Closet remodel costs: Average spend, how to budget, and ways to save

Planning your closet remodel costs is the first step to upgrading your space. Here's an overview of average costs, plus expert tips on budgeting for a built-in or walk-in design.

Walk in closet in a contemporary penthouse
(Image credit: Covet House)

Closet remodel costs are important to factor in when you're considering building one into your home. And, if there's always a chair in the corner of your bedroom that's overloaded with clothing or, if you spend far too much time crawling under the bed searching for shoes... It could definitely be time to take on this project.

After all, having an organized, dedicated space for everything eliminates the clutter so you can rest easier. If you see a new closet in your future then the costs associated with it are going to be on your mind. The best closet organization ideas after all don't always need to be expensive but it's worth knowing how much you can expect to spend to enjoy your most desired outcome.

If you have the space, building a new closet to store your belongings is total win. According to the 2021 U.S. Houzz & Home Study on renovation trends, 56 percent of homeowners plan to renovate during 2021, compared with 3 percent who plan to build a new home. Other findings show homeowners investing more in smaller areas of their homes, like home offices and closets. Median spending on closet upgrades jumped a whopping 43 percent, according to Houzz.

And, a 2021 Freedonia report on home organization products, forecasts that items like closet elements will grow 2.1 percent per year through 2025. Looking at these trends, you’re not the only one feeling the need for a new closet. So let’s crunch some numbers.

How much does it cost to remodel a closet?

Different factors will affect the cost of this project, it depends on the finish you require. You should consider the following: 

Closet remodel size

You either have a reach-in built-in closet or a walk-in closet. Both come in various sizes but a reach-in is typically not much deeper than the width of a hanger. The standard size for a walk-in closet is about 7 by 10 feet. However, in upscale and luxury homes, master closets come much larger. Obviously, the larger your closet, the more it will cost to remodel. According to the online home services marketplace, Fixr, the cost for a closet remodel is from $10 to $25 per square foot with the average homeowner spending $3500 for a 10- by 12-foot walk-in. 

Building from scratch

If you want to build a closet where there wasn’t one previously, that involves the work of a building contractor. Cost factors for a new closet build, that are different from a remodel, include:

Accessories, inserts, and cabinetry

Of course, the main reason you’re remodeling your closet in the first place is to provide a home for everything. That means including new inserts for that pile of shoes or cubbies for the mound of sweaters. Closet inserts range from simple rod and shelf configurations, to wire shelf units, to stock or custom cabinetry and hardware. 

Cabinet prices vary widely. Angi estimates the cost to install closet organizers from $900 to $2500. 'A closet is very personal and changes with every client,' says Diana Viera, architect and managing partner with ITALKRAFT closet design company in Miami, Florida. So, of course, where your budget falls in that range depends on the type of organizers you choose, the size of the closet, and the materials your organizers are made of.

Other factors to consider when remodeling a closet

  • Professional services—If you hire either a closet designer or a professional organizer, their fees will increase your budget. However, remember hiring a designer will save you money in the long term.
  • Permits—Whether you need a permit for a closet remodel depends on the scope of work. Best to check with your contractor or local building official.
  • Change requests—Changing your mind mid-project gets expensive. Finalize all your decisions during the design phase to avoid having to make change requests.

Creating a budget for your remodel

The first step in creating your closet remodel budget, says Viera, is to hire a designer. 'A designer brings clarity to the confusion of having to choose among all the available options,' she says. 'And, they’ll guarantee the relationships with other contractors.'

But according to Nealy Stapleton, professional organizer and owner of One Track Organizing, LLC in the Washington, D.C. metro area, you probably should start with a professional organizer. 'It’s super helpful to get input from a professional organizer before you have anything built or installed,' she says. One of the main reasons is they will help you to declutter, avoiding the mistake of building space to store items you no longer use or need. Then, she says, a professional organizer 'can look at what remains and suggest places for storage most people don’t consider.'

According to Stapleton, professional organizers charge from $50 to $150 per hour. And, according to Viera, a designer typically charges a flat fee and then a percentage of your purchases, when you buy custom organization systems or cabinetry from them.

Fixr estimates the cost of different closet components and their installation as follows:

  • Shoe racks--$45-$75
  • Jewelry storage--$75-$150
  • Drawers--$75-$200
  • Cabinets--$500-$1500
  • Island--$1000-$2500

Of course, these rates depend on the size of the closet you're building and the materials used.

Ways to save money on a closet remodel

Strict budgets call for stricter measures. Here are a few ways to save some cash on your dream closet.

Do it yourself

Remodeling an existing space, particularly a reach-in closet, is definitely a DIY-friendly project. However, hiring that professional organizer to bring knowledge and vision is worth the investment.

Choose alternative materials

For cabinetry, stock cabinets are the most affordable option. But you can also save money by choosing different materials. “You don’t need real wood,” says Viera. “Melamine is a nice option in the closet and if you choose hardware with leather trim on the handles, it looks quite nice.”

Choose different organizers

Cabinet hardware is expensive. To save money, choose cubbies and baskets or bins over drawers and open shelves over armoire-style cupboards.

Hiring professional help

If you’re not partnering with a designer who can recommend a builder for your project, it helps to find one word-of-mouth. Ask friends and coworkers who’ve had similar work done who they used. If they have no suggestions, check reputable sites like Fixr, Angi, or our Find a Builder Guide

No doubt about it, when your space is in order you are happy. In fact, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) 2019 Remodeling Impact Report gives a closet remodel a Joy Score of 10. Create a place for everything with your closet remodel and put a smile on your face.

Carol J. Alexander

Carol J. Alexander writes website copy, blog posts, and feature articles on home remodeling and construction topics from her home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In addition to Real Homes, notable clients include, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Florida Roofing magazine.