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  1. #1

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    Anyone ever work with 'California Closets'

    Has anyone ever worked with California Closets to get custom system in a closet? My mom is eventually going to be moving in with me, and I'm basically giving her the other two bedrooms. But the reach-in closets in those rooms are weird. There's just a normal pull open door on it and the sides go so deep past the door frame that there's no way she would be able to reach into the sides and dig out the clothes in the back like I could. I have someone coming over to give me a free estimate, but now I'm wondering how far my eyes will bulge outta my head when she tells me the price. I've been reading stuff online and they all talk about thousands of $$ cost, and I'm hoping those are for big, custom walk-ins, not a standard 6-foot reach-in closet.

    I know you could probably go to a home store and buy closet stuff and do it yourself for much cheaper, but I have no building skills whatsoever (or patience not to ruin my walls and materials!) to do anything like that, and don't know anyone who does.

  2. #2

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    My mom used them a few times and was very satisfied. But they definitely are more expensive than pre-made. It can't hurt to get an estimate.

  3. #3
    garden freak
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    I splurged and did one closet (master bedroom). It was expensive but very well worth it. All of our stuff fits in one very well designed and somewhat adjustable closet. No more switching summer and winter clothes from another bedroom.

    Their ads show lots of extra features like fancy looking wood, special drawers, etc. I completely skipped all the extras and have their basic adjustable shelving and rods for hanging stuff. The extras are pretty but they are very expensive.

    I did this after the two previous closet shelving systems kept self destructing. Came home after work one day and found my stuff on the floor when the cheaper stuff came off the wall! Calif. Closets is still hanging on the wall where it belongs.

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    IKEA has a nice selection of closet systems. Even with installation it worked out a lot cheaper than California Closets for me. I just measured all the walls and spent a few hours in the store designing my own. Basically that's what CC does - their stuff is all stock and they just fit it together like a puzzle.

    You might also want to look into woodworkers in your area. Lots of them could use the work right now and they could do a real custom job.

    I highly recommend you don't go with the coated wire systems available in DIY stores.
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  5. #5
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    We turned our smallest bedroom into a walk-in closet. Friends recommended California Closets, and we were very pleased. Salesperson/designer was excellent, even when we went back and forth with modifications several times. Installer was polite, tidy and fast. They even moved up the installation date when they had a cancellation. Price was much lower than we were expecting. I love my closet

  6. #6
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    We just added and re-did closets using Elfa systems, available from the Container Store. It's a lot more flexible and much less expensive than California Closets, and you get similar functionality. It just won't look as much like furniture.

    I was stunned at how inexpensive it was. We fully outfitted a 6' x 6' walk-in closet and six standard size closets for less than $2,500 installed. The same functionality with California Closets would have cost around $10k, and the only difference is that we'd be looking at laminate wood instead of wire.

    This is the ONLY part of a gut renovation that has come in under budget.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    We just added and re-did closets using Elfa systems, available from the Container Store. It's a lot more flexible and much less expensive than California Closets, and you get similar functionality. It just won't look as much like furniture.

    I was stunned at how inexpensive it was. We fully outfitted a 6' x 6' walk-in closet and six standard size closets for less than $2,500 installed. The same functionality with California Closets would have cost around $10k, and the only difference is that we'd be looking at laminate wood instead of wire.

    This is the ONLY part of a gut renovation that has come in under budget.
    For only a little bit more, Louis, you could have done the same thing at IKEA and you'd be looking at wood. Probably about $700 more. But if you don't mind that wire stuff then you did good.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    For only a little bit more, Louis, you could have done the same thing at IKEA and you'd be looking at wood. Probably about $700 more. But if you don't mind that wire stuff then you did good.
    Is IKEA modular? The thing I really like about Elfa is that all you have to do is get the brackets up, and then you can do anything you want with the closet. It's so easy to change/move/add things as your storage needs change.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Is IKEA modular? The thing I really like about Elfa is that all you have to do is get the brackets up, and then you can do anything you want with the closet. It's so easy to change/move/add things as your storage needs change.
    Yes. Probably not as easy to change things around as a wooden modular piece is going to be heavier and bulkier than a wire piece. I had mine bolted to the wall but that's not necessary. There are lots of options. Large drawers, small locking drawers, dual hanging spaces (high and low), shoe keepers, adjustable shelving, doors, no doors, lots of etc.
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  10. #10
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    As someone deprived of a walk-in closet, I wish closets weren't built in at all. I love the European wardrobe system and drool at the models in IKEA every time I go there. It allows for much more customizable arrangements.

