Elfa Closet System Review: Auto Install vs Paid Installation [2021 Review] (2023)

I'll walk you throughElfa self-installation processfrom start to finish. This is not a sponsored post so this will be a real review containing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you're looking to install a custom closet system, my Elfa system review will also help you determine whether you need to do your own installation or just pay for the installation.

My husband and I bought our house 7 years ago and as much as I love my home, the master bedroom closet has been the bane of my existence as there is absolutely no storage space.

I decided I wanted to remodel my master bedroom closet and I already knew I wanted an Elfa closet system from the Container Store, but how easy would it be to make a DIY installed Elfa closet?

After being stuck at home for a whole year due to Covid-19, the need to freshen up my wardrobe became my number one priority, so I started researching the different Elfa wardrobe systems on Pinterest to find out which wardrobe system would suit me best fits. . it takes.

I was tired of going into a garbage closet every day, where there was no place to store towels and sheets, I couldn't find my clothes, things were scattered everywhere.

Elfa Closet System Review: Auto Install vs Paid Installation [2021 Review] (1)

Review of the Elfa cabinet system

Going from researching master bedroom remodels to the container store to make an appointment, it got scary and exciting at the same time.

I'm starting to have questions like, what if I don't like the design? Are Elfa cupboard systems too expensive? Should we install ourselves? How long will our house be interrupted by clothes piled on the dining room table and living room couch?

Virtual design consultation

Container Store's virtual closet design consultation should provide customers with an experience comparable to an in-person consultation.

Container Store launched the free servicevirtual house projectService due to Covid-19.

I've been told the process is virtually foolproof, but found out the hard way that wasn't the case.

My local container store in Nashville recommended that I measure my closet as described in theirsspreadsheetand lists all dimensions that the designer needs to know.

This includes everything from obvious room measurements like length and width to less obvious measurements like crown height.

After I finalized my cabinet measurements, I emailed them to my local Container Store design team and all three times the measurements were wrong.

In a perfect world, you would make an appointment and connect with a designer via Zoom, who would email you your designs.

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After being told three times my measurements were wrong, I decided to make the 45 minute drive to Nashville for a personal consultation despite Covid restrictions.

Personal project advice

The in person design consultation was much better than the virtual one. The designer found my three previous emails with the measurements and went through them to figure out why the measurements kept showing up incorrectly.

I still don't know why the measurements didn't add up correctly.

Aside from my meager acting skills, they were very helpful in clarifying my thoughts and suggesting options I probably wouldn't have thought of on my own.

Coming up with our original bookcase design was extremely intimidating because there are so many options to choose from and it was overwhelming!

I think everyone should see Elfa's wardrobe systems for themselves to touch and see the different colours, styles and shelves.

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Stay on budget with an Elfa installation

While the design service itself is free, keep in mind that the Elfa Closet system is not, so keep a budget in mind so designers know how and where to cut costs.

Container Store's Elfa system is one of the cheapest systems available and in my opinion the best value for money.

You can easily adjust the height of the clothes rail, add shelves, drawers, hooks and other accessories as needed.

Depending on the size of your bedroom closet, you can save up to $2,000 by installing the Elfa system yourself, but it's not as easy as the Container Store shows on their website and videos.

How much does an Elfa cupboard system cost?

I paid around $4,300 for my large walk-in closet, which included a 30% discount on Elfa's sale and do-it-yourself installation.

If we wanted the container shop to install the Elfa closet system, we would have paid an additional $1,500, so we decided to do an automated Elfa installation to keep costs down.

Knowing what I know now, I'm not suggesting a self install for large rooms and I should have paid the extra money because it turned into a nightmare.

Container-Ladenregalthe sale goesfrom late summer to early fall. It usually lasts more than a month, sometime between August and October.

They usually get 25% off the shelves and sometimes 25% off the installation too.

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Elfa collection and installation process

If you found the measurement process difficult, the installation process was by far the most challenging part of the process.

Container Store claims to make this easy and straightforward, but that wasn't my experience.

After we ordered and paid for the Elfa system, it took about 2 weeks for the closet system to be delivered to my local container warehouse.

Since we were doing a self-installation, they provided us with custom instructions and videos that were supposed to be clear and easy, but were anything but clear and easy.

We opted for the curbside pickup which had no steam. When we got to the store I let the clerk know I had scheduled a pickup.

After about 20 minutes our system was taken out of the closet for curbside pickup and the staff loaded the system into my husband's truck.

Elfa master bedroom design components

Our final design consisted of the Elfa Graphite Ventilated Shelf, Elfa Decor Fascia Gray Sliding Shelf, Elfa Decor Gray Sliding Shelf, and Elfa Decor Gray Shelf.

