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How to build a DIY closet frame on slanted ceiling

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Today I am sharing how to frame a closet with low slanted ceiling in our loft. Working with a sloped ceiling can cause issues when it comes to designing the closet as well as adding shelving and rods inside the closet.

My dad and I spent the majority of the day this past Saturday, building a closet in our loft to create closed storage for toys, seasonal clothes and my office supplies. The issue was the low slanted ceiling. Update 2021: Keep reading, the finished closet and new french closet doors (full reveal makeover) are linked at the bottom of the post. This post has been pinned over 100,000 times on pinterest which is pretty crazy!

The problem is, there was no closed storage. I decided recently to name this project, the Lady Loft.

If you read my divorce post from a couple weeks ago, you know that I am moving full steam ahead with lots of renovation projects that will involve me, myself and I! -ha. The master bedroom makeover and my new lady loft are in full swing.

DIY Closet Frame on a sloped ceiling

Open 3rd floor loft space with farmhouse desk, filing cabinets, yellow geometric rug and sectional couch

When we originally moved into the house 1 year ago, this loft space was my son’s bedroom. I thought he would love having a large bedroom with a tv space but he had other ideas. Long story short, we ended up moving his bedroom a couple months later to my office (which was a bedroom) and this loft became my office.

I think when he is a little older, he will wish he had the loft back! -ha. Check out his new nature inspired plaid bedroom.

empty loft with slanted ceiling, sky light window, beige carpet and sectional

When searching for closet design ideas for this loft space, I decided it was better to frame in one corner of the loft instead of the entire end of the loft.

My office space will be adjacent to the new closet so the closet will essentially create a “nook” for my desk. The other part of the loft (the open space near the balcony and stairway, will be a TV space.

You may remember my office space at our old house which was in the “in-law” apartment above the garage that we converted to my studio.

empty loft with slanted ceiling, sky light window, beige carpet and sectional

How to frame a closet with low slanted ceiling

A closet design under eaves can be challenging because while closed storage is great, you need to be able to access it. While I can crawl around in a tight storage space, many other adults cannot and we are always thinking resale with any home project we do.

The walk in closet, even though the low slanted ceilings pose a small inconvenience, the majority of adults can access the inside of this closet.

Jessica Bruno at Four Generations One Roof carrying nail gun, extension cord in living room

We spent a couple hours Saturday morning lugging all the wood, tools and supplies to the loft. 38 stairs total x 25 trips. That was my workout for the day!

How to frame a closet 

Closet with Low Slanted Ceiling Items needed

Tip: Use two skills saws to save time. Changing the saw angle back and forth is a pain in the butt! 

We used two skill saws when framing the closet. One that was already set to the angle we needed and the other to cut the 2×4’s to the correct length.

Closet Build Items needed:

2×4’s for the frame

drywall for the walls

drywall screws

Joint compound for the plaster and trowel (I am doing a slight rough texture that I will paint white to coordinate with the slanted ceiling.)

drywall screw gun and/or regular screw gun, nail gun, hammer, bevel angle, 4′ and 2′ level, chalk line, stanley knife and finish gun.

(1) 3-0 / 6-8 bifold – 6 panel solid pine (the 6 panel solid pine coordinates with the rest of the doors in our house but you can get whatever bifold you want) with a 49 1/16th jam

Bifold hardware

3.5” colonial casing for trim (I will stain Cognac to match the existing baseboard)

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to floor

First we measured the distance from the wall to the point where we wanted the closet to end. We then nailed the 2×4’s to the floor and slanted ceiling. Be sure to use a level to ensure your wall will be level.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to floor

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to slanted ceiling

Next we measured and cut the 2×4’s to create the wall frame. Be sure to use a level to ensure your frame is straight. We added a 2×4 every 16 inches on center.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4's every 16

We framed a 36″ door opening for the pine bifold door at the highest point of the ceiling to ensure that a standard door would fit.

How to frame a closet door

We decided to go with two double outward swing doors which is a great door solution for sloped ceiling closet doors. A bifold door would also work nicely. I originally wanted a barn sliding door similar to the one we installed at my friends house. Do you remember the basement sliding barn door without removing the door trim project?

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough wall space to install a barn sliding door track so the bifold door made the most sense. The existing trim in the room is pine stained colonial casing so I will stain the pine bifold door to match.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4's every 16

Once the closet frame was complete, we measured, cut the drywall and fastened to the 2×4’s with 2″ drywall screws. Our drywall gun broke so I ended up using the regular screw gun which was more work so thankfully the closet was small!

At first I didn’t realize that a drywall gun is electric and has a lot more power vs a battery operated screw gun.

Needless to say, the electric drywall gun would have made my life a lot easier.

Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall

Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall

You see, when I work with my dad, I am the grunt, peon and his laborer.

Jessica Bruno drinking a meal replacement shake while building a closet with a her dad

How to build a closet with sloped ceilings

He just gives directions and prefers I do the labor. -ha. Although, he did a lot of the nailing as my rotator cuff was acting up towards the middle of the day. As you can see, I broke off my middle nail while lugging the wood up to the loft and my dad said, “you are not suppose to have nails doing construction work.”

Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall with Dewalt screw gun + wood ladder

Angled Wall Closet Ideas

I must have searched for weeks, looking for storage ideas / angled wall ideas for sloped ceilings. It was a shame to have so much wasted space under the eaves part of the loft wide open.

The open space under the eaves part of the ceiling was great for storage but not so great to look at. Do you know what I mean? I found a ton of tutorials and ideas on building built in drawer units in a knee wall or eaves but I didn’t need drawers. I needed a large storage space that had a door and walls.

Jessica Bruno's dad holding up the drywall on the closet wall

Now that the closet is framed and the drywall is hung, I will finish the walls with a slight texture with joint compound to coordinate with the slanted ceiling and paint the closet white.

A Practical Slanted Wall Closet

Often times with sloped ceilings, you need to think outside the box when it comes to a storage closet. It’s just a matter of framing the knee wall (the short part of the wall) and the slanted ceiling. A slanted wall closet, while not ideal, is better than no closet at all.

We worked from 8am until 4:15 and got the bulk of the closet built.

Jessica Bruno and her dad thumbs up closet built in 1 day

Updated March 2019:

Related Series Posts:

Lady Loft part 1 Horner Millwork |

Lady Loft Frame Closet Slanted Walls part 2 |

Lady Loft (install closet french doors) part 3

Lady Loft Before & After (REVEAL DAY!) 

I am a visual person so hopefully these pictures and tips gave you some good ideas on How to Frame a Closet with Low Slanted Ceiling. Whenever you add a closet to a space, it’s always a plus when you sell your house.

Now that the loft has a closet, it could even be used as a loft bedroom someday. The possibilities are endless. You can never have enough closets in my opinion. Stay tuned, we have partnered with a popular furniture company here on the East Coast to create an amazing modern rustic (with a hint of farmhouse) tv space in the loft as well as Horner Millwork for the closet door (see new french closet doors post here ).  I can’t wait to get it finished!

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  1. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for documenting this! I have a similar space and needs, so this was very helpful! And…manicures are always appropriate lol

    1. haha yes Alexandra! I was baffled by what to do for a while with the loft space but a built in closet worked perfectly! 🙂