    Right now my closet is one shelf and a bar with Sterilite plastic drawer units underneath, and there's a good 3 feet that's very difficult to access behind a wall. I can't do built-ins because the bottom foot of the floor is the heating vent!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    I can't do built-ins because the bottom foot of the floor is the heating vent!
    One of the things I like about our California Closet is that it's suspended above the floor. Allows for the heating vent and several plugs, plus it's much easier to vacuum and keep the closet tidy.

    Our set up is quite simple, with mostly hanging rods, one set of shelves for jeans, a hamper drawer (with pull out washable bag), shoe and purse shelves above and below the longer hanging areas, and a couple of accessories including belt hooks and a couple of valet rods (love these - you can put out what you plan to wear as you pick and choose what to go with it). Otherwise the room has only a dresser, a chair and a full length mirror.

    We dragged around for years looking at different systems and measuring and trying to calculate IKEA, and finally when friends raved about their closet, we just went ahead and did it. So happy we finally did it - my closet is one of my favourite rooms in the house now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    One of the things I like about our California Closet is that it's suspended above the floor. Allows for the heating vent and several plugs, plus it's much easier to vacuum and keep the closet tidy.
    Elfa would also work for this set-up (we have ductwork in the way, too) and it sounds like IKEA might as well from what Milanessa said.

    Lots of options for you, Vesperholly, if you want. Just take the measurements and go to the store. (Or with the Container Stores, you can do it online - probably also with IKEA.)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    We just added and re-did closets using Elfa systems, available from the Container Store. It's a lot more flexible and much less expensive than California Closets, and you get similar functionality. It just won't look as much like furniture.

    I was stunned at how inexpensive it was. We fully outfitted a 6' x 6' walk-in closet and six standard size closets for less than $2,500 installed. The same functionality with California Closets would have cost around $10k, and the only difference is that we'd be looking at laminate wood instead of wire.

    This is the ONLY part of a gut renovation that has come in under budget.
    THANK YOU, Louis. My next big save-up-for is master closet redo, I'm getting tired of ironing things because they got squunched in the closet. I looked at Container Store and wondered how well it would work since CA closets was way too expensive.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  14. #14
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    I'm with Louis on the Elfa system. While the elements come in stock sizes, you can have any of the horizontal and vertical bars and at least the metal shelves cut to size, and the shelves come in multiple depths, some with lips. They also have wood veneer shelves, if you prefer them. I'm guessing that these, too can be cut down. The entire system is very flexible.

    In the past few years, they've had a sale for a couple of weeks around the Christmas holidays, but according to their website, they're having a shelving sale now, 25% off components and optional installation. If you bring them all of your dimensions -- don't round, always measure at the top where you'll install the horizontal bracket, and for height, measure on both sides if you're going to the floor -- they will plug them into their design computer, which will calculate tolerances and come up with all the custom cuts you'll need.

    They sell other things as well: right now they have Sapien bookshelves (the shorter ones, 5") on sale for $150, which is an amazing price, especially if they don't have to ship them. The only other place I've seen them is from the Design within Reach catalog, and everything has to be shipped, making them very pricey.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    One of the things I like about our California Closet is that it's suspended above the floor. Allows for the heating vent and several plugs, plus it's much easier to vacuum and keep the closet tidy.
    It's not just a vent, it's a 10" deep empty box. The furnace is in the closet and that's the box that directs the heat to the living room. I wish I knew who designed that awful system!
    Last edited by vesperholly; 10-07-2011 at 11:34 PM.

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