How to Build a Basement Storage Closet

basement closet
  • 4-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Table or rotary saw
Variety of lumber: 2x10x8-inch boards (2-4), 2x10x10-inch boards (1-2), plywood for shelving
3.5-inch screws
Clothes hanging rod or large round dowel rods
Clothes rod brackets
Paint (if desired)
Paint brushes or rollers
.25-inch Drill bit
Tape measure
Wooden shims

Basement storage areas are among the most sought after features in a home. Whether the basement is a finished or unfinished space, it offers almost unlimited options to create additional closet space.

The space underneath a staircase, for example, is a great place to build a closet. Closets can vary from very simple designs to elaborate affairs. Only you can determine to what extent you want to take the project. Follow these steps to build a closet under your basement stairs.

Step 1 - Measure the Space and Make a Plan

Measure the space where you want to build the closet. Sketch some plans and make detailed notes. The supplies listed here are meant for an 8-foot tall closet with a shelf built at the top and a row of shelves along one side. You will need to customize the list of supplies depending on your own plans.

Step 2 - Frame the Closet

Place the 2x12-inch boards next to existing framing in the desired location. Tack them to the existing framing and check to make sure they are level and even, particularly at the top. Shim if needed to make them even.

Secure the wood using the 3.5-inch screws. An additional piece of wood can be used as the top. Measure the length needed for the top and cut it to size. Place the additional 2x2x12-inch board over the two sides and secure it with screws. Now you have the framework for a closet.

Step 3 - Install Shelves and Rod

Use an additional 2x12-inch board inside the framing if you need to make shelves for the closet. Secure the additional piece of wood at a distance of 18-inches or wider if needed from one of the end supports.

For movable shelving, mark increments on each side to allow space for the shelves in even intervals. Use the .25-inch drill bit to make the holes. It is neither necessary, nor recommended that you drill all the way through the wood.

Drill to a depth of .25-inches. Shelf hangers are available at any hardware and many retail stores. Measure the space that you will need for the clothing rod or rods. Cut the pole or dowels to the needed length. Install the support brackets as per the directions on the packaging and slip the rods into the brackets.

Step 4 - Cut Shelves and Paint

Finish the project by cutting the plywood to the width and depth needed for shelving. Paint your new closet and shelves.