Everyone needs somewhere to store their clothes, but sometimes a standard freestanding wardrobe won’t do at all, and in cases like these, you need to have a fitted wardrobe. Let’s take a look at your circumstances and the different potential problems before we move on and find out what types are available and how much fitted wardrobes cost.
If you have a bedroom with alcoves and sloping ceilings, you will find that standard sized, freestanding wardrobes won’t fit. They look strange, out of place, and don’t make efficient use of the available space.
Other people prefer to have a theme running through the décor of their bedroom and find it impossible to buy a ready made wardrobe to suit that style.
Some people prefer to have clean and simple lines in their rooms. Doing without the clutter caused by keepsakes, knick-knacks and garments.
Finally, some people just like all their clothing and shoes in one place hidden behind doors.
Which one of these categories do you fall into? The solution to each one is the same, buy a fitted wardrobe.
Most companies who advertise online are very good at their job and produce quality items. Unfortunately, these companies do not advertise prices. They prefer to send a surveyor salesman to your property to give a price based on your requirements. Because of this, it is very difficult to accurately estimate the average price of fitted wardrobes. However, we can provide approximate figures but bear in mind these will vary depending on many independent factors.
Fitted Wardrobe Costs (for all budgets)
In general, the prices fall into three main categories and as can be seen in this built-in wardrobe price list. All figures are approximate, include installation and VAT.
You can buy Budget Range fitted wardrobes for around £800 to £1,200 per linear metre.
Mid Range wardrobes, however, cost about £1,200 to £3,000 per linear metre. This is about what you would expect for an average quality wardrobe fitted by professionals.
The Premium Range wardrobes will be anything above £3,000 per linear metre. Don’t forget that for this price you will have an individually designed, constructed and installed fitted wardrobe made to your specifications.
The prices also vary depending on the quality and the type of included fittings. Various types of fitted wardrobes include:
- Bespoke fitted bedroom wardrobe. Depending on the design details this can range from £2,500 to £3,000. Extras include columns, mouldings and panels.
- Simple two-section closet. This depends on the design but can be anything from £2,500 to £3,200.
- Large bedroom, three-section, six doors. This includes both interior and exterior finishes and includes drawers and hanging space. This usually costs from £4,500.
- Contemporary, sliding door fitted wardrobe. This option ranges from £2,800 to £3,600, has three sections, and usually has door mirrors to make the bedroom appear larger.
Let’s talk a bit more about these prices and actually see what you’ll be getting for your money. As bedrooms are usually standard height (about 2.4m) the manufacturers describe their prices as being for one linear metre. What you get for your money will depend on which quality you have gone for and what extras you want.
The budget range is very basic and has no-frills. They rely on the wall being straight and the room rectangular. The wardrobe will consist of an outside frame, sliding doors a couple of shelves and some hanging space. The wardrobe will typically be made of something like melamine covered MDF or plywood. This will probably be assembled from ready made modules.
The medium range will typically be made from veneered MDF or plywood and will have everything inside the budget wardrobe plus more shelves and perhaps some interior lighting. It will also be made from modules, like the ‘budget’ but will have higher quality doors.
Finally, the premium range wardrobe will commonly be made from solid wood and designed to your specifications. It will have all the extras of the ‘medium range’ plus more. The amount you pay will determine how much it has been individually designed. It will probably have shoe racks, drawers, shelves, coat hangers, lighting and more. Some also include a dressing table.
There are fitted wardrobe price calculators available online, but most of them are part of a manufacturer’s website and therefore biased. The London Craftsman calculator is a typical example of a manufacturer’s calculator and is linked directly to getting a quote from them. Otherwise, use the figures described here to give an estimate of your design using a mix and match method.
Considering Built-in wardrobes
Remember that a built-in wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive to do its job. As long as it fulfils its purpose it is perfect. Having said that, you may not want to buy a cheap fitted wardrobe. They are typically made from budget grade materials so won’t cost as much, but they won’t last, unlike expensive ones. The more expensive built-in wardrobe costs may actually work out cheaper in the long term because of the wardrobe’s extended lifespan.
When you are planning your wardrobe, first decide on its minimum requirements. Then make a list of any extras you might want. You never know, the manufacturer may be holding a sale, so you might be able to afford more than the basic.
Do you want someone to install the wardrobe for you? If so you have a choice of using the manufacturer’s installation team or hiring a joiner to do the job privately. If not, are you enough of a DIY enthusiast to install it yourself?
Whatever you decide is up to you, but remember that you will probably only have a warranty if the wardrobe is installed by a recommended installer.
