Basement closet size....

Old 03-06-03, 10:55 AM
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Basement closet size....


I'm building some 18" depth shelves on one end of a room in by basement. On one side of the shelves, I'm thinking of putting in a small closet so we can hang off-season clothes. I measured a hanger, it was 16" wide. With that in mind, does anyone have a minimum depth to make a closet? If I keep it the same depth as the shelves (which would look good), that would leave only 1" on each end of the hangers. Does that sound like enough? I'm not looking at a huge built in closet here, just a little used space.

Old 03-06-03, 05:51 PM
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bob md,

Seems like a strange question to ask, what are your closets upstairs?

18" is too shallow for me and most, I believe. 2"-0" might be the better choice if can spare it. Off-season clothes that involve thick jackets will require more room.

I always draw in 2-4" wide closets (Inside Dimensions) Some do 2'-0". Depending on what type of doors are used is also my determining factor in depth. Bifolds used on shallow closet mean you're pushing the clothes back just before you close it. Swing type doors can be used on shallow depths because "who cares" what you're pushing back!

Hope this helps!
Old 03-06-03, 06:40 PM
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2 ft is about as small as you'd want to go I'd think. Only thing I've seen any smaller was just a linen closet in a guest bath.
Old 03-07-03, 03:19 AM
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There are a few good references (in addition to measuring your own closets):

Creative Homeowner "Quick Guide: Basements"
Black & Decker "Finishing Basements and Attics"

There's also a contractor that put together a really nice PDF-format document of basement jobs he's done. It has lots of good ideas. It's at

Anyhow, according to the Creative Homeowner book, a clothes closet should be 22" minimum, 30" max. In my house (built in '99), they are all 24". 22" is about as shallow as I'd go for hanging clothes. I also owned a home built in 1925 that had 18" deep clothes closets - it was really a pain to hang stuff in there (not the hanging so much as the accessing the stuff once it was hung).

In my basement, which I've just started finishing, I had to go to an 18" depth on a pair of 5' wide closets due to space constraints. They'll be in a playroom, though, and I don't plan to hang clothes in them. I'll probably build some shelves into them to make them more useful (make use the height because of the shallow depth).


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