Cedar Closets: America’s Best-Kept Secret

Americans are opening the door a bit wider on cedar closets. A recent survey of 1,000 adults showed that while only 10 percent actually own a cedar closet, 41 percent would consider installing one in their homes when informed about the benefits.

“Our research clearly shows that the benefits of cedar closets may be America’s best- kept home improvement secret,” says Bev Head, CEO of Huntsville, Alabama-based Giles & Kendall, the #1 cedar closet liner manufacturer in the United States and makers of the CedarSafe Natural Closet Liner brand.

Those benefits include:

• Repel and resist moths, roaches, silverfish and mildew

• Provide a wonderful cedar scent

• Safer than mothballs and smells better

• Often found in expensive or older homes

• A great place to store out-of-season clothes.

A 2005 study by Unity Marketing shows that 15 percent of homeowners who make $150,000 a year or more have cedar closets. That’s about the same percentage as those who own wine cellars or outdoor hearths. According to the CedarSafe survey, 44 percent of cedar closet owners inherited them when they bought the house. More than 30 percent installed them on their own.

Closet Makeovers Are Big Business

In recent years, closet makeovers have become big business-a $2 billion industry. The boom helped spark a new trade magazine, CLOSETS, which notes that the average price of a closet installation has increased from $2,000 to $3,500. Much of that expense comes from creating custom closets with lots of shelves and drawers.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the benefits of cedar closets,” says Head. “In fact, you can install cedar panels or planks yourself for $150 to $360 for a standard-size closet.”

The planks and panels are made of 100 percent Aromatic Eastern Red Cedar and actually line the walls of the closet. They work with standard metal bars or rods or even custom drawers.

The planks provide an elegant look to a closet in a master bedroom. It would cost about $360 to line 180 square feet of wall space with cedar planks.

The 4′-by-8′ panels are best for storage areas, secondary closets and attics. It would cost about $150 to line 180 square feet of wall space with these.

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