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Turning a Closet into a Built-in Entertainment Center

A closet located in a family room or other entertaining area can be an ideal location for a custom, built-in entertainment center. You are able to customize the shelving and storage within the closet to fit the specific components of your entertainment system. Modifications to the closet such as expanding the doorway and adding electricity allow you to maximize your use of the space. Accurate measurements and a building plan for the entertainment center guide the construction.

Closet Preparation

Before you build the actual entertainment center, you need to prep the old closet to make it more functional for its new use. Remove the doors and trim from the closet. Take down the closet rod, shelving and any other structures inside the closet. Expand the opening of the closet if the existing hole isn’t large enough to show off the television and other main components. Remove the trim around the door opening. Mark how wide you want the doorway to be, and cut out the drywall and studs in that area. Frame the new opening to give it a finished look.

Electrical Components

Most closets don’t have electrical outlets inside of them already so you’ll need to add a source to power all of your entertainment components. Install electrical outlets in the closet according to the number of components you are including in the closet. Run the wiring on an existing circuit to the area through a hole you cut into the back of the closet. Wire the outlet and attach it to the wall. If you aren’t sure how to wire an outlet or tap into an existing circuit, hire an electrician for this aspect of the project. It’s always better to let a professional handle the work, especially when it comes to dangerous electricity. Incorrect wiring can cause shock or lead to a fire.

Shelving

Design the shelving in the closet based on the components you have. Leave a large enough space for the TV, keeping in mind that you may upgrade to a larger TV in the future. Plan for shelving to hold DVD players, stereos and gaming systems, as well as storage for games, movies and other items that go with the components. Cut the shelving unit pieces from plywood to fit the design and the opening. Nail the plywood pieces together to build the shelving unit. Slide the shelving unit into the closet. Nail the unit to the wall inside the closet to keep it sturdy.

Finishing Touches

Paint the inside of the closet and the shelving unit. Paint the trim on the newly framed opening for the entertainment closet. Install doors on the closet opening if desired. Another option is to hang a curtain over the opening so you are able to hide the entertainment center when not in use.

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