the storage and in the entrance to the room. One question though, what will you do about the heat vent in the closet on the right?

  3. Love the way the new closets set a nice entrance into the room!!
    Can’t wait to see the finished project πŸ‘

  4. I noticed the floor vent inside the new closet space. This could affect heat and/or AC is this room. Hope there is a second vent somewhere!

  5. I sent an email regarding spray painting shower fixtures – the Rustoleum Auto primer only comes in colors that I can see. Should I get the color closet to what I am going to paint the fixtures – in other words, gray for a satin nickle?

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