Gotta have a good closet.

I live in an older home here in Amarillo (very Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, 1950s era home). It’s a 4 bedroom house with very little closet space. In fact, one of the closets has been made even smaller when the landlord created a 2nd bathing space (stand up shower and sink in the room). So I decided to make the 9’x 8′ room into a walk-in closet. I have been able to finish 95% of the room with inexpensive (~$25-$30 each) closet solutions from Walmart as well as the dresser from IKEA I’ve had for several years now. I was home to grab some lunch one day when I heard a crash in one of the bedrooms and found one of the closet solutions had crashed down from the weight of the clothes. I have mostly blazers and long sleeve shirts on that one so I guess it just got too heavy for the plastic end pieces at the bottom.

Today, I went to Home Depot to get some supplies to build my own closet solution. I can now see why they offer such inexpensive closet solutions at Walmart and any other choices are expensive. Here are the parts (from the floor up) I got for my hanging rack. All the parts are galvanized steel.

  • 4 – 1″ floor flange $9.96/ea
  • 4 – 1″ street elbow $4.24/ea
  • 4 – 1″ x 6″ nipple $3.36/ea
  • 4 – 1″ tee $4.56/ea
  • 2 – 1″x close nipple $1.66/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ bushing $2.96/ea
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 36″ pipe $15.58/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 60″ pipe $19.55/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow $2.3.76/ea
  • I also got a pair of pliers that would help me put everything to together. So, the total cost was just at $200.00. Definitely more than the $25-$30 I paid for the others, but hopefully worth it.

    If you’re going to put this together, it’s important that you remember it’s not about making all the joints as tight as they can be but about making sure all the openings line up correctly (90 degree angles). So here’s what I did:

    On both sides of your rack, you have 2 floor flanges connected to the street elbows. Those go into the 6″ long nipple, which connect together using one of the tees (middle joint facing upwards).
    Floor portion

    From there, connect the 1″ x close nipple (I can think of no clean reason why they would call any of these pipes nipples) into the tee and another tee into the nipple (middle joint facing inward).

    Next, I connected the two sides together with the 3/4″ x 36″ pipe (actually also called a nipple) using the 1″ x 3/4″ bushing.

    Here’s where it can start to get tricky. I realized that with a closed “circuit” like this, at some point I’m going to be disconnecting a side as I’m connecting another. If you connect the top portion to the “legs”, there’s no way to connect that to the bottom portion completely, etc. So I connected the 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow to the 1″ x 60″ pipe (again, called a nipple) and connected those to the bottom section (sorry, no picture of that step).

    Then I connected the top crossbar (where my clothes will eventually hang) to one side as far as I could screw it in. Then I pulled the other side over (because of the reducing bushings at the bottom, it’s a touch narrower at the top than bottom) and as I unscrewed the side I just tightened, it screwed in the other. I’m fairly sure it’s at halfway screwed on both sides. Ta da, you’re hanging rack is done!!

    Last tip – you’ll notice as you put this all together, your hands will be filthy. Wet a paper towel with hot water, put one squirt of dish soap on it and wipe down the whole thing. After that, “rinse” by doing the same thing with another paper towel without any soap on it. That second paper towel shouldn’t turn very grey at all.

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