A couple created a stunning fitted wardrobe with MDF for just £500 by watching DIY YouTube tutorials – after being quoted an eye-watering £24,000 for the job.
Bridie Gallagher, 30, and her partner Jordan, 27, from Carlisle, Cumbria, were left shocked when they were told the staggering price to have a fitted wardrobe professionally installed in their attic room.
Admitting they couldn’t afford the cost, bar owner Bridie and mechanic Jordan turned to DIY, using free tutorials on YouTube to learn how to create their own cabinet.
In the end, their transformation cost just £500 after they measured their space, built a simple interior shell and then purchased MDF which were cut to size at B&Q for the doors.
A couple created a stunning fitted wardrobe (pictured left) with MDF for just £500 by watching DIY YouTube tutorials – after being quoted an eye-watering £24,000 for the job. Pictured right: The space before the makeover
Bridie Gallagher, 30, (pictured) and her partner Jordan, 27, from Carlisle, Cumbria, saved themselves £23,500 after opting to construct a fitted wardrobe themselves rather than hire professionals
Bridie said: ‘We were quoted £24,000 by a company to build a fitted wardrobe. They were offering 50 per cent off the price if I bought it within the week, but it was still out of our price range.
‘I think the quote was so expensive due to it being an awkwardly-shaped attic room, so the wardrobe needed to be made to measure. It’s a fairly large space, so it would take a nine-door wardrobe from wall to wall.
‘We thought that if that one company had quoted that much, it wouldn’t be worth trying any others, as it was obvious it was going to be expensive.’
She continued: ‘However, we did also ask a local joiner whose quote came in at £4,000. Even though this was far less, we thought it was still too much to spend on a wardrobe.’
With eyes fixed on their budget, Bridie and mechanic Jordan turned to DIY, using free tutorials on YouTube to learn how to create their own wardrobe.
The couple purchased MDF panels to create the wardrobe doors (pictured) – which were cut to size at B&Q
The couple also purchased water-based wardrobe paint to give their doors a sleek finish and to ensure that the colour didn’t fade over time
Bridie said: ‘We looked at building the inside and buying the doors made to measure, but it would have still cost us a few thousand pounds for the doors alone, so Jordan wanted to make these himself too.
‘We thought that, if the project didn’t go as planned, buying the doors would at least still be an option as a worst case scenario.’
To create their DIY fitted wardrobe, Bridie and Jordan measured their space, built a simple interior shell and then purchased MDF which were cut to size at B&Q for the doors.
‘This was a very handy service, because the doors were quite long and Jordan didn’t have the right tools to hand to make a nice straight line’, Bridie said.
Jordan started off by building an interior shell for the wardrobe which fitted the shape of the area they were trying to fill (pictured)
‘We bought them all as rectangular doors, but had to cut the angles by ourselves for the last few sections. Jordan wasn’t 100 per cent happy with the finish… that’s when he decided to add a little piece of MDF edging to each of the doors.’
In order to carry out the surgery on the doors, Bridie and Jordan borrowed a circular saw from friends and ended up with a more polished finish on their doors.
With the doors finished, the couple realised that they were the same size as IKEA’s tall modular sliding door wardrobes which gave them the idea to use ready-made IKEA wardrobe drawers as an affordable interior fitting.
Bridie said: ‘He’s really good with numbers and very particular, so I knew he’d do a great job. He took 10 days off work to focus on it, and he didn’t find it difficult.’
The couple were also able to save money by purchasing ready-made wardrobe drawers from IKEA which perfectly fitted their new wardrobes – in total the couple spent £500 on the project (pictured)
To finish off the wardrobe, the couple used cupboard paint to give their doors a professional-looking finish.
Bridie recommended buying water-based paint so that the colour doesn’t fade over time.
‘In total, the project cost us around £500,’ says Bridie. ‘It’s rewarding to know we did it ourselves, especially as it was our first DIY project.’
Jordan has since gone on to complete a number of jobs around the house, from fitting a kitchen to tiling the bathroom and slabbing the patio.
‘We are looking to move house next year and he already has plans to make a bed with a built-in television at the foot,’ Bridie said.
‘I’d advise anyone looking to make their own fitted wardrobe to do their research online first on YouTube or Instagram,’ she added. ‘There are lots of tips and tutorials available and you have the chance to ask questions too.’
Since completing the construction of the fitted wardrobe (pictured), Jordan has gone on to fit a kitchen, tile a bathroom and re-slab their patio
Tom Church, Co-Founder of
‘They’ve saved a whopping £23.5k compared to the original quote they received, which is a fantastic result.
‘Even if you are not as confident taking on a mammoth project like this, Bridie’s story serves as a reminder to always shop around for quotes so you can get a sense of an average cost and make an informed decision about what would be the best way forward for you.’