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Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'California Closets'

California Closets


Hi - I've just bought a new condo in Harlem and would like to install more closets. Can anyone give me an idea about (1) prices to install California Closets, and (2) their value as an investment in my property? Should I choose a cheaper option such as Easyclosets instead? Thanks!

When buying people are looking at the size of the closets...Easyclosets are terrific.

New York Closet Company is half the price of California Closets and just as good. buy these and have a porter put them in

OP here. Thanks for your suggestions. What was your experience with their installation process - were they generally prompt and professional? Thanks again!

Easy closet require self installation - personally that was unattractive.

Shop around - google a bitand you will find other closet companies in are who use the same materials as california closets, but pay less.

I think you do closets not necessarily for resale alone - but it really helps you maximize storage.

You should also decide on the depth as easycloset (I think) only provide up to 14 inches.I used Transform - they are very professional.

How much customization can you get with EasyClosets, Calif Closets, etc? Do they come with standard packages so that you must "take it or leave it"? Or can they work with you to customize to your space and needs (like a walk in closet)? Presumably the latter will cost a lot more. Anyone dealt with Elfa storage systems?

I know Calif Closets work with you but htey are really high in price.

I think with California Closets you are paying for the name. Easy closets says you can have them design one for free.

I know people who have used Elfa systems and were very pleased.

We went to The Container Store in NY and thought that Elfa looked fairly cheap and downmarket (suitable for dorm rooms, not for new condos). Any thoughts?

Elfa is more modern and better.
I've had both it and CC. Elfa's better.

#12 is correct...friends have used Elfa for children's closets...but does it really matter if the closet redo is high end...

The problem with Elfa is it is missing the vertical divider.If you have shelves, you will need boxes.I think it looks cheap but not cheap ... must as well go to Ikea for half the price!

Elfa has a wire construction and personally I didn't find that attractive. It is cheaper I believe, but that makes sense given the look can turn some off.

Easy Closets is a DIY project and you have to install it yourself. Personally, I am not into that.

I went with company called creative closets and am very happy. There are others and you can easily find them by googling. All will do installation and all will be less than california closets. Mine were professionally installed and in the end not much more than easy closets which has no installation.

Go to and you will find what people think of experiences with various companies.

All the ones which do installations give you free quotes.

Can we get some indication of prices? Elfacharges $500 to $1000 for a basic 3ft X 5ft closet unit (DIY, no installation). That's a lot of money for a notch above Ikea!! If I go with one of the professionally installed services, what budget am I looking at?

I paid around $1600 for 2 closets (2x9 and 2x4) including installation from Transform - shelves and hanging only, no drawers.

Yikes! I shudder to think how much the equivalent would cost for California Closets! Probably around 4K or more ...

got the Transform web site?

I received cheaper quotes (~$1200) from other companies but they don't have the 'suspended' model (i.e. not touching the floor) as I just installed new floor!California Closets quoted me $8000 and it was the cheapest material!

who quoted $1200...I'm looking for a good closet system

Go to Apartment Therapy and do a search for closets. There are great discussions there. I got a quote from Transform but it was more expensive that the one I used.

Do your research and get quotes from 2 to 3 companies. Do not just go on hearsay from people here!

Go to Apartment Therapy and do a search for closets. There are great discussions there. I got a quote from Transform but it was more expensive that the one I used.

Do your research and get quotes from 2 to 3 companies. Do not just go on hearsay from people here!

Anyone have the URL for the Transform web site?

google. . . .

transform AND closet will get you there. That company though is simply a spin off of one of the others and it is not the best priced of the options in my experience.

You should definitely get quotes from a few. I used creative closets - i think They offer lifetime guarantee and if you have any issue they will come back and fix over the duration of your ownership.

They will quote any already created design and beat in general. They are a little harder to reach as it is a smaller operation.

Do your homework - prices vary based on what you want. All of these places have designers and offer similar quality materials.

If you install DIY closets, buyers will know and it will look cheap. California Closets may be pricey, but they know what they're doing, they're insured and they look great. I installed the low end CCs in my 1 BR and they were a huge selling point. Ask yourself this, would you install a dishwasher by yourself? And even if the answer is yes, would you by a cheap dishwasher? If so, then go with the cheap closets but as I suspect you are renovating with an eye to sell, do not go with cheap materials, buyers are not stupid. For small(ish) closets, CC is likely to run you $1800+ per Closet for the lower end stuff but IMHO, well worth it as they have a designer come to your home to work with you. No I do not work for CC. I will say you should haggle with them as they work via franchises and the one I got was exhorbitantly tight about throwing in freebies.

I used New York Closet Co. they did a good job and were not that expensive. I have a giant master bedroom closet and they were half the California Closet price with similar quality. The super high end at California Closet's is in a world of its own and has no peer.

The other companies now use the same materials as at least the basic california closet materials. For now if you pay more for the same thing at california closets, then you are paying for the brand premium.

