A Shallow wardrobe recess
A shallow wardrobe recess is something we come across often and it’s not limited to just older homes.
You might ask what depth should a wardrobe recess be, Well ideally the recess should be a minimum of 600mm deep this allows for sliding doors to be fitted with enough space inside for drawers shelving and hanging space. Any shallower you will have problems with sleeves of shirts and jackets getting in the way of the sliding doors.
With land prices rising and blocks of land getting smaller the builders are trying to squash everything into smaller floor plans and sometimes the wardrobe recess suffers. Its not just new builds that we come across this problem, in a lot of older builds the wardrobes have a shelf and rail and sometimes some fixed shelving with Hinged Doors. When the homeowner wants to change the layout in their built-in Wardrobe there’s barely enough space for the updated fit out and there’s no room to convert the wardrobe to sliding doors.
What can we do?
If the recess is to shallow the only way to make the recess deeper is to build out into the bedroom. This is not as bad as it sounds. The average that we need to build out is usually 100-150mm allowing the top track to run across the ceiling just in front of the cornice, this can be done neatly and doesn’t look out of place if done correctly.
Can you make everything to fit
We have a lot of customers ask, can’t we just make the Drawers and Shelving smaller so they fit. Well yes, we can but this isn’t going to solve the real issue, An adult coat hanger is between 350mm and 450mm wide. So even if we come 200mm off the back wall to the centre of the hang rail, your clothes are going to rub against the back wall leaving the clothes dirty from the plaster, and to close to the sliding doors, you will need to push all the clothes back into the wardrobe so the doors can slide. This approach doesn’t fix the issue actually all you have done is to compound the problems.
Fixing the problem
Fixing the problem is not expensive, there is little extra costs involved in making the recess a usable depth. Have a look at some of the examples below and I am sure that you will see that doing it right is the right way to do it.