Offering cool storage that blends good looks and affordability is difficult when you’re building entry-level houses. Some builders, however, still find innovative ways to solve the problem. “For our base storage option in bedrooms, we do something a bit unique,” says Chad Ludeman, president of Postgreen, a Philadelphia-based green builder. “We simply build a closet opening with no doors on it. This allows the client flexibility in the bedroom layout.”
This setup saves money for the builder, and some buyers enjoy the flexibility. But for buyers who want a conventional closet, the builder has a low-cost solution for them, too. “We don’t like traditional builder closets with sliding or swinging doors and few or no storage accessories,” Ludeman explains. Instead, the company offers an IKEA upgrade “for a custom closet on a budget price.”
Postgreen first frames the closet openings to the exact size of two IKEA PAX Wardrobe boxes, which measure 40 inches wide by 80 inches tall. The builder charges a fee for the boxes, but the assembly of the units, the custom installation, and the trim work needed to give them a custom, built-in look is still a very reasonable cost, Ludeman says. “Once installed, the client can choose the exact doors they want, which they can either install themselves or have us install.”
“One of the things we love about the IKEA option is that it allows our clients to pick out exactly the storage accessories they want to create a fully customized [system] on their own,” Ludeman says. The Swedish company keeps the costs of the closet modules low and then charges higher margins on the doors and accessories, he says. "This results in a very nice custom closet for a few hundred bucks that they would normally need to pay us or a custom closet installer thousands of dollars for.”
PAX Wardrobe The wardrobe is made from fiberboard, particleboard, and foil. It comes in five colors. www.ikea.com.
The door is made from particleboard with a stained ash veneer. It also comes in birch. www.ikea.com.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Philadelphia, PA.