When you go to sell, if it looks the same as the california closets (and is the same material), you will get the same punch.

If you choose white from CC, it turns yellow over time (couple of years).
Alsp, the installer they sent had extreme body odor.
Not pleasant.

While I was googling for New York closet companies I uncovered this article...

true, but California Closets in the selling description sounds a helluva a lot better than a generic "renovated closets". Of course, you can just say "California Closets" whether you have them or not, referring generically to renovated closets, but if you get a prick who sticks it in the contract, you could have problems.

I think as a buyer - I would look at the closets and if it looks the same - I dont care about the brand. Closets are not like refrigerators or dishwashers. For that I understand the bigger differences. . sorry but a closet brand doesn't matter too much to me if it looks the same.

People get back value for kitchen and bath renovations. Not clear you get back your return for paying 2-3x more for same thing with closets. sorry. . . .

I guess you want to feel better about the money you spent.

I loved Transform. The design was perfect and the company was extremely diligent with appointments. This may sound silly, but now I LOVE opening my closets, whereas before I would open the door, quickly get what I needed, that is, if I could find it, and hope the door would stay shut when I was finished! The quality of the materials that Transform uses is worth the price. They also do built ins. I got the recommendation to use Tranform through a friend who had Transform build a desk into the corner of the room and it was as beautiful as any piece of furniture in the room. My friend loves the desk because it was specifically built to his height and his specifications with regard to cabinets and draws. I'm not moving any time soon and the closet system that Transform made me really did transform my life. Putting stuff away takes less time and finding stuff has saved me so much time and that's priceless!

Unless the closet is in great condition and has the design I want, I would prefer to replace it. So no resell value really ... but that's just me though

I think #35 is a transform sales person.

be warned - when i was doing my search before i did my closets - whenever i googled closets and new york, it popped up. They have spent a lot on marketing.

#36 I think it sounds right - I redid my closets, but I know I thought of my needs first and tried not to be too creative. In the end, someone else might perfer different configurations.

While I was googling for New York closet companies I uncovered this article...

Let's just ask the question in another way. If you were the buyer, would you pay an EXTRA $2,000-$6,000 for a couple of closets with the label California Closets, compared with another set of very similar closets without that name? The question is whether California Closets adds much to resale value. Personally - all things being equal - I'd choose to save the money.

#37 and #38 - No - I'm not a Transform salesperson. Then again, maybe I am because the best sales tactic is a satisfied customer. I admired my friend's home work station and chose Transform based on what I saw in my friend's home. I know other people who have used other closet companies and were equally happy. I am only mentioning my own experience.

Can someone who has worked with Transform or any other custom install post some prices. I went to the EasyCloset site and priced out 1 walk-in master closet, 3 medium sized reach-in closets (each approx 7 feet long) and 1 small reach-in (3 feet). It came to approx $8500 DIY. So my comparison point is this amount + the install cost (which I am still trying to get a quote for a handyman for).

I just did two closets in my bedroom. Had Cali Closets come in and do a quote/plan and they quoted my $5,000 excluding the closet prep work (taking everything down, spackling and painting) which would have added $1,100. So, I was up tp $6,100. Used a similar desgin on easyclosets and the cost was $2,300 - ordered Sunday, delived for free on Tuesday.

The quality is the same Melamine that California uses and after the prep work - which was mostly wait time (spackle drying & paint drying) it took 8 hours to install both. Saved $3,700, wife loves her new closets and I bought a new 52 inch LCD as my reward.

We used Astech closets based on recommendations from Apartment Therapy. They did amazing, fast work. 4 pretty large closets for $4000, and had different types of wood grains to match the woodowrk in our apartment. I would wholeheartedly recommend them.

One thing to keep in mind - easy closet only comes with closets which are hung on wall as support. I believe the strongest will actually be built from the ground up. ALl the companies which do installations have this version.

#42 here, to #43 (or others): Did you install yourself or get someone to install. If the latter, how much did installation cost you and is there someone you would rec who is familiar with easyClosets? This is part of a larger renovation so there will be nothing in the space and the walls will be preped - staped, spackled and paint ready.

To #44 - did Astech's prices include delivery and installation? When you say "pretty large closets", were they basic reach-in closets or did you install drawers and more elaborate shelving? Thanks!

#43 did it myself so have no idea what it would cost but 100% sure if you got a hanyman at a daily rate of $500 (they wish) you could get a 50 inch LCD instead of the 52:) Also, make sure there is no moulding inside the closet b/c it really has to be walls and doors only! good luck.

BTW to #45, the easy closet set-up I got is hung and from ground up b/c its over 96 inches - check the site for specifics.

I paid $500 for the prep work (handyman removed the old closets and fixed the interior) and $1500 (installation included) for 2 closets (2x11 and 2x4).

