How Much Does It Cost to Build a Custom Closet?

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Reviewed by Andy Kilborn
Updated May 18, 2021
woman choosing an outfit
Photo: brizmaker / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Custom closets cost between $1,000 and $3,000, or about $2,000 on average

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If you’re tired of having nothing to wear because you can’t find your clothes in your current cramped closet, it’s time to make that dream happen: building your very own custom closet. Building a custom closet will make your bedroom feel even more like your own. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the next time you go to grab your favorite shirt, it won’t be a struggle.

Cost to Build a Custom Closet per Square Foot

The cost to build a closet is between $17 and $30 per square foot. More customized projects (think, a Kim Kardashian-worthy walk-in) will cost more, while simple custom closets built into an existing space will cost less.

Cost to Build a Custom Closet by Type

"There are many designs to choose from when building a custom closet,” says Andy Kilborn, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Andy’s Handyman in Des Moines. “Start with your budget first and determine which design best fits that budget."

Here are the average costs for different types of custom closets:

Closet TypePrice Range
Walk-in closet$2,500 – $5,000
Reach-in closet$500 – $1,500
Standalone wardrobe$1,000 – $3,000
Built-in wardrobe$1,000 – $5,000 or more

Walk-In Closet

Walk-in closets are dreamy and for good reason—with a walk-in, all of your clothes, shoes, and accessories have their own special place. Plus, you’ll have tons of room to get ready (and have a mini-fashion show) every morning. These closet types are often sought-after by homeowners, and installing a custom one can cost a pretty penny. Expect to pay $2,500 to $5,000 for a walk-in closet, depending on its size and what materials you choose.

Reach-In Closet

woman hanging up clothes in closet
Photo: Julien McRoberts / Tetra images / Getty Images

Your most budget-friendly custom closet option is a reach-in closet. Most homeowners pay $500 to $1,500 for a simple reach-in closet that includes shelving and hanging racks. Reach-in closets are great for those on a budget or those without the large space required for a walk-in.

Standalone Wardrobe

If your home doesn’t have enough space for a built-in closet, or if you just don’t want to get into the mess that can come with having a full construction site in your bedroom, go with a standalone wardrobe or armoire instead. A free-standing wardrobe costs between $1,000 and $3,000. They can be custom designed to match your bedroom vibe and storage needs, or you can shop around at furniture and antique stores to find one you love.

Built-In Wardrobe

A built-in closet or wardrobe cost can range considerably. Depending on the materials used and the size of your closet, closet installation can cost $1,000 to $5,000 or more. A built-in wardrobe is a great solution for homeowners who want a custom closet similar to a reach-in, but without requiring so much space.

Custom Closet Type for My Budget

The type of custom closet you can afford depends on your total budget. You may be able to splurge in some areas (hello, built-in shoe shelves!) while cutting costs in others to keep your total closet cost in line with your budget. Here are some common closet renovation costs:

$1,000

For a relatively low budget of $1,000, you can still build a closet you’ll love. Customized plywood reach-in closets range from $500 to $1,500, depending on what type of accessories (think, shelving) you add.

$2,000

You can get that walk-in closet you’ve always dreamed about with a $2,000 budget. But, custom walk-in closets typically cost about $1,500, so you won’t have much wiggle room for customizations. If you do spring for a walk-in on this budget, expect it to be fairly simple.

With this budget, you can also have a customized reach-in closet built just the way you like it. Because a $2,000 budget is at the top of the price range of a reach-in closet, you’ll be able to splurge on those little extra touches such as hardware and shelving. You can even consider a glass or melamine closet, which costs more than standard plywood versions.

Another clothing storage option is a free-standing wardrobe or armoire, which costs between $1,000 and $3,000.

$4,000

Walk-in closets, armoires, and reach-in closets can all be built for less than $4,000. Pick which one fits your lifestyle and personality, then determine where you can splurge and where you should save. If you do go for a walk-in closet on this budget, you may need to save on material costs and opt for fewer accessories. Or, if you decide on a reach-in or standalone wardrobe, you can totally splurge on add-ons. Add shelving, shoe racks, drawers, even jewelry storage—whatever your wardrobe demands!

$5,000

With a $5,000 custom closet budget, you'll have lots of options to create a dream closet fit for Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolo Blahniks. If you’re a fashionista and need extra space for your considerable wardrobe, a walk-in closet has more storage options for all of your outfits. 

Along with custom drawers and shoe racks, you can also spring for more high-quality materials on this budget. Opt for expensive elements including natural wood or cedar. Or, if you’re maxing out your budget on accessories and hardware, stick to something a little cheaper, like melamine.

A $5,000 budget could also afford you a beautiful free-standing or built-in wardrobe. If you’re a fan of antiques, you’ll likely be able to find a stunning vintage armoire or wardrobe that’s in your budget.

Cost to DIY Build a Custom Closet

To save money on labor, you can build a custom closet yourself. This is a great option for savvy homeowners who know a thing or two about carpentry. But only those experienced and knowledgeable should DIY a custom closet; otherwise your clothes may be in a heap on the floor for the foreseeable future. Those without extensive DIY experience should hire a closet maker near you to get the job done without any hiccups.

Before taking a sledgehammer to your wall, also check with your city or state to determine whether or not you need a building permit when making modifications to your home. Those can cost a significant amount of money, averaging from $400 to $2,200

After you secure the necessary permits, it’s time to build your custom closet. Be prepared to pay between $200 and $5,000 on materials. In general, plywood is the cheapest closet material and wood is the most expensive. The more high-quality a material is, the higher the price will be.

Custom Closet Cost Breakdown

The total cost you pay for a custom closet depends on the materials, labor, and accessories.

Materials

The materials needed for a closet remodel cost $200 to $5,000 and can have a big impact on the project total. Plywood, for example, is fairly inexpensive, so it’s great for those with a lower budget. Plywood for a custom closet costs from $200 to $500. Glass closets range from $800 to $2,500, melamine costs between $1,500 and $2,500, and wood is generally between $3,500 and $5,000.

Labor

Between work and family life, there’s hardly time to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, let alone take on a major construction project. If that’s your situation, building a custom closet yourself may not be in the cards. But with closet companies, experienced contractors, and closet designers in your area, that’s not a problem. Talk with experts at a home improvement store or other closet retailers in your area to get started.

Labor for closet installation costs between $500 and $1,000. Prices will vary depending on where you live and how large your project is. Some contractors may charge a one-time fee for the installation, while others may charge you by the hour. Others may use a combination of the two.

Accessories

Whether shoe racks, hanging rods, drawers, or shelving, accessories can make or break your closet. Each addition varies in cost and ranges from $45 for accessories such as shoe racks to $2,500 for spacious islands in walk-in closets. How much you pay for accessories will depend on how much storage you need. You can either purchase these accessories at your local hardware store or buy a kit that includes everything you need.

Cost to Build a Custom Closet in My Neighborhood

The average cost to build a custom closet is about $2,200 on the West Coast. The cost is similar on the East Coast, with prices averaging $2,300 in places including New York. Costs tend to decrease as you approach the middle of the country, with prices reaching $1,200 in Colorado.

The exact price in your area will likely be somewhere in between these averages. Ask your contractor about exact prices to determine your budget.

FAQs About Built-In Closets

Do built-in closets add value to your home?

Yes, custom closets have a reported return on investment of about 50 to 60%.

How much does it cost to customize closet organization?

A customized organization system can cost between $900 and $2,500, depending on how much organization is needed. Custom organization systems can make your closet feel more tailor-made for your needs.

More budget-friendly DIY organization systems can include shelving units, which you can typically buy at any big box retailer, and plastic bins.

What types of closet doors are available?

Closet doors can drastically change the overall look and feel of a custom closet. Luckily, you can customize the doors to match your personal style as well as the aesthetics in your bedroom. Choose from bifold, mirror, swing, accordion, or sliding closet doors.

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