We chose graphite gray shelves and brackets to match the bathroom we're updating below.

We've also incorporated gray mesh drawers into the design to store all of our shoes, underwear, socks, shirts, towels and sheets.

Drawers are perfect if you have a large his and her closet.

While choosing and paying for the closet system was the easy part, the written instructions and videos were inadequate due to the number of errors we had in the final plans and installation guide.

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Eleven step by step installation instructions

1. Clean up the mess

Whether you're planning a major closet remodel or a simple do-it-yourself makeover, organizing your closet should always be the first step.

There's no point in wasting time organizing clothes you won't be wearing.

So before you do anything else, clear out your entire closet. Rate each item to separate what you love and want to keep from what you don't like, don't use and don't want.

2. Remove old cabinet system

Elimination of a "board and stick" style system.

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Many older homes have the "board and post" closet system. If you have any of these, follow our removal instructions.

Necessary tool:

  • An electric drill or screwdriver
  • crowbar
  • cutting knife
  • safety goggles

Remove the post portion of the existing closet system. If the jambs are difficult to remove, use the drill to unscrew the brackets and remove the jamb from the cabinet.

3. Fasten holes in the wall

After the old system is removed, any remaining holes may need to be patched. Use putty or putty to fill in the holes. Then apply a fresh coat of your favorite paint color.

4. Install track

The most important step in installing an Elfa shelf is the correct installation of the top rail, the horizontal rail that will serve as the anchor point for your system.

  1. Insert the hooks into the rail notches.
  2. Group suspension patterns and insert brackets at the correct height based on your custom Elfa design.
  3. Our design requires a 2 foot gap between the hanger patterns, we used the Elfa spacer provided with our order to place the hanger patterns.
  4. Suspension patterns must be at least 1/2 inch from the ends of the rail.

5. Install the closet rod bracket and bracket cover kit

  1. Identify the closet rod bracket and bracket cover kit.
  2. The clothes rail bracket, a one-piece front bracket cover and a one-piece rear bracket cover.
  3. Slide the front mount cover (has a rounded front) onto the front of the mount.
  4. Snap the clothes rail bracket onto the outside edge of the bracket.
  5. Slide the stand rear cover onto the stand edge.
  6. Slide the clothes rail into the clothes rail bracket until it clicks into place.

6. Install ventilated shelves

  1. Install ventilated shelves from the smallest to the largest, regardless of their position in the layout. Ventilated shelves have a top and bottom.
  2. Subcarrier cables attach to the underside of the shelf.
  3. Place the shelf wires over the bracket notches.

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If this all sounds complicated, trust me, it is!

This is where we ran into trouble with our design - it went wrong twice and thank goodness my husband is helpful and reading the instructions as I was about to give up.

The layout we received had the wrong size vented shelves twice and we had to wait two weeks, twice separately, to order and ship the correct parts.

What was supposed to be a weekend DIY project turned into a 5 week self install process!

Then, for the third time, I drove to Nashville, which is an hour's drive from my home in Murfreesboro, to get the right shelf. I wasn't a happy camper.

I have to say when I spoke to my design consultant she said she had never seen this before and it was coincidence that the measurements had gone wrong because they were computer generated and she had no way of knowing the instructions were wrong.

Elfa Decor sliding shelf

To install the Elfa Decor bookcase, simply line up the grooves on the side of the shelf with the notches in the bracket and press down firmly to lock.

James repeated the process of placing brackets and attaching shelf pieces for each row of shelves.

The shelf height can be easily adjusted if necessary. It's just a matter of pulling the shelves out, swapping the brackets, and snapping the shelves back into place.

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light at the end of the tunnel

It's finally taking shape!


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Total cost and installation time

TOTAL COST: $4,365.90


Elfa master bedroom final closet design

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Conclusion of my evaluation of the self-installation of Elfa Closet in the master bedroom

Elfa shelving systems don't come cheap, and for all the trouble we've had with wrong floorplans and going back and forth to Nashville, I'm very happy with the result, but I'm not suggesting Elfa do-it-yourself.

I am very happy with the result of the Elfa closet system in my master bedroom and the amount of storage space we now have.

The most interesting thing about the Elfa closet system is the possibility of adapting it to your needs, since it is fully customizable.

We were able to create a bespoke closet that works exactly how we need it to and is perfect for her closet.

Yes, custom closets are worth every penny (and then some) when it comes to reselling a home.

If you invest $5,000 in custom cabinets and live with those cabinets in your home for five years, you could easily charge at least $5,000 more for your home than a composition that only has a bar and shelf in each cabinet .

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I hope my Elfa Closet System self-installation review helps you decide whether you should pay the installation fee or take your risk with a self-installation.

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