For the upper shelf and pole, you will reinstall the old material at the new 80-inch height.

Using a level, mark a horizontal line 1?-inch above the 80-inch mark, and reinstall the back and side shelf supports at the 81-1/2-inch mark. Secure with 8d finish nails following original stud layout.

Note: If your shelf is supported by brackets, locate the top of each bracket on the pencil line.

Next, determine whether you want your full-length section on the left or right side of the closet. Install the shelf supports and rod hanger brackets for the new shelf, using the same stud layout as upper unit.

Confirm that there is a stud location for your final rod hanger bracket. If the final stud/bracket location is at the end of your shelf, consider adding a few inches to the shelf to ensure solid screw attachments without splitting the ends of the pole and shelf.

If the last bracket stud location is a few inches short, this is not a problem as the shelf and pole can safely cantilever a few inches past the final bracket.

Slide the pole to the wall and while holding the socket against the end of pole, mark the outline. Attach it to the wall, then attach the shelf and pole to the brackets with the 5/8-inch screws. You're ready to paint and rehang your clothes.

Next week, we'll build closet cubbies for shoes, sweaters, Levis, linens and other folded items.

Tom Wilmer has been a licensed general contractor since 1986. Contact him with questions of comments at

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