Make room in your closet with two levels of hanging space.

How to Make Two Levels of Hanging Rods in a Closet

by Wade Shaddy

You can't change the depth of your closet, but you can change the height. Typical closets have a shelf above the closet rod. There's usually enough room to extend the closet upward, and add another rod for another level of hanging space. You can choose to split the difference with two equally spaced hanging rods, or make one short and one long for differing aspects of your wardrobe. Pick up a few supplies at your local home supply store, and install another level in your closet in about an hour.

Remove the existing closet rod from the closet.

Unscrew the screws holding the shelf to the support cleats using a drill/driver. If the shelf has no screws, tap the shelf upward with a hammer to remove it.

Drive the tip of a prybar behind the shelf supports. Pry them off and remove them. Pull out any remaining loose nails with diagonal pliers.

Measure the depth of the closet on the left and right. Cut four 3/4-by-3 1/2-inch pieces of pine to the measurements using a miter saw.

Screw one dowel rod holder, centered, to each piece of pine using 3/4-inch screws and the drill/driver.

Run a stud finder along the walls of the closet on the left and right and mark the studs. Measure the height of the closet. Divide it into the desired levels for the rods. Make corresponding marks on the walls on the left and right.

Screw the pieces of pine to the walls on the corresponding marks. Use 3-inch screws that penetrate through the drywall into the studs.

Measure the distance from wall to wall inside the dowel rod holders. Cut one dowel rod at the measurement using the miter saw. The original dowel rod will work for the other level. Install the dowel rods in the new locations.

Items you will need

  • Drill/driver
  • Hammer
  • Prybar
  • Diagonal pliers
  • 1 piece pine 3/4 by 3 1/2 by 96 inches
  • Miter saw
  • 2 dowel rod holders
  • 3/4-inch screws
  • Stud finder
  • 3-inch screws
  • Dowel rod


  • The measurements for the pine boards are for a 24-inch-deep closet. Yours may differ. After removing the shelf, take this opportunity to paint the closet before continuing. You can use the original dowel rod holder if it comes off easily. Sometimes they are nailed or stapled on and become damaged when removed.


  • Look for dowel rods that are one piece. If you see finger joints on the dowel rod, avoid it. This type of rod can break.
  • Wear safety glasses when working with wood.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

  • David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images