I’m not allowed to post full-motion video of my wife, so I’ll have to learn how to edit a video before I start showing anything… I always manage to film her giving high-fives and stuff, thereby making an otherwise video a little more fun but a little less publicly-consumable.
The built-in was a relatively easy project, but we got great satisfaction out of it. The best part of it is that the Ikea “Komplement” drawers we picked were just shy of the full depth of the existing closet. If we had tried to just “hide” a dresser in there for extra storage, it would have been much shallower. We’ll get some good storage out of these suckers. Plus we went with cavernous shelves which will be good for storage versatility.
Here’s what you need:
- melamine boards, with 1 finished edge
- variety of screws (some long enough to go through melamine + drywall + grab a chunk of wall stud)
- a level and a measuring tape
- melamine heat-applied edging (optional touch to cover visible particle board edges)
Here’s the pics:
(left to right 1: final product; 2: brackets installed 3: just needs finishing steps)
In the final product there’s a top to the built-in that extends the existing shelf. There is also a toe-kick that gives it a polished look.
The project was relatively easy, but still took about 9 hours including snack breaks, watching some tube or internet here and there, etc. The general breakdown of how we approached it:
- Measured from carpet to existing shelf to get height for sides of the “cabinet”. There’s no way we’d expect both to be the same, so we measured in EACH location and cut each “side” separately, adding a couple mm to account for carpet squooshiness.
- Located and cut grooves so that the top would fit in and around the existing shelf and so that the bottom could go over the existing baseboards
- Removed baseboard from right side so that cabinet side could go right into the wall
- Screwed right side into wall. Screwed left side through the pre-existing “shelf” into the top of the side. This was unecessary and we ended up having to unscrew later
- Measured where we wanted first (bottom) drawer to go, and added the rest of the slider brackets from there:
- used level on first bracket to locate where “back” screw would go; installed bracket
- used level to go across (not trusting measuring up from floor or down from top; dimensions are never square or straight!) to locate and install front screw of next bracket
- used level to locate and screw in “back” screw and installed bracket. Now we have a matching pair so we test-fitted a drawer. It worked!
- since the first pair worked, we now had a “base” for measurements. Measured all the front screw holes and installed brackets.
- using the level worked in the past, so we used the level for each of the remaining 6 brackets to locate “back” screw and finish installation
- Unscrewed left side and “tapped” left side into place before re-screwing through the top
- cut and installed 4 “ledges” for our 2 shelves using a similar levelling technique. Why ledges? Can’t drill easily into that right side… might as well be consistent. You can see the front of the ledges in the “later” photos
- put our 2 shelves on the “ledges” and screwed them into place also from the left side.
- added the top (trickier than you think! No angles were 90 degrees, so we had to make a few cuts and eventually steal time on dad’s mitre saw for half-degree cuts in order to get it pretty tight)
- re-installed some of the baseboard on the inside of the closet
Test fit– all drawers work, but we wanted it less sticky.
We screwed up one of the screws somehow, or the cut for the ledge was crooked… either way, we decided to keep it as-is. Hard to notice.
Now the whole structure is rock-solid and “built-in”