C is for Closet

Not sure what the deal was, but I’m pretty sure that people in the 1940’s were either small humans with miniature clothes or they had a quarter of the stuff we had. Probably the latter…. One thing for sure though, ever since we moved into our house last year, we’ve immediately determined that we’d each need our own closet and since there is only one closet per bedroom, Jay got bumped to the guest room and now he actually keeps all his stuff in the basement since it’s closest to the shower he uses to get ready. So if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, it’s not the best system.

Here’s my current closet. It works … but it’s small.

Organized storage closet, Painted closet

So one of the things that makes us feel like doing cartwheels about the attic conversion is that we will have MEGA closets. Not a walk in, mind you, put super spacious compared to our current configuration. Plus, they will both be in the same room so no one has to truck it down a flight of stairs, which is an added bonus.

When configuring out the attic space, we figured the most organic spot for the closets would be in the knee wall along the front right side of the room.

Adding Closets to Knee Wall

Since this space already has a nice, open hall there, we thought it would make sense to have this be the main clothing storage location.

Our first order of business was to sketch out some quick measurements to make sure everything would be more or less centered along the wall. We knew we wanted (2) closets, and that each closet would be 60″ in length.

How to Frame a Closet

With the space we had left over, we have about 12″ between the wall and the closet and another 12″ in the space between the two closets. In all honesty, that spacing felt a wee tight – but if we went to the next size closet down, we’d be looking at a 48″ opening vs. 60″ – so it was a trade-off we were willing to make.

The great thing about using the attic as living space is that all of the knee walls offer prime time space for storage. The closets will actually be able to go FOUR FEET back, which means we are going to be able to schlep some serious junk in this trunk. My closet is currently like a foot and a half by 3 feet, so color me PUMPED to have this big of a storage chest for all my clothing goodies.

Insulating an Attic Closet

In addition to all the insulation we put between the rafters we opted to add an extra layer of foam insulation (R-5) around the closets and behind the walls to get us a bit toastier up in our b-room. Since all we had to do was grab these sheets and screw them in with drywall screws, this insulation step was vastly easier than the cutting we had to do for every single piece to fit it in between each rafter, a la the picture below. That was a hairy beast, my friend.

How to use foam board to insulate attic

For the actual framing, we just used some 2×4’s ($2.50 each) to create a basic structure for the closet. Since we won’t be having any monkey’s jumping on this bed closet, we were not overly worried about it being super structural, so we just popped a few in to give the drywall something to adhere to.

How to Frame a Closet

Our main concern when we were installing the framing was to make sure everything was square, to prevent any issues with the doors fitting, etc as we go along.

How to Build a Closet

Another tricky little detail with this whole get up was that we had to install a side access door so that we could get to an area in the back of our attic where the ceiling height is a bit lower. Good for storage, not good for beds and bathrooms and built-ins.

Before, we had an access panel that was just chilling in the middle of the room. See the wooden door on the left, below. Yeah … that’s where you got the the storage area in the attic before. That just wasn’t meshing with my whole chic attic vision.

Attic Conversion

So … the closet space seemed like the best place to pop a door in as discreetly as possible. It’s a bit of a small door, like on your hands and knees kind of door, but in all honesty, the space it opens up to is not much better. Really, we just wanted to be able to get into the room in case we had a roof leak, or a mouse scratching, one of those wonderful scenarios. 😀

You can see the access cut out below, and the door (which has not been attached yet) is off the the right. Once this area is drywalled, you’ll just see a little door there, and not a big hole. :)

Side Access Door in Attic

Now that we’ve got the spaces all insulated and framed, they are looking like this.

Adding Closets to Attic Knee Wall

A his and hers if I ever saw it. 20 square feet of closet space = much, much better than 5 square feet. Actually make that 20 square feet times two, since we will each of our own little closet that could. Woot.

 

          

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5 thoughts on “C is for Closet

  1. Hi, we are finishing our attic space and our closets are set up similar to the ones you have pictures, I’m curious as to how you set up the inside of yours to make the space the most functional? Thanks so much!

    1. Oh goodness! For some reason I never saw a notification for this comment a few weeks back :) We actually just put a closet rod in, we talked about adding in some storage below that rolled out to access the back portions, but we never did.

  2. Great job!!! I like how your closets turned out. Definitely more usable space. I was floating the idea of doing that too for kids rooms. What size (height) closet door were you able to use?

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