Why Built in Bookcases are Worth It


Why Built in Bookcases are Worth It

Updating your home can be a daunting task, especially when you are unsure if the changes you wish to make are even worth the hassle. One update that has proven time and again to be worth it to homeowners is the addition of built-in bookcases. Whether you love books or simply need more storage space, built-ins are a great choice.

Built-in bookcases when meeting a purpose of the home increase the overall value of the home significantly. Built-ins can provide more function to a space and can be highly sought after. These bookcases can provide additional storage and serve as quality decor.

If you are still on the fence about adding built-ins to your home, you may want to learn more about the costs and overall benefits. Luckily, we will break down the ins and outs of adding built-ins to your home. To learn more, keep reading!

Are Built-Ins a Good Investment?

According to home appraisers across the country, homes with built-ins have an overall increased property value. While a homeowner may have little interest in selling, adding built-ins is overall a good investment. For most homes, built-ins are a foolproof way to make improvements. 

While built-ins are almost always a solid investment, you should ensure they are being done properly. If a built-in is not done properly, it will actually lower the overall value. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • If you have a lower-priced home a built-in will likely not increase the value significantly. However, most mid-price or high-price homes will see an increase.
  • Some locations are more likely to benefit from built-ins than others. If you are not interested in adding value to your home, this will not matter. Those who may sell in the future will want to consider this.
  • To get the most from this investment, you will want to ensure the built-ins are done properly. This may mean more costs upfront but will reap bigger benefits.

Overall, adding a built-in to your home will be a good investment. If done correctly, this can actually increase the value of your home. 

How Much Do Built-Ins Cost?

Of course, one of the first things that you need to think about before starting a build-in is how much this will cost. The overall costs will differ depending on where you are located. You can also lower these costs if you are able to do some of the work on your own. 

Overall, the costs of adding a built-in bookshelf will be an average of $2,500. However, some things to consider when it comes to costs are:

  • If you completely outsource the work, it will cost more. If you purchase the materials on your own and simply pay a builder, you can save some extra cash.
  • Those who can do the work themselves will save significantly. However, you should ensure you have the right tools and know how to do this.
  • If you would like to do additional built-in work, such as adding seating with your shelves, this will increase costs. However, most built in seating is less expensive than bookshelves and can be a great addition to this space.

When considering your final costs, you will want to remember that higher quality products yield higher prices. Of course, better quality often leads to longer lasting and more durable bookshelves. It is important to set your own, realistic budget and create shelves that fit this. 

Benefits of a Built-In Bookshelf

Of course, if you are considering a built-in bookshelf, you probably already have a need for this. Adding a built-in bookshelf or set of bookshelves to your home can be a great way to reach a variety of needs. However, the benefits of these shelves can actually be far more than you have even considered. 

Just some of the many benefits of adding built-in bookshelves to your home are:

You Will be able to Optimize Your Space

If you have a home that does not quite fit your space needs, it is not always possible to add more room. However, you can add space more easily by building built-in bookshelves for storage space. These do not take up as much room as standalone bookshelves, but rather work with the space you already have.

If you work with someone who is well versed in designing and installing built-ins, you will be able to maximize your space within the home you already have. You can create more storage for the items you have or wish to purchase without leaving unused space. This can also create a cleaner storage space that looks professional and tidy.

You Have More Display Space

Even those who are using these bookshelves primarily for books themselves can benefit from having this additional display space. Having built-ins is a great way to add decoration to your home. You can use the shelves for storage or you can decorate them to fit your aesthetic, holidays, or simply to showcase items that you love. 

They Create a Focal Point

If your home is lacking the architectural charm that you wish for, adding crown molding or other elements can be expensive. However, adding a built-in bookshelf or bookshelves to rooms that lack structure can fix this problem. You will quickly add a focal point to the room.

By adding a built-in bookshelf to the room, it will draw the attention of those who enter. When you pair this bookshelf with quality decor, it will quickly add to the overall look of the room. Of course, you can enhance these bookshelves as you see fit which will add even more to the overall aesthetic.

They Define the Space

Whether you are adding these bookshelves to create your own mini library or to simply create more space, they help define a room. You can add these book shelves to an office to store work and establish the room as a work space. On the other hand, you can install these shelves in a media room and house entertainment options. 

While you may have no interest in selling your home, it is important to remember that these shelves will add value. When you have a room that simply does not have a purpose, adding bookshelves can help with this. Of course, these are just some of the many benefits these shelves can offer. 

Where to Build Your Bookshelves?

Now that you know more about the costs of your built-in bookshelves and how they can benefit your home, it is time to consider where you might build these shelves. You may already have a place in mind in your home, or you may not know exactly where you are going to build these new pieces. 

