DIY Network

Tips on Choosing Built-in Storage

Host Jeff Wilson takes an in-depth look at built-in storage options, including walk-in and reach-in closets.

More in Remodeling

leftover spaces can be potential closet areas

Even though there never seems to be enough storage space in new homes, many times larger houses will have leftover spaces of one sort or another. These spaces should always be thought of as potential closet areas. Smaller houses need to consider closet space as part of the design from the beginning.

Planning a Walk-In Closet
The dream of most homeowners is a walk-in closet or closets. You best scenario is to have an 8-foot ceiling in a walk-in closet because that means there will be a top shelf that runs along the perimeter of the closet 84 inches high. And from the top shelf you can have a series of different setups.

  • You can have an island because it gives you additional drawers in the closet. It also leaves space to fold your clothes on the countertop, and you can put hampers in the island as well.
  • Belt and tie racks are another way to conserve space.
  • Valet rods also come in handy when you're getting ready to go out or if you're dressing garment bag to go away on a trip.

Reach-In Closet
When you have minimal storage needs, consider installing a reach-in closet, which is what closet companies use to describe a closet that you use to access by-fold drawers or sliding doors -- but it's essentially just one wall of closet.

Note: Another important aspect architecturally about the reach-in closet is that the depth from the back to the front of the closet should be a minimum of 24 inches from the back of the hangers.

More Storage Options
Venturing out into the rest of the house, there's storage space in the linen closet and laundry room. The linen closet should be deeper because blankets are thicker when folded. When you're thinking about storage in the laundry room, consider the following:

  • Where are the detergents going to go?
  • Do you want hanging space for clothing that comes out of the dryer?
  • Consider a wall-hung ironing board that can be placed inside a cabinet.
  • You'll need countertop space in the laundry room for sure.
  • What about a tilt-out hamper, which could really come in handy?
  • And don't forget a popular item -- the valet rod.

    Efficient use of storage space helps to organize the kitchen as well, and when you think about a pantry there are a lot of things to consider:

    • What about pull-out drawers for convenience?
    • What about a place to hang things such as a broom and dust pail?
    • Did you know that some pantries even have a refrigerator?

    Another organized use of space is to plan a home office for you and your family's needs. You can even consider cordless phones and headsets -- and what about a laptop that you can just cart around the whole house?

    There are some standard measurements that will help when you're planning your home office:

    • You definitely want to figure out how much of the room you want to use for your desk, and within that measurement, make sure you include approximately 32" to 36" of knee space when you're sitting.
    • Your desk height should be approximately 28" to 29", which allows you a keyboard tray pull-out.
    • Don't forget to measure for filing cabinets, which are 14" to 15" wide for letter size and 18 inches wide for legal size folders.

    Finally, who doesn't need some solutions for the way to organize the garage? Garages are similar to any other storage room, in that you need to figure out how much you intend to put into the garage -- and if you're going to put one or two vehicles in there.

    Full standard-size cabinets that are 24 inches deep work well in garages, along with peg boards above. You must take into account the garage-door mechanisms, water heaters and everything else you might find in a garage.

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