Atlanta area closet and storage expert gives tips
Who we talked to
Chris Heavern started Atlanta Closet and Storage Solutions five years ago after doing technical sales work for 17 years. He credits his eye for detail, desire to work for himself and two brothers who helped him design his closet system for his current job. "The most enjoyable part is being able to develop a project in a relatively short period of time," Heavern says. "It's really rewarding to see how thrilled our customers are at the end."
What's the most common problem you see?
"The real problem is people have too much stuff for the poorly implemented closet systems builders use. A lot of our customers have moved into a new home and recognize the inadequate usage of the space. I don't tell people they have to throw things away, but I do try to make sure they realize what we do is maximize the usage of the space. This usually results in much greater storage capacity, but every room has its limitations."
Melamine, a standard material in the closet industry, forms a hard coat exterior that is durable, stain-resistant and easy to clean, Heavern says.
What are the different types of closet systems you install?
"We specialize in custom closet systems fabricated out of three-quarters-inch thick melamine. When hanging items, we vary the height of our bars to accommodate varying types of clothing, from standard items to pants hung from the cuff to full-length dresses. Also in our closet systems, fixed shelves can be placed above hanging bars or on top of drawer units, while the remaining shelves are fully adjustable to suit a customer's needs. For shoes, solutions include a cubbyhole-type shelving unit; tilted, adjustable shelving; or flat shelves. Our products suit master closets, guest rooms, children's rooms, reach-in closets, linen closets or coat closets. The height of the ceiling and the type of the wardrobe can have a tremendous influence on a design. The most popular closet systems are master closets and pantries."
What's the installation process like?
"A pantry might take four to five hours, while a large master might take two days. A small coat closet might cost around $125, while a very large master closet with a center island might be around $4,500. But the vast majority of masters cost between $1,500 and $2,750. We manufacture and install our own product. Although I do occasionally work with builders, the largest percentage of my customers are existing homeowners or people buying a new home where the builder only offers wire shelving." Do you have any other suggestions to help people stay organized? "A well-designed, manufactured and installed custom closet system absolutely adds value to a home. More and more home buyers are expecting upgrades in the homes. But more important than the added value you get is the sense of well-being you get while you live there."