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  1. #1
    Sam Guest

    Default Minimum Closet Depth

    Wondering what is considered the bare minimum closet depth. My situation is not completely inflexible and I can get away with a 24" depth but I'm curious if anyone can offer some sage advice regarding reduced closet depth.

    Thanks,

    Sam

  2. #2
    Gary Katz Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    22 inches.
    Gary

  3. #3
    Mike Nathan Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Is the question depth or what goes into it ? .
    Isn't function what determines size, at least sometimes ? Of course 22 or so is normal.
    I like to use a shelf at 65" and at 80"
    split the middle with a set of shelves about 16" wide and 13" o/c upward to the 80" shelf then put a high / low rod on the left and a single closet rod on the right. Shoe rack can be set under single rod side. Figure out the purpose of the closet and design.

  4. #4
    Sam Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Gary, Thanks.

    Mike, the question was general in nature although your point is well taken. My situation is just a bedroom closet for everyday clothing and such. The B/R is small so I was curious about a shaving a few inches here and there. Thanks for the tip on the shelving.

    Sam

  5. #5
    Mike Nathan Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    I've found that by asking a client about specific
    uses of a closet,it gives the job the custom look.
    Especially when we have some "goofball" situation, and find a good solution. It's a opportunity to do something different, then the norm. That's why I threw out my 2-bits.

  6. #6
    Gary Katz Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Keep throwing, Mike, we're all listening/reading to your valuable 2-bits.

    I'm a believer in custom closet designs, too (FHB #124), and I'd hesitate to total the time I've spent installing closet shelving or the miles of particleboard, mdf, and melamine I've cut. Still, I find designing them fun, and attacking them with production installation techniques a real joy.
    Gary

  7. #7
    Sam Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Gary/Mike,

    Ditto Gary's comment regarding Mike's 2 bits; keep 'em coming.

    Another thought came to mind while contemplating closets: Lighting. Do you/don't you; what sort if you do- or is this another question that situation specific?

    Thanks,

    Sam

  8. #8
    Jim Eggert Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    I no longer build any closet less than 26" clear inside depth IF using the 12" white vinyl covered shelving. Why? Because I built my mud room closet at 24", used the 12" shelf and EVERY TIME you close the door the clothes get stuck in the bifolds. There is room to move the hanging point back but only if you use a shorter depth shelf and rod. I am not aware of the wire type shelving/rod combination available at 10". Aggravating!!!
    Jim

  9. #9
    Gary Katz Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Jim,
    Boy, Now I feel kind of dumb for answering that question so simply. I'm with you all the way. Personally, I think 24 in. is the absolute minimum, but I was thinking of how often I've gotten angry with builders because they provide us with closets that are too narrow and in that case, 22 in. is the absolute minimum you can put a shelf-and-pole in.--but that doesn't mean that 22 in. works well!! I like to put a strip of wood on the back of a swinging door, too, and hooks. I like to be able to slide pockets, bifolds, and sliders without the closets draging on the doors, or the clothes getting caught in the doors, or a sleeve sticking out between the door and the jamb--or three or four sleeves! I agree, 26 in. would be nice, but few homes can afford the square footage. 24 works fine.
    Gary

  10. #10
    bill burns. Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    i have removed the sheetrock from the back inside of closets to gain space for hanging clothes in tight situations. this only works on interior walls, insulation on your suit doesn't feel or look too good!
    i dress the 2x's up alittle with trim, and paint to match closet. or, if you are just now framing, and are searching for space, either frame with 2x's on the flat or use 1 5/8" metal stud..

  11. #11
    Danny Waite Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Likewise I also get ticked at cheap Charlie builders who think they are really saving precious $'s by cutting down on closets. Given a home price of $100/sq ft, a closet measuring 5 foot wide by 24 inches deep works out at 10 sq ft or $1000. Cut this closet down depth-wise to 22 inches and cheap Charlie just saved $84. Deepen the closet to a better working 30 inches and he just spent an extra $250. You get just exactly what you are willing to spend.
    Personally I would opt for the deeper closet and by all means put in a light.

  12. #12
    phil Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    I would have to agree that 24 (25"framing)inches is min. for functionality. some closets i have been framing lately have been 36" deep. This way Iam able to build 12" shelves in the back of the closet and the clothes hang in front. Most of my customers love the extra storage and closet space

    phil

  13. #13
    Mike Nathan Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    There are several ways to light closets. But the issue is not usually the light. This light will be half way between the shelf and the door, mounted on the ceiling or header. What I'm doing is putting a motion sensor that is mounted in a standard outlet box in the closet as close to the door as possible. They have a 180 degree field of view. Some types react poorly with flouresent lights. I don't know which brand tonight. They can have timers for longer ON times.
    Hafele makes a microswitch that is fitted into a their 4x4 hinge that is low voltage On / Off with closing of door. There is another type also that carpenters use to router in. This had a plunger type switch. The latter 2 take much more effort to install then the electronic.
    I think that the motion sensor is perfect for function and conserving power.

  14. #14
    Gary Katz Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    We install a lot of the plunger type. I made a router template especially for those electrical boxes--two step type with drywall screws for stops. I use a plunge router.

    Gary

  15. #15
    rob z Guest

    Default Re: Minimum Closet Depth

    Sam

    In Washington DC, that closet could be deep enough to handle clothes on a hanger that hangs on a peg on the back wall (no kidding).

    Several years ago we were putting in a bathroom in a 100+ year old Georgetown rowhouse, and the plumber and I were amazed to see a wall framed that had more space within the door R.O. and stud cavities than in the "closet" itself. It looked like the kind of thing that might be built to hide the circuit panel or alarm system panel.

    The GC (followed by the DC inspector) explained that a bedroom needs a closet, and there is no minimum size required for a closet. So the inside of this closet measured about 3" X 42". All this so the slumlord could charge another Georgetown University student an exhorbinant amount of rent.

    If I hadn't seen it myself I'd have a hard time believing it!

    Rob Z

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