Buyers like wardrobes.

At least most of the time.

A bedroom without a built-in wardrobe can be enough to turn off buyers.

Real estate agents hear the "Oh" when buyers walk into a wardrobe-less bedroom. Especially a small one.


A good chunk of The Wardrobe Company's clients in recent years have been property investors who buy properties, renovate and sell.

They see value in adding wardrobes where none existed previously, says Darel Clinch, director of The Wardrobe Company.

In her experience, Clinch has found buyers may consider bedrooms without wardrobes to be too small because they are mentally adding a chest of drawers to the room.

With a modern wardrobe, however, the drawers can be integrated, which takes away the need for other standalone furniture.

The other main reason that buyers are put off when they see a wardrobe-less room, says Clinch, is that they believe adding one will be hard work. But it isn't as hard as many think, she says.

The process involves a visit from a consultant, perspective plans sent back in three to five days and in most cases the installation is complete within four weeks.

"People think they can never get a builder. We can arrange the builder to do the coving and architraves. We build the internal part."

"When acceptance of the quote is made and the deposit received, we schedule the job in. You are looking at about a month from yes to building completion."


The exception to that rule is around September because many new builds are coming to completion and needing wardrobes installed, and most businesses are also picking up a lot of work from the Auckland Home Show.

Another mental block faced by home owners is that they believe they need to contract a builder, and know that tradespeople with time on their hands are as rare as hen's teeth currently.

A builder isn't needed for all wardrobes, says Clinch. And even when one is, the wardrobe company will arrange that for you.

Builders are necessary for period properties where the home owner wants a wardrobe that looks like it is part of the original bungalow or villa with period style coving and architraves.

Clinch says her company has standard doors in villa or bungalow style as well as more modern finishes.

A full wardrobe in villa style will cost from $2800 upwards, depending on whether there are drawers included. Drawers add to the labour cost.

"If someone only wants hanging, it is going to be a lot cheaper," says Clinch.

Though drawers are desirable in many wardrobes, Clinch's experiences is that shelving within the wardrobe works better in children's bedrooms. It makes it much easier to find their clothes rather than rooting around in drawers.

Other costs are dependent on whether you want shelving, hanging, double hanging and so on.

Wardrobes aren't just retro-fitted in older style properties. It's very common to add them to more recent homes. In that case, it's often not necessary to use a builder, says Clinch.

"We build in a wing wall. We don't need to bring in a builder for that." Newer homes often have larger bedrooms, and customers often buy bigger wardrobes.

Aaron Tunstall, general manager of Impression Real Estate, says adding a wardrobe to a room gives buyers the impression that the space is a bedroom.

"In that instance you have created income. Fantastic. Extra bedrooms equals increased rental return or increased saleable price," says Tunstall.

"The other thing we often do is add shelving to cupboards," he says. "By adding shelving you have created so much more usable space."

Wardrobes are becoming increasingly important in inner city apartments says Tunstall.

Buyers ask themselves how much it would inconvenience them if they didn't have a wardrobe.

Owner-occupiers are an ever-increasing market in the central city and for them usable space is important. It is their long-term home and therefore a bedroom with a usable wardrobe can be an important factor.

Clinch says many customers are now on their second and third homes and if they've become accustomed to modern-style wardrobe interiors they often want them added to existing wardrobes in houses they have just purchased.

The walk-in wardrobe is the ultimate luxury addition to an existing home and some customers go all the way with their renovations.

They can become dressing rooms, and can be almost as important in the buying decision as an en suite for some home buyers.