Wardrobe Installation – DIY vs Hiring A Joiner
If you decide to install the fitted wardrobe yourself, you must be confident you can do the job well. If you aren’t competent, you will be wasting a lot of money. When dealing with fitted wardrobes, it is always better employing the manufacturer’s installation team. They will have inside knowledge of the design and construction methods and be able to acquire replacement parts if necessary. If the manufacturer doesn’t supply an installation team you will have to hire a qualified joiner.
Before hiring a professional ask to see their portfolio of work. This should contain photographs taken at various stages of installation as well as names and addresses of contacts. It’s up to you whether you follow up the references but it’s always worth speaking to someone who knows the quality of the installer’s work.
Remember that most manufacturers will include the price of installation into the amount you pay for the fitted wardrobe. This means that if you decide on hiring your own joiner, the average price of fitted wardrobes will be increased accordingly.
Fitted Wardrobes Q&A
Why select fitted wardrobes?
The people who buy fitted wardrobes think they have too many clothes, shoes and knick-knacks and want to tidy them away, out of sight.
They probably live in houses where either freestanding wardrobes are impractical because of architectural limitations or because they cannot find furniture to complement their existing décor.
They probably want to keep all their garments in one place and away from dust. Fitted wardrobes fulfil this requirement perfectly.
British houses are among the smallest in the world and any storage space will considerably increase the property’s value.
What are the pros of fitted wardrobes?
They make the most efficient use of the available space. Freestanding furniture has gaps above and to the side of the carcass that always end up crammed with suitcases, tennis rackets, dust and all manner of things. A fitted wardrobe covers the clutter and ensures everything is behind the doors.
If your bedroom is an awkward shape there is no way you will find a freestanding wardrobe to fit. A fitted wardrobe will cleverly use the alcoves and sloping ceilings to contain the shelves and hanging spaces.
Because you can’t take the fitted wardrobe away when you move, its presence in the house will increase the likelihood of a sale. Your investment will, therefore, be realised when your buyers think about the extra storage available.
If you buy a bespoke fitted wardrobe, you are guaranteed to have exactly what you want. And will always have enough space to hold your clothes.
If you are short on space in your bedroom, you can choose sliding doors. How many freestanding wardrobes have those?
How to modernise old fitted wardrobes?
Old fitted wardrobes suffer from squeaky doors, faulty sliding door runners and dated design. The easiest way to update a fitted wardrobe is to replace the doors and the sliding door gear with new.
It is highly unlikely that a fitted wardrobe manufacturer will be interested in updating yours. Hire a professional woodworker to do whatever is required. Have a good idea of what changes you want to make so that the professional can plan the new designs before starting the alterations.
Your existing fitted wardrobe might use standard imperial measurements rather than metric. If that is the case, you will need a carpenter or joiner to adapt your existing frame to accommodate new metric doors.
A fresh coat of paint on the visible parts of the wardrobe will stop them from looking old and tired. Another way is to fix wooden beading to the doors and fill the resulting panels with wallpaper.
Over time, we all accumulate clothes and shoes that need to be stored somewhere. Employ a joiner to rearrange the inside storage sections, add shelves, reduce hanging areas etc.
What questions should you ask a wardrobe installer before hiring?
A fitted wardrobe is an expensive piece of furniture and you don’t want the finish ruined by shoddy workmanship. If you use the manufacturer’s own installation team you probably won’t have to worry about this section because their own staff will already be well trained.
If you are hiring your own installer, ensure you know they can do the job before allowing them near your fitted wardrobe. The following list, although not exhaustive, will go a long way to weeding out the cowboys.
- Have you a portfolio of relevant work and a reference list?
- How long have you been working in this industry?
- Do you hold public liability insurance?
- Do you belong to any professional organisations, eg the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installers?
- Are you registered on some of the well-known tradespeople good practice sign-up schemes?
- How long does it take to install a wardrobe? Depending on the size and complexity it could be anything from a couple of hours up to a day.
Always try to get three to four quotes from reputable professionals. You can also use the quotation form on this website to help make your choice.
Still Looking For A Joiner?
If you have a messy bedroom with mismatched furniture and loads of wasted space, maybe you should consider buying a fitted wardrobe. Your fitted wardrobe cost will depend on your requirements and budget. You can buy supply-only kits from companies, but you will need DIY skills or a professional to fit these. You can also buy fitted furniture from manufacturers who will take hold of the entire project from design to installation. Professional joiners will also buy bespoke units and will usually install as well.
Whatever the option you choose remember that you must decide on a reputable manufacturer and installation team otherwise you will probably end up with a substandard finished product.