The journey of two millennials

Welcome to Fun Home Building, a blog on design, construction and building a dream house on a budget. We are documenting our journey of building a custom home in the suburb of twin cities, Minnesota and will share what we learn along the way.

  • House on West Shore

First task after moving into the new house: install ALGOT and PAX closets

Can’t believe we’ve lived in this new house for several weeks now. We are absolutely loving all the nice amenities the house has to offer—a mudroom, a large kitchen island, double sink vanity...these are luxuries to us compared to what we’re used to. At the same time, there are other areas of the house that need our tender loving care.

The very first thing on our list was window treatments. Boy! It was HARD. I will write a separate post about this, but it took us a while and trial and error to find products at a good price point that won't look terribly ugly or old fashioned.

Next up was closets. We opted out of builder‘s standard closet and decided to tackle this ourselves. I knew I would go with IKEA from the get-go. Deciding which product to use was easy, but the actual installation? Not so much. With a couple of winter cold/flu and two full time jobs, three months in, we are still not quite finished with everything. There are still files, kitchen appliances and boxes lying around in the house. We have learned to lower our expectations (basically ignore what we see) and do it one step at a time. There are some exciting progress: shelving in all of the bedrooms are installed and the walk in closet is almost ready. Check it out.

We used three 23" 5/8 mounting rails combined with 15" deep shelves in this 84" wide closet

Once the railings are up, the shelves are easy to adjust and are really flexible

IKEA planner illustration and total price of materials

Having used IKEA's kitchen cabinet planning tool, we knew we would have fun designing our closets again with ALGOT and PAX. ALGOT is IKEA's modular closet system, similar to Closet Maid's Selective series, the shelves are attached to metal railings that anchored to the wall. PAX is the high-end line in IKEA's closet system, it uses a box frame instead of railing, so the back of the closets looks a lot more finished and definitely fancier. We can even add sliding door to the front if we choose to. The online planners are really sleek, with a few click-and-drop, we can configure how the unit would look and see the price updated instantly.

Step 1: build box frames

Step 2: add drawers and shelves

Voila! A functional walk in closet. We have more shelves than we'd need. This has never happened before.

This is the original design. We incorporated the handy corner unit PAX offers, and shrink the box frame next to doorway (leftmost closet), so the closet is not standing in the way.

The best part of all is PRICE. Besides our own sweat equity, the walk in closet came in just shy of $1500 after adding tax and delivery, the three bedroom closets are around $150 each. If we had gone with the builder's supplier, we would have to pay a lot more to upgrade to drawers and a less ideal layout for the corners. Can't be happier with this result!


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