Some places that work wonderfully with built-in bookshelves are:

  • Add Them Around a Window / Doorway – As mentioned, bookshelves can add focus to a room and doing this around a window or doorway can increase this even more. By adding shelves around these areas, it will add to the overall look of the room. 
  • Use Them to Divide a Room – If your home features an open floor plan, adding shelves can actually divide the rooms in a unique way. They can help separate larger spaces into more designated areas. This can help give the area purpose, as mentioned above.
  • Use Them to Enhance Your Aesthetic – Most homeowners have a room that they choose to decorate and show off their aesthetic. Whether you add your shelves to the living room, dining room, or even entry way, you can use these to decorate your home. They can almost serve as a piece of art for your home.
  • Add Shelves to the Bedroom – One thing that many do not take into consideration is adding the built-in bookshelves to a bedroom is a great option. These can actually be used as a headboard and add storage to a room. If you have limited space, this is a great location to add your build. 
  • Add the Shelves Around a Fireplace – Truly nothing will make a bigger statement than adding bookshelves around a fireplace. This will give off a true libracy aesthetic and become the perfect place to read your favorite books. Adding your shelves to a room that has a fireplace will create a beautiful focal point. 

No matter which room you decide to put your built-in bookshelves in, they will be the perfect addition. Built-in shelves work well in almost any room, but you will want to take this into consideration before beginning the work. 

Best Materials for Built-In Bookshelves

One of the first steps to building your bookshelf is deciding what materials you wish to use for the project. Of course, these bookshelves will be primarily made with wood, but the wood you use is something you will need to decide. While it may seem that all wood is created equally, this is not always true.

When choosing which wood you will use for your project, some things to keep in mind are:

  • Birch Plywood – This is a hardwood that works well for at home projects. It is sturdy and resists splitting when drilled into. It is a popular choice, mid range in costs, and hardier than other options. 
  • Pine Plywood – This is a lighter weight and softer wood that is very inexpensive. While you may be able to afford more of this wood, it is quick to knot and split when not handled correctly. If you are doing a small shelf, this may be a good choice but it may not hold up to bigger projects.
  • Oak Plywood – This is a heavier hardwood that requires some expertise to work with. If you want a rustic look and a unique charm to your bookshelves, this is a good choice. Of course, this heavier wood will come at a higher price point than others. 

Once you decide on which wood you wish to use, you will want to decide what finish you hope to achieve. It is not necessary to stain or paint this wood upon completion, but it can lead to a longer lifetime for your project. Adding a stain to the wood can help it match your aesthetic and seal in the wood. 

Things to Keep in Mind Before Building

While built-ins are often a great choice for practically any home, they can become overwhelming if not properly planned out. You do not want this home project that should be a simple process to become too much. By planning out how to create the perfect bookshelves for your home, you can ensure the process is easy with great results.

Before ever beginning the process, map out exactly what you want and ensure you have adequate space. These built-ins are not easily replaced and will become a part of the home. Measure out the space where you wish to add the bookshelves and even tape off the area. 

By staging out the build before starting, you have a better idea of what you will receive as the finished product. However, some other things to keep in mind before starting your build are:

Consider the Height Before Building 

When you want to build these built-in bookshelves, you should not only consider the overall size of the shelves but also the height. You will want to decide what height you want these shelves to be. Many build the shelves to ceiling height, while others stop halfway up the wall. 

Of course, if your ceiling is very tall, you may need a ladder to reach the top shelves of your bookshelf. This can quickly become inconvenient and this is definitely something to consider. Most consider shelves that are between 72 and 80 inches the most functional in a home.

Consider Adding Shelves to Small Spaces

While you may have a grand location for your shelves, you should not forget that the small nooks and crannies also make great shelf locations. Those who are struggling with location should not forget that even the small areas work wonderfully. Also, it will not add much to your overall costs to add a built-in to a small area. 

Consider the Function Before Designing

If you have a goal for your built-ins, you want to ensure they meet these needs. If you are using these primarily as bookshelves, you can use a simple design that fits the size of most books. However, if you are hoping to store other items, you will want to alter the size of the shelves.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you want the shelves themselves to be mobile or if you want them to remain stationary. Most traditional bookshelves will be the distance between each shelf. However, you may want to alter these shelf sizes or even design the shelves in a way that they can be moved to fit larger items. 

Mix Mediums for a Unique Look

To make your built-ins more unique, you can mix mediums to create a beautiful set of shelves. You will want to decide on materials that fit your home’s overall aesthetic but do not restrict yourself. You can go for a classic look, or you can mix up mediums to create something more your style.

Some easy ways that you can mix mediums for your shelves are:

  • Mix a classic wood look with painted shelves. You can even paint or