How Much Does It Cost to Add a Closet to a Room?

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated February 1, 2022
Woman choosing a sleeveless top from her closet
New Africa – stock.adobe.com

Expect to pay between $1,080 and $2,960 to enhance your organizational possibilities with a swanky new closet

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Even after you’ve come to accept that you may never have a closet system that compares to Cher’s iconic “Clueless” set-up, the need for more storage space persists. Many house styles offer lots of open floor space at the price of fewer closets, and as you run out of places to put things, you might start to consider the option of building a new closet into an existing room. 

On average, homeowners pay between $1,080 and $2,960 to add a new closet to their home, though the top end of that range can rise as high as $6,000 for those opting for higher-end materials or dealing with more complex architectural practicalities.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Closet per Square Foot?

If you’re building your closet into a room with a relatively simple layout or an unfinished space, like a basement, expect to pay something in the range of $17 to $20 per square foot of closet space. 

If the addition requires you to move a load-bearing wall, or more extensively rearrange the existing architecture, though, prices can quickly rise far above the standard range.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Closet Near You?

Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $2,000 to add a closet to an existing space, but there is some regional variation. Expect to pay at least an additional $200 to $300 in many larger coastal cities, and sometimes more: the average price in Seattle, for example, rises to $2,780

Those living anywhere in between the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains can expect lower costs, even in major cities, with average costs dropping as low as $1,250 in Denver and $1,320 in Dallas.

How Much Does It Cost to Add a Closet Yourself?

Building a new closet into an already finished space is complicated work that, if performed improperly, could put your home’s structural integrity at risk. We don’t recommend it as a DIY project to anyone without significant relevant experience.

Labor costs will vary between companies and on a number of different factors, so before making a decision, get quotes from a number of different general contractors.

There are, however, other options for those working with a smaller budget or who would, for any reason, prefer a DIY installation. There are companies that sell custom closet systems offering easy DIY assembly.

Buying a DIY custom closet can go a long way toward maximizing your existing closet space at a price much lower than a new built-in closet, with the typical cost falling between $125 for a reach-in closet starter kit, and $1,500 for a fully-loaded walk-in closet system. 

Alternately, homeowners with some extra space might consider turning something like a guest bedroom into a spacious walk-in closet as a more DIY-friendly alternative.

Cost Breakdown for Adding a Closet to a Room

How much it will cost to add a closet to a room will depend on the specifics of the space, the size of the closet, and prevailing local labor costs.

Building Permits

Building codes in many municipalities require you to buy a permit to build a custom closet into an existing space. Make sure to carefully check the code in your area before proceeding with your project since making an addition of this kind without a required permit could lead to problems with code enforcement. 

It could also create problems if you try to sell your house down the line. The expenses involved in securing a permit will vary from place to place, but for a custom closet, expect to pay something between $400 and $2,200.

Materials

Modern and tidy wooden closet
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There’s a wide range of different materials you might choose for your new built-in closet, and the selection will have a decisive effect on the final costs, adding an amount between $200 and $5,000

If you’re working with a smaller budget, consider plywood for your frame lumber, for an average total between $200 and $500 on a relatively straightforward project. For those with more to spend, other options include melamine (typically between $1,500 and $2,500) and solid wood (between $3,500 and $5,000).

Labor

As with many of the other costs entailed by a custom built-in closet, the amount you pay for labor will be sensitive to the specific complications presented by your space—with additional uncertainty introduced by regional differences in the prevailing rates for contractors. 

For a 4-by-8 feet reach-in closet that does not require renovations to load-bearing walls, you will need one full day of work from an experienced general contractor or handyperson. This is so they can install sheetrock and drywall and frame and hang the doors—for an average cost between $500 and $1,500

Labor costs may exceed that range if there isn’t a general contractor or area handyperson who can take on the whole job. Some closet designers in your area may offer installation services that include the addition of a closet to a finished space. 

Otherwise, you may need to hire a local drywall contractor and an area carpenter to do each stage of the job separately. On average, homeowners pay $2 per square foot for drywalling parts and labor, and between $35 and $100 per hour for carpentry work.

Accessories

If you intend to outfit your new closet with organizational systems that go beyond a simple clothing rod and a single unit of bottom shelving, you should anticipate additional costs for accessories. The range of options here is vast, spanning from $45 for a simple shoe rack to $2,500 to install an elegant island unit in a spacious walk-in closet. 

How Much Does It Cost to Add a Closet by Type?

The type of closet you’re planning to install will also play a major part in the costs you ultimately pay.

Reach-In Closet

A standard reach-in closet is the least expensive option, with average costs falling between $250 and $1,500. The differences between the bottom and top of that range will largely depend on the materials you choose for your doors and the level of drywall finish. 

Keep in mind that contractors often charge a higher hourly rate for smaller drywall jobs, so if you intend to add multiple closets, it will prove most cost-effective to have them all built at once.

Walk-In Closet

Typical costs for adding a walk-in closet are between $750 and $3,500. The main factor here is size, with a smaller walk-in, in the neighborhood of 5-by-5 feet, falling at the lower end of that range, and a larger one—around 100 square feet—at the higher end.

Built-In Wardrobe

If additional storage space and enhanced organizational possibilities for clothing is your primary need, but your room lacks the depth to comfortably accommodate a full closet, you might also consider a built-in wardrobe. Expect to pay between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on the size and level of customization you choose.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Adding a Closet to a Room?

Closet size, materials, and labor will be the primary cost factors across most closet additions, but the requirements of the room being altered, as well as the inclusion of particular features in the new closet, can quickly become major factors in the final price tag. 

Some potential additional costs to consider include:

  • HVAC duct replacement: $10–$20 per linear foot

  • New vent installation: $250–$1,000

  • Installation of new electrical wiring: $6–$8 per square foot

  • Drywall repair: $300–$800

FAQs About Adding a Closet to a Room

What is the difference between a closet and a wardrobe?

A closet is an enclosed space for general storage that is permanently built into a larger room. Wardrobes can be either freestanding and semi-portable or a permanent feature and are designed primarily for clothing.

How does a built-in closet affect the value of a home?

The addition of a properly installed built-in closet will generally make a home more competitive on the market and increase its sales price. If, however, you are converting an existing room into a walk-in closet, it will likely drive the value downward.

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