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Tear down the old for new PAX and ELVARI closet

Old existing wardrobe in condo makes ways for fabulous PAX and ELVARLI closet.

We had actually made an offer on a larger condo and ultimately did not reach a deal with the seller. Updating our closet to be more useful was our consolation.

We wanted to make better use the closet space.

Besides that, we wanted to increase the desirability of our condo from a rental perspective. New rentals these days have terrible closets and ours will be a sales feature, in the future.

This is the “before”.

before

And here’s after!

PAX + ELVARI Closet combo
IKEA items used:
  • PAX Doors and Rail
  • ELVARLI Closet System
Other materials and tools:

PAX + ELVARLI closet – how we did it

First thing was to remove interior closet walls as necessary.

Our walls were 2″ of plaster on either side of a 1/4″ piece of concrete lathe.

concrete lathe

I used a reciprocating saw to cut the walls out. They were extremely heavy. And I had to break them into smaller pieces to remove the material from the work area.

old wall
interior

The next step was to repair interior walls where needed.

We used a combination of the expensive rigid corner material and joint compound to make the cut out look intentional.

repairing the wall
repairing the wall

Then, we repaired the parquet flooring by mining parquet strips left over from the builder. We looked for pieces that would cover the holes left by the wall removal.

parquet flooring repair
parquet flooring repair

One day, we will sand it down and lacquer it but not today …

The next thing we did was to install the ELVARLI system as determined by careful measurement.

We measured the closet and rendered the anticipated layout in Sketchup prior to ordering the parts.

ELVARI Closet plan on SKETCHUP
ELVARI Closet plan on SKETCHUP

After our trip to IKEA to buy the goods, we installed ELVARLI according to instructions and the plan.

After that, we installed a new bulkhead.

bulkhead

We cut two 2x4s to identical sizes and used concrete anchors and washers to mount them to the ceiling.

We used 3 masonry bits.

2x4s can be crooked, which is very annoying.

The next step was to mount the PAX rails to the bulkhead.

And assemble the PAX doors.

Finally, add in all your clothes.

ELVARI Closet installed
PAX and ELVARI Closet combo
How long and how much did it cost?

It depends on the tools and the effort to remove the inside components. I borrowed many of the tools from our local tool library so they were free — you may have to rent or purchase.

Timelines:
  • One day to shop at IKEA and haul all the stuff home
  • 1 weekend to remove the existing closet walls
  • 1 weekend to repair and paint the inside
  • 2 evenings to assemble the ELVARLI closet system
  • 1 weekend to rough mount the bulkhead, rails, and PAX door frames
  • 1 weekend to secure the rails, build the doors, mount the doors, test and ensure complete operation of bottom guides.
What was the hardest part about this hack?

Building up the courage to mount the bulkhead into the ceiling concrete. And figuring out how to treat the bottom guides.

What to pay special attention to?

How confident are you in the way you mounted your rail? Mine failed the first time so I re-did it with longer and a lot more screws. Much better.

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

I would have used a 2×6 or 2×8 for the bulkhead so the doors were closer to the floor. There is a bit of a gap at the bottom using a 2×4.

But all said, we love how efficiency was drastically improved with the new closet. And the build looks amazing!

~ by Mike and Lisa

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