April 12, 2010

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Closet Blog: Comparing Custom Closet Bids & Designs

Professionally designed suspended closet system
Professionally designed wardrobe style floor based closet system
side mount drawer for closet system

Creating Your Checklist

Whether you've decided to stay in your home and do a remodel or take the plunge and buy a home — odds are you'll be addressing storage issues.

Almost every American home has them, and homeowners define them as very important, according to research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, which indicates that two of the most important things to home buyers these days are built-in cabinetry and cleverly hidden storage spaces.

So if you're about to embark upon the journey to organization Mecca by getting custom closets — here are some things to look for if you're comparing designs and bids:

Hanging Out
Are the closets designed with a Hanging System or a Floor Based System? If the panels don't touch the floor (such as the closet in the picture on the left), it's a hanging system, which is more economical and easier to install. Floor based systems look more like built-in furniture. They also offer more flexibility for future design changes because the structure is already in place.

Drawer Details
How many drawers are included — are the slides full extension, self-closing or 75% extension — are the boxes wood, melamine (white or matching color) or metal? And how deep are the drawers?

Accessorize and Glamorize
What accessories are included — and how many — and are they basic or deluxe. There are lots of closet accessories on the market that function but have minimal beauty (meaning that the hardware and mechanisms are not concealed).

Height Matters
Is it an 84" high system, a 96" high system or something custom?

A Pretty Face
Are the fronts on the doors and drawers flat, edgebanded melamine or Thermofoil, decorative (such as Raised Panel or Shaker Style). Thermofoil adds to the price but looks better and there's no chance of the edgebanding ever coming off because there isn't any. And do the designs include any other decorative touches such as crown, base or fluted mouldings?

Is any element custom in size, color or shape? That adds to the costs and doesn't lend itself to doing an accurate, apples-to-apples comparison.

And last, but not least, how do you relate with the sales person/designer? As a colleague, Joyce Hardison from Ventura California, so aptly put it "You need to be a well informed consumer. You need to know what to look for — how to compare designs and what's in the design." And we both agree that being comfortable with the person who's in one of the most intimate environments in your home is just about as important as having enough space to store your shoe collection.

Closet Works has been crafting sanctuaries and creating a sense of order for Chicagoland homes for more than two decades. They are currently celebrating nearly 30 years of creating custom storage solutions in the Chicagoland area and beyond. For more information on Closet Works call toll-free at 800-4-CLOSET (800-425-6738).