How Much Does It Cost To Install Built-In Shelving?


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Built-in Shelving Costs

Indoor Cost Guides      Carpentry & Woodworkers      Built-in Shelving Costs

Whether it appears in a closet, a niche or nook in the home, or even within existing cabinetry, built-in shelving is a wise way to maximize storage space and organize the home. It varies widely in costs depending entirely on the amount of shelving required, the materials used, and the overall design.

As an example, the range of wood that a homeowner might choose between when having built-in shelving made can include birch and hard maple to pine, cherry and red oak, and more. The choice between woods will have to be based on the elasticity required as well as the esthetics and the function. This is because some built-in shelving is meant to serve as bookcases while others are meant to appear in open areas such as the dining room.

Built-in shelving: 10 linear feet of shelving.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
Materials: stronger woods that do not sag are the most affordable while premium or decorator materials are much higher in price. $70-$180 per linear foot 10 $700-$1,800
Labor (carpenter/installation) $70 per hour 12-17 $840-$1,190
Total Cost $154-$299 per linear foot 10 $1,540-$2,990


Other considerations and costs

  • When the project involves more than the basics, it is going to increase in cost with each addition or enhancement. Drawers, for example, will average more than $200 each for materials and labor. The addition of doors turns the project into a built-in cabinet and that is going to run more than $200 per set of doors and over $400 if the doors are made of special materials, such as glass.
  • Glass shelving is usually not a choice in custom built-ins, but if it is an option, the cost of the materials is going to double.
  • If the built-ins exceed the average height of eight feet, their pricing increases by anywhere from 35% to 50%.
  • Lighting is not a typical addition and it too comes at a premium with fixtures and installation averaging more than $50.
  • If shelves are painted to match the surrounding space, the cost may increase substantially.

DIY considerations

  • Though it may seem that built-in shelves are an obvious DIY project, the reality is that building shelving is considered unsafe and prone to failure or can become a risky venture. It is best, even if pre-fabricated built-in shelves are purchased, to hire an expert to assemble and install properly and safely.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install built-in shelving in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$3,534
  • Bronx, NY$2,904
  • Brooklyn, NY$2,420
  • Philadelphia, PA$3,019
  • Washington, DC$2,620
  • Atlanta, GA$2,371
  • Miami, FL$2,156
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$2,258
  • Minneapolis, MN$2,649
  • Chicago, IL$3,087
  • Houston, TX$3,184
  • San Antonio, TX$2,137
  • Austin, TX$2,420
  • Denver, CO$2,045
  • Phoenix, AZ$2,157
  • Las Vegas, NV$2,368
  • Los Angeles, CA$2,668
  • San Diego, CA$2,421
  • San Jose, CA$2,924
  • Seattle, WA$2,141

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: