Closet America vs California Closets: A Comparison of DC Area Closet Companies

Thermally fused laminates, ¾” shelving, custom hardware, multiple pricing levels… Toe plates and wall mounting and free installation and consultations… There’s a lot that goes into creating a really fine custom closet, and it can be hard to wrap your mind around all of these moving parts.

Especially if this is your first time designing a custom organization system, starting this kind of project can be daunting. There are so many companies to choose from, and countless product options—it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. That’s why the strategy we recommend is a simple one: start with a broad comparison of the market’s general offerings, and then zoom in and get familiar with a handful of companies that really stand out.

Below you’ll find a comparison chart of a handful of other companies in our market. These top companies are doing the most business in the DC metro area and are a great place to start. We’ve also put together a brief overview of Closet America and California Closets, two of the most popular and successful companies in the local DC market. Getting a high-quality product is often the result of such concerted research efforts, and it is our hope that the following resources will help make your research process more streamlined and accessible.

Comparing DC-Area Closet Companies

When you’re looking for a custom closet near Washington DC, you quickly realize that the market is full of companies. They seem to be offering similar products, but it can take hours of scrolling before you’ve got a solid grasp on how each company differs—which is why we’ve taken the time to scour these companies’ websites for you, with the results outlined below for your convenience.

Wondering which companies offer floor-standing models? Looking for a specific luxury accessory? Want to know if there’s a showroom near your home that you can easily visit? Check out the handy table below to find out.

 

Closet America

California Closets

Closets By Design

Easy Closets

Local, Independent Company

X

Nationwide franchise

X

Nationwide franchise

X

Floor Standing Models

$

Adding a kick-plate bumps you into the second price level.

$

Installation Included

X

This is an entirely DIY install.

Luxury Accessories

Valet rods, soft close drawers, adjustable shoe shelves, jewelry drawers, LED lighting, and more.

$

Wire baskets and valet rods included. Pay more for soft close drawers, shoe shelves, or lighting.

Valet rods, jewelry drawers, built in hamper, wire baskets, and more.

Tie racks, jewelry trays, closet hooks, and more.

Local Showroom

Landover, MD (20785)

Chantilly, Virginia (20151) and DC (20015)

Manassas, VA (20109)

X

Online only.

Unlimited Lifetime Warranty

Warranty also transfers to the next owner of your home.

X

Only as long as you own the home and don’t move the closet.

X

X

Only as long as you own the home, with detailed exclusions.

Laminate Shelving

$

Pay more for thicker shelving.

$

Pay more for thicker shelving.

Free Consultation With 3D Rendering

May require a second appointment to view the rendering.

X

Online only.

This chart is intended as a starting point for your own research into the world of custom closets. If you’re looking for more detailed information on any of the topics listed here, take a good look at the websites of the respective companies. Although most designers can create a product that fits well within your budget, a custom closet is still a solid investment—it’s important that you make an informed decision using all the resources at your disposal. Now that you’ve got the basics, it’s time to dive a little deeper into two of the most popular companies on our list.

Closet America: A Brief Overview

When you’re beginning your foray into the custom closet world, it’s best to start small. We’d recommend that you start your research with getting to know one company at a time. Learn what they value, which products you like best, and what their process is like. That way you’ll be prepared to make quick, educated comparisons as you shop around the market.

Take Closet America, for instance. We’re a locally-owned, independent company based out of Landover, MD that focuses on delivering the highest-quality customer service in our industry. We offer floor-mounted custom organization systems for a variety of rooms in the home at competitive rates. We’re proud to offer the entire custom closet process in-house—from our showroom and manufacturing facility to your in-home installation, every step in the process is run entirely by Closet America’s team members.

Pros:

Cons:

A local and independent company means that this organization has the resources for a better customer service experience. If you’re looking to really know your team, this is the way to go.  

As Closet America is not a nation-wide company, you may not have heard of the brand before now. You’ll need to visit, speak with employees, or research the website in order to get a good idea of what this company stands for.

Everything is completed in-house. This means you can expect the same standard of quality control at the design, manufacturing, and installation level. You don’t have to worry about subcontractors doing subpar work!

Although this method may be preferable from a consumer standpoint, the final product can sometimes be a bit more expensive. The upfront costs of a business like this one may be slightly higher than with a franchise model.

Working with a designer means that your final product will be truly custom to your home. This company doesn’t offer specific product lines, so every finish, hardware, and accessory is fair game for your project!

While your designer will be a great creative force for good on your project, you need to have your end goal in mind a bit more because this company doesn’t offer “stock” product lines.

A smaller company will be able to tailor your experience to you. They may offer a stronger warranty, and they’ll likely be more available for adjustments down the line. A company like this one isn’t bound by national regulations, and can make exceptions for you.

Unlike a nation-wide franchise, an independent company may take more care with your product, meaning this process can take time. They haven’t created your exact closet five hundred times already—each project is new and unique. Be prepared for a turnaround time that’s adjusted for this extra care.

Every closet company does things a little bit differently. We enjoy these differences because they allow each company to stand out in the ways we consider to be most important. By taking a look at what each company prioritizes, you can compare and contrast to see which ones best align with your own values and ideals. With that in mind, we’ve included an overview of another closet company below for easy comparison to help you get started.

California Closets: A Brief Overview

At Closet America, honesty is a big part of our customer service strategy—and that includes being upfront about what other companies might be offering. We encourage you to do your research and select a company that best suits your needs.

Described as a network of franchise locations that are nationwide and individually owned, California Closets is at the top of the market for a nationwide custom closet service. They offer custom closets at three different quality and price levels, all of which are wall mounted. All of their systems are made with laminated composite in large regional manufacturing centers and are installed by employees of the company.

Pros:

Cons:

They offer three pricing levels, which can help you find a solution within your budget. It’s also a great option for those who are specifically looking for cheaper alternatives.

You don’t automatically get their best quality product. You must pay much more for a toe plate, thicker shelves, shelf backing, or cabinet doors. These things are the appealing “extras” that get pushed the most, which can get very expensive on your final bill.

Varied product lines make for a big variety of options to choose from. You have access to a wide range of finishes and styles, depending on which regional location you visit.

It can be difficult to choose from such a wide variety of options, especially when you’re not well-versed in closet materials. If you don’t already have a set vision in your mind of what you want, it can take a long time to decide on a style and a finish that fits you.

A national franchise means that you’re partnering with a widely-known name. You can get the same results in California as in Maryland.

A mega corporation like California Closets tends to feel impersonal compared with a locally owned company. Customer service tends to suffer, with lengthy hold times over the phone or a cranky national database.

California Closets will install your closet system for you, using in-house employees. They do not contract out this service, which means that you have a better chance of getting high-quality work.

This company requires you to remove all existing cabinetry, shelves, and rods from your closet before they can begin the installation process. You’ll have to hire a separate contractor to repaint or texturize your walls before they install your custom system. They will not perform this step for you.

Getting into the details for different closet companies can be a great step for you when you’re looking for a custom closet system. Now that you’ve looked over your choices and done a little comparison shopping, you may be ready to reach out to get your remaining questions answered before making a final decision.

Your Closet, Your Way

Creating the perfect custom closet for your home starts with finding the company that best suits your needs. While getting to know different companies, it’s important to keep in mind your ideal outcome. Are you looking for a walk-in closet to pay homage to your extensive shoe collection, or a reach-in closet for the kids where you can organize school uniforms from casual wear, and toys from homework assignments? Are you looking to upgrade an existing closet, or convert a spare room? The possibilities are endless—which can be both freeing and paralyzing.

When it comes to deciding whether or not you’d rather go with a national franchise or an independent organization, however, the choice becomes clearer. Just ask yourself this question: would you rather have a quick, cut-and-dried process, simple but standard—or would a more personalized experience and a truly custom product, one that’s tailor-made to fit your home and lifestyle? It’s up to you.

At Closet America, we’re dedicated to providing the very best customer service that our industry has to offer and creating high-quality custom organization systems that last for generations. If you’re interested in learning more about our process and our values, reach out to us and schedule your free consultation today. One of our design experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and can help you finally make your custom closet dream into a reality.