Isn't it funny how most projects involve some sort of closet arrangement? Think about it: new homes, remodels, tenant improvements, townhouses, condos, multi-family—most of these projects will have one or more closets. And with closets comes shelving!

Many well-known franchise businesses exist and thrive selling closet storage designs and installed systems. We can all name one or two, and maybe even contract with them at times on our projects. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but what if your client wants you to perform the work? Where do you start?

Meet Gary Katz. Gary is incredibly passionate about helping the tradesmen and tradeswomen in our industry become more successful in their businesses. Part of that education process is understanding the need to simplify repetitive tasks. When you develop systems, you can minimize mistakes and put more money toward your bottom line.

In this post, Gary provides many great tips that will help you create your own system to speed up the time it takes to install a closet shelving system. You can leverage these efficiencies further by teaching them to your own team!

"When I started out in the building business, interest rates were low, money was easy to borrow, and custom homes were the way to go. But six years later, in the early 1980s, that all changed. Interest rates went over 15%. No one could afford, let alone qualify, for a loan. Economics and demand dragged us into multi-family housing—we started installing finish work on apartment complexes, condominiums, and townhouses. The work was hard, the prices competitive, but the profits were good if you had your act together, if you were fast and didn't make mistakes.

Five or six years later, I was glad when the custom home business came back with a roar. But I wouldn't trade what I learned from those 200-plus unit buildings, not a bit of it. Our approach to every high-end custom job—from the big ones to the little ones, and our profit margins—still depends on the lessons learned from production work. And installing closet shelving is a perfect example.

When it comes to installing closet shelving, if your crew isn't following a manual of practice—a system that simplifies repetitive tasks, eliminates needless steps, and speeds installation time—then you'll never enjoy the profits that can be made in closets. Once the exterior doors are in, before installing any interior doors or trim, we like to get the closet shelving in place, if it's paintgrade. It's just easier to work in a closet without the doors in the way, and besides, that way we don't have to worry about banging shelving into new doors. We wait to install the baseboard until all the shelving is in, too, because the baseboard has to be cut around the dividers."

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