How to Build a Stand Alone Closet


When wall space is a premium but you need to increase your storage space, build a stand-alone closet away from the wall. A stand-alone closet has a boxed-in construction that is secured only to the ceiling and the floor and not an adjoining wall.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4-inch wood studs, several
  • 1-by-12-inch wood, 10 feet
  • 1-by-2-inch wood, 12 or more feet
  • Pneumatic air nailer and 2 ½-inch nails
  • Compound miter saw
  • Drill
  • Masonry screws, 2 ½ inches
  • Wood screws, 2 ½ inches
  • Drywall screws, 1 ½ inches
  • Sheetrock, 5/8-inch thick
  • Insulation
  • Utility knife
  • Joint compound
  • Paper or mesh sheetrock tape
  • Putty knife
  • Feathering knife
  • Chalk
  • Staple gun
  • Paint
  • Door
  • Door framing
  • Hanger rod
  • Hanger rod hardware

Frame the Stand-Alone Closet

  • Take the length and width measurements of the closet's floor area and cut pieces of the 2-by-4-inch wood to form the outline of the closet's floor. Cut an additional set of the same length pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood for the ceiling. Put these to the side.

  • Leave an opening for the closet door--the width of the closet door plus 6 ¼ inches. This will allow for the 2-by-4-inch wood studs on both sides of the door opening and door framing wood that will support the door.

  • Pre-drill holes to screw the closet's base plate to the floor. Use a hammer drill for a concrete floor. Insert anchors into the screw holes in the floor and screw the base plate to the floor.

  • Line up the 2-by-4-inch wood to the ceiling, following the same outline as the base plate. Screw or nail these pieces to the ceiling to form the top plate of the closet's walls.

  • Frame in the walls of the stand-alone closet using 2-by-4-inch wood studs cut to the measurement between the top and base plates. Insert each stud between the top and base plates and toenail them at the top and the bottom. Space each stud 12 inches apart until the entire closet space is enclosed.

Build the Door Frame

  • Line up two pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood cut to 82 inches long on each side of the door opening.

  • Cut another piece of 2-by-4-inch wood using the horizontal measurement from the top of one of the 2-by-4-inch wood studs framing the doorway to the other. This will make the base of the door header.

  • Measure the space between the door header base and the top plate on the ceiling. Cut four pieces of the 2-by-4-inch wood studs to the length of this measurement, and insert them between the header base and top plate, evenly spaced, and nail in place.

  • Line up the door framing to fit inside of the doorway opening. Screw or nail into the 2-by-4-inch wood studs. Screw the door hinges to the door and to the door framing. Make a hole into the door framing for the door latch using a boring bit inserted into the drill, and screw the strike plate over the hole.

Sheetrock the Stand-Alone Closet

  • Line up whole sheets of sheetrock to the walls' wood studs and screw them in place with drywall screws.

  • Cut pieces of sheetrock to fill in any gaps, but measure from the middle of one stud at one end to the middle of another stud at the other end of the sheetrock. This will strengthen the walls by supporting the sheetrock's fragile edges. Screw the sheetrock every 10 to 12 inches along each wood stud.

  • Apply joint compound over the screw holes and the sheetrock joints with a wide putty knife. Lay paper or joint tape over the seams and press it flat with the putty knife or feathering tool. Apply another layer of joint compound over the paper tape. Smooth the joint compound until it is flush with the rest of the sheetrock wall.

  • Cover the inside and outside walls with sheetrock. Tack corner beads on each of the stand-alone closet's four outside corners. Smooth joint compound over the two sides of the corner beads with a feathering knife.

The Finishes

  • Cut two pieces of 1-by-4-inch wood, 18 inches long. Screw or nail these pieces to the two side walls in the closet at 64 inches at the top of each piece.

  • Paint the interior and exterior walls of the stand-alone closet.

  • Screw the hanger rod's hardware to the center of the 1-by-4-inch pieces near their lower edge. Measure the length between the two hanger rod brackets, and cut the hanger rod to this length. Insert it into the brackets.

  • Measure the closet's width and cut one to two pieces of the 1-by-12-inch wood using this measurement for the shelves.

  • Install strips of 1-by-2-inch wood to support each shelf--cut to 12 inches for the two side walls and to the width of the closet for the back wall. Place the shelf boards on top.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make the most of your stand-alone closet by locating it as a division between two functionally different areas.

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