The standard depth of a closet is typically 24 inches. As a builder, the rough framing depth was typically 25″ so that you ended up with an inside finish dimension of 24 inches. This allows a standard 16 inch hanger on a hanger bar centered in the space to have enough room for whatever is on the hanger. It has to be that deep so that giant mink coat with the sleeves that poof out several inches will still have adequate room to fit in the closet.
You can get away with a little bit less than 24” but things start to get a little tight and might actually interfere with by-passing type doors and bi-fold type doors.
Recently I had a closet that was a problem in this respect. Nobody had noticed it yet. Casually walking by the closet it just looked like any normal closet with a hanger bar and shelf. These metal brackets are triangular shaped and designed to hold a shelf and a bar that ends up automatically centered in the closet space. I have no problem with these brackets—they work just fine–as long as they are adequately attached to the wall.
But this one is likely not going to be satisfactory and I think you can see from the picture just why.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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