#40--your question is without merit as asking prices are not itemized based on renovations or add-ons. Point is that California Closets has a brand name, as would Bosch, Sony or any other name brand manufacturer. As a buyer, if I know the closets are California Closets, there is a comfort level in that the work is guaranteed for life and the warranty is normally transferable. i cannot say the same for DIY or other lower end brands. Is CC high priced? yes. Is it worth it? To you, no. To me, yes. Its a free country.

take it easy #50 - i am not #40 but I agree more with their logic. I guess really the question is - is there a real difference if the manufacturer/installer has the same guarantee etc. Mine did and has been in business over a decade.

I actually paid for a sony lcd and bosch, liebherr fridge for my reno - but I didn't come to the same conclusion on the value of CC for my closets. I guess I see electronics a bit differently. . .

It's the same reason I didn't go with a branded home renovation company. . . and went with a contractor who is well spoken about.

FYI, most closet companies have life time warranty and is transferble.

Hello #51. We are looking for a contractor to do a kitchen, walls and floor. So far have spoken to the 'branded home renovation companies" Would you mind sharing the name and contact info for your contractor? Thank you

I feel awkward disclosing personal cell phone info. anyway i can send you this message via email or more discretely?

original #44 here, replying to #47: The price at Astech included everything, delivery, installation, and labor for Bill Skinner and the 2 guys who worked with him. He came on a Friday to give me an estimate, and then did the installation a few days later, in a matter of hours. We have one walk-in closet, in which he installed drawers, shelves and hanging rods. We also had him install a hanging rod and shelves for a large coat closet; another "normal sized" hanging reach-in closet that contained drawers and shelves in addition to hanging rods; and a small reach-in closet that contains shelves and a hanging rod. In all of the closets, he left ample room for storage, either above the hanging rods or (in the walk in closet) above the wall of shoe racks. All of the closets are brazilian cherry wood.

If you can't tell, I LOVE our closets! We were very happy with Bill's work. He installed the closets while my husband and I were at work, and he locked up and cleaned his mess before he left, no problems. I totally suggest you give Bill a call.

Has anyone heard of Closets by Design? I had estimates from both Astech and Closets by Design and there was abt $1300 difference! Also is there any difference btw wall supported or floor supported closet? which is btter? Please share any experiences/feedback, thanks!

I have heard of closets by design - my understanding is that transform is an offshoot from that company.

In the end, these things are all the same - i.e. if they use the same materials etc. Floor supported are stronger than the other type.

Has anyone used Closet Factory? They advertise a lot and seem good, but I personally haven't heard about them as much as California, Transform, etc.

Yes, I have and they are OK. Not very impressed but it depends on your budget as they are not expensive.

We are talking about CLOSETS...has everyone in Manhattan gone mad? Why are you willing to pay thousands of dollars for closets when you can have the same closets (yes I know the look is different) for less. Why not save the money and give it to a good charity that would help others and you will still have closets.

Why would people pay $25000 for a bag when you can also get any bag for $250 or even $25? Why would people pay $1000 for a shirt when you can also get a shirt for $100 or even $20? Please tell those people to save the money and give to charity instead.

Are you assuming that people who spend money conspicuously aren't donating or perhaps not donating enough money to charity? How one chooses to spend their money is one's own business. In addition to donating to charity, now that my closets are organized, I spend less time finding stuff, and have more free time...which I can use to help my favorite charity! :)

Also want to mention that most of these closet companies also create built ins. In Manhattan, where space is lacking and every nook and cranny is coveted, these companies have been invaluable.

Furthermore, with baby boomers aging, their closets can become an accident waiting to happen. Think about it. I'm a klutz to begin with and I shudder at the sight of climbing my step ladder to reach things. When I had my closet company design my closets, I told them I wanted everything I needed at arms length. Closet organization is a big business for many reasons and its continued growth is expected well into the next decade and beyond especially because of the aging population.

Sure, some might think that a nice custom closet system is a luxury, but I think it is a necessity and if I'm going to spend the money on one, I'm going to have one that's made to my specifications. If it costs a little more, then so be it. Seems to me from reading the other messages, everyone who has had a custom closet built is happy, including me!

Don't be a sour grape.

Good point #62. Getting back to OP's question, if you're paying $1000 per sq ft for Manhattan real estate, built-in closet space is an investment in your property. It's not empty consumption but something to protect and increase the value of your investment. Of course, for some apartments, a cheaper stand-alone closet from IKEA is perfectly fine but those stand-alone closets might not maximize your space.

What was I thinking; suggesting people don't need high end closets..shocking

People don't need to use Puffs tissues or Charmin toilet tissues either. Nor do they need to drive cars when public transportation will do. Why live in a tiny Manhattan apartment with high end closets... when you can live in a cave in the wilderness without ANY closets at all!

It's obvious that you don't have anything positive to share with others about home renovations. So please get over yourself #64 and find some other message board that would welcome your opinions.


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