The built-in wardrobe described here is designed for shoes (a wardshoe?), so it's a bit shallower than the average wardrobe, and it's filled with shelves rather than a clothes rail. However, the construction is pretty much the same as other built-in wardrobes I've made - this is just the only one I thought to document. It took an afternoon to build, then plastering took a week as did painting.
Step 1: Design
The room is wired with a light switch on each side. I planned to remove the one that would be hidden in the wardrobe and replace it with a receptacle, so we could add a small heater if needed in the winter months.
Four shelves 400 mm apart, plus the floor, would give us separate footwear storage for each member of the family (5). I also added a half-depth shelf 400 mm higher (above the level of the door) for some additional storage.
Step 2: Materials & tools
8-10 pieces of 8' lengths of 2 x 4 construction lumber
One set of sliding doors (or bifold, if you prefer). The mirrored ones I bought cost $75.
1 or 2 sheets of 8' x 4' x 1/2" drywall
3" deck screws
One corner bead
3 lengths of profile
Paper tape for plastering
Saw ~ Cordless drill ~ Hammer ~ Level ~ Tape measure ~ Square ~ Trowel
Step 3: Build frames
Put together the frames according to your design. Make them about 5-10 mm shorter than your ceiling, or you'll never be able to stand them up! Shim the top with thin wedges of wood. Screw the frame to the ceiling joists (or rafters) and to the wall. Make sure they're vertical (use a plumb bob or a level) and perpendicular to the walls (testable using a large square or a 3-4-5 triangle). You may have to use wedges next to the wall if the wall isn't vertical.
Step 4: Fix frames to floor
Step 5: Add drywall
Step 7: Plaster
1. Buy the premade plaster. Pros NEVER do this - it's heavy and more expensive, but more importantly, it dries MUCH slower than the stuff you mix up on the spot. However, you don't want it drying out, and you want to be able to keep coming back to the bucket for all those other little patch jobs you need to do in the future (tip: when you've finished one job, shape the plaster flat in the bucket and add water on top. Pour it off when you use it next - it will keep literally for years if you do this).
2. Start with the easy stuff - the bits near the metal corner beads and trim. You have a straight edge to work off. Smear on the plaster, make sure it's worked in well, then smooth off using the metal edge as a guide. That's all for today. Scrape off your trowel and come back tomorrow.
3. Tape the joins and corners. This is trickier, but it is made easier because you will wet the paper tape first. Pros NEVER do this, because it adds an extra step and they are skilled enough to use dry tape without worrying about it falling off or getting bubbles. Start by cutting your tape to length for each corner and join, then wet the tape, squidge off the excess so it's damp rather than dripping, and hang somewhere close by. Now go to a corner and smear plaster both sides, at least 2" wide, from top to bottom. Now embed the wet tape in the plaster, trying to keep it relatively tight (but don't tear it!). Get your trowel, and scrape the tape in, starting at the top, going 6" down on one side, switch to the other side, same again. The plaster behind the tape will ooze out, that's good. Go all the way to the bottom. You may have to account for some slight stretching of the tape, that's fine, just pull it tight and keep going, you can cut off excess at the bottom later. Now plaster over the tape, scraping it down well. Repeat for all your other joins. Scrape off your trowel, have a beer, come back tomorrow.
4. Before you add the second coat, scrape off any ridges or lumps in the plaster with your trowel. Don't sand, unless you don't mind making a lot of dust. When you plaster, do ONE SIDE OF THE INTERNAL CORNERS ONLY. Pros always do both, because they're awesome. You're not. Do one side only, that way you won't screw up the side you just plastered when you do the second one. Scrape off your trowel, come back tomorrow.
5. Since you only did half a coat last time, go back and do step 4 again for the other side of each internal corner.
6. Don't sand; repeat steps 4 and 5 again. It should be starting to look pretty darn good. You may have to keep going, each time feathering the plaster out wider (a wider trowel helps a lot here). Once you think it is as good as you can get it with a trowel...
7. You may now sand. Use a pole sander with a fine grade paper (200+ grit). It should come up really nice and smooth. Congratulations, you did in two weeks what it would have taken a pro two days to do (and they would have done the rest of the house too, not just one lousy wardrobe). On the bright side, you were charged $0 for labor, you have a nice smooth finish and if you've been careful, it will look almost as good as a pro job.
Step 8: Shelves
Step 9: Paint and add doors
To hang the doors, just follow the instructions - all mounting directions and hardware are included. Basically, you attach the top and bottom tracks with screws, then clip the doors into the tracks. Easy.