It’s not uncommon for fixer-upper houses to be missing closet doors, or have irreparable closet doors. I’m not sure why people beat up on their closet doors, but it seems to happen. I do know a legal bedroom has to have a closet with a door. If you need to fix a missing or busted door fast and cheap, here’s just the thing. I’m happy to share what I do when I need cheap closet doors.
Cheap closet doorsHome improvement stores sell an accordion-style door made of vinyl called a Spectrum Via. They cost less than $35 and someone with moderate skill can hang one up in about 15 minutes. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing, I can’t see it taking much more than an hour. You can save additional time by ordering them online and then picking them up. Then you don’t even have to find them in the store.
You can cut them to fit the height and width you need with scissors. If you have a large closet with a wide door, you can use two of them. They’re easy on your financial budget, and they’re easy on your time budget too.
The doors aren’t super durable, so they aren’t really suitable for much more than closets. But they work and they solve your problem.
What you’ll need
These accordion doors don’t require much in the way of special tools, either for cutting or installation.
- Tape measure
- Assortment of drill bits
- Philips-head screwdriver
- Small fine-toothed hand saw
- Power screwdriver (optional)
And, of course, you need enough doors to cover those openings in the wall.
That’s the hardest part. Measure the door to make sure it fits, which it probably will. You can trim it if necessary but I’ve never needed to. Snap the clips onto the door, then pop the door up into the guide. The side that doesn’t open screws into the door frame. Start at the top, screwing the door into the frame from inside the closet. That’s why you need a flashlight. Use the level to make sure you’re getting the door straight. Using a power screwdriver speeds this part along.
Finally, attach the magnetic catch to the side of the frame the door opens from. Attach the door hardware and you’re done. These doors really do go in quickly.
Here’s one helpful tip on the door hardware: Sometimes the screws for the door hardware are a bit long, so if you use a power screwdriver to install them, stop periodically to check to make sure you haven’t poked through the front with the screws. In the event that you do poke through, you can disguise the screw with a dot of paint close to the color of the door.
CaveatsBeing vinyl, these cheap closet doors will eventually wear out. Then again, they may hold up to abuse better than a hollow core door would just because vinyl can flex on impact. If you take care of them, they can last a good number of years. I have one of these doors on a utility room in our first rental. It’s at least a decade old and it’s holding up fine. I don’t expect them to last forever but I’ve been happy so far with their longevity.
The other downside with these doors is they come in four colors. If your other doors are white, no problem. If they aren’t, the closest match may not be as close as you would like.
But for a cheap door for a closet or a utility room, these are hard to beat. They install in a fraction of the time of other doors, and if one does wear out, you can replace it quickly and easily. I’ve used several of these and I anticipate using more as time goes on.