Average Cost to Install Built-in Shelving

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How Much Does it Cost to Install Built-in Shelving?

Built-in shelving will add a touch of convenience and class to just about any room of your home. No matter if it’s a custom bookshelf for your personal collection of literature, additional shelves to create a custom closet, or even modifying an existing wall cabinet to create more storage space, built-in shelves are essential to utilize space. Professional shelving installation will typically run you about $205 to $473 per 25 linear feet, including materials and labor.

Cost to Install Built-in Shelving will vary, depending on:

  1. Length and height of shelves
  2. Type of wood (usually pressboard, softwood,  solid wood, veneer plywood, or various kinds of hardwood)
  3. Finish (stain, varnish, wood filler, or paint)
  4. Design and ornamental details (will it incorporate drawers as well as shelves? other features, like lighting, for example?)
  5. Whether doors are added and if so, their material and design type
  6. Complexity of the installation
  7. Which story the shelves are to be installed on (hauling materials to an upper floor may increase the price)
  8. Whether the room contains existing fine carpentry work, such as crown moldings, which you'd like the shelves to coordinate with

Cost Breakdown

  • Materials -- In addition to the wood for your built-in shelves, the cost for materials includes miscellaneous fittings and supplies.
  • Labor -- Installing built-in bookshelves is a skill- and labor-intensive process, which accounts for the bulk of the cost. If the walls or structure of the room needs repair, this will add to the expense.
  • Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include onsite measurement, is often free.

Get the Most for Your Money

Built-in shelving can make a room much more functional and organized, while taking up minimal floor space. Combine with other useful features, such as a purpose-built cabinet to conceal a washer/dryer setup, or a built-in bench for additional seating.

Plan the design of your custom built-in shelving carefully. Choose a style that goes with the period and the decor of your home, so that it look like an organic part of the room. This will add to its beauty and tend to increase your property's value.

Hardwood is the most expensive shelving material. However, it is also the most durable and will hold up best to wear and tear over time. Reach out to a carpenter near you for additional information to see if this material is right for your needs.

For a floor-to-ceiling shelving installation, consider adding a library ladder on a track so that you can reach the highest shelves.

Are you renting ... or just unsure how long you plan to stay in your present home? Have your carpentry contractor build beautiful freestanding bookcases that will complement your room perfectly, yet can easily be taken along when you move.

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