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Built-in Storage During Your Remodel: Remove, Keep, or Add?

Built-in storage tends to be polarizing. Some homeowners absolutely love built-in storage – other homeowners find themselves frustrated by it. However, it’s inarguable that the right built-in product can improve the value of your property. When you remodel, you may need to consider whether you’re going to remove existing built-ins, keep them, or add even more. Here are a few things to consider.

When to Remove Built-Ins

You might wonder why some homeowners get frustrated with built-ins. When they’re outdated, built-ins are more trouble than they’re worth. Consider an immense, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelf in a living room. It may sound fantastic until one realizes that it leaves no space for a television. When it was built, it was perfect. Now, it’s non-functional.


You should remove built-ins if they no longer serve a functional purpose. Shelving around fireplaces often make a living room too cramped. Many built-ins dedicated to laundry and laundering are similarly outdated because they’re too small to be effectively used.

If you have a towering built-in that’s no longer of use to anyone, the first thing a home buyer is going to think about is whether they can get it removed. If you’re going to be living in the space, an unnecessary and large built-in just cuts down on your utility.

When to Keep Built-Ins

Functional built-ins should almost always be kept: they really do add value to a home. They are a better use of space in the same way that a closet is far more useful than a wardrobe.

If a built-in has gotten old or is a little too small, you may be able to renovate that space rather than remove the built-in entirely. Removing a few shelves, for instance, could make a built-in roomier and more functional. Refinishing a worn built-in may also be worth the effort.

Built-in drawers that are falling apart can often be restored through the use of new hardware. Brand new wheels, drawer pulls, and slides can make old drawers seem like new. Refinishing and painting a built-in in a bright color can also make it look more modern – like an accent piece.

If the doors of cabinets have aged, you may be able to give the entire built-in a face lift just by purchasing and hanging new doors.

When to Add Built-Ins

Adding built-ins is another possible decision. If you’re building your dream home, you should add as many built-ins as you desire. Built-ins help you organize your space. You can add shoe organizers, shelves, and drawers to a closet – or you can completely build out your pantry the way that you want it. An organization expert can help you go through your house and determine what built-ins you need.

If you think that you might sell your home in the future, however, you may hesitate to invest a lot in built-ins. After all, the next person may have a different idea of how to organize their space than you do. In this situation, it’s often better to stick to built-ins that are more generic and universal. Towel closets, pantry shelves, and bathroom organizers tend to be fairly universal. 

Whether you are interested in adding, removing, or renovating built-ins, you should consult with a home design company first. A home designer or developer will be able to tell you more about what’s expected and normal in your community, as well as give you a rough estimate on ROI.

And while you’re improving the functionality of your home, you may want to consider expanding your living space with Four Seasons Home Products. Contact us today for more information.

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