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Custom closet systems may be the answer to your clutter woes

Overview

Published: 06/19/2012

by William Roebuck

As family needs grow, so does the demand for space to store the stuff of everyday living.

 Here are some of their tips on how to choose an effective closet system that will meet your needs.

Closet units range from full-size, floor-based systems, which rest on the floor and incorporate various storage options, to less-expensive, wall-hung or half systems, which mount on the wall and provide basic shelving and hanging space. The wall option includes wire mesh or ventilated systems generally found in do-it-yourself shops and hardware stores.

Floor-based closet systems are available as modular or integrated systems. Modular units consist of pre-built boxes and shelves that are easy to install. An integral system is the strongest and most precisely built because it is constructed as a single, integrated unit from components made with precision machinery.

Make sure a new closet fits your exact needs. Will it handle hundreds of pounds of clothes over the long term? The installation must be square and plumb, so shelves and rods won't sag or warp.

Note that wall-hung systems may lack the structural integrity to support heavy weights for a long period of time. Floor-based systems use parallel vertical panels that rest on the floor for support. However, they must be installed carefully because of the unevenness of most floors.

The quality level of closet materials can vary widely. You should carefully examine the fit and finish, and ensure that doors operate smoothly and drawers slide easily. You'll find that the materials used can range from inexpensive pressboard to various grades of particleboard, the best being industrial-grade, 3/4-in., pre-finished particleboard, which is the strongest and most dense. Also, look for edging materials that are securely glued using special edge-banding equipment, as these are unlikely to detach over time. Other methods that use pre-glued materials or barbs to hold the edging in place may not last as long.

Options to look for in custom closets include clear acrylic doors and dividers, shoe cubbies, aromatic cedar drawers, velvet-lined jewellery drawers, hamper bins and even false-bottom drawers for secure hiding places.

Closet companies with specially trained closet designers on staff can help you with all aspects of your storage needs. In most cases, the level of service you receive will reflect the price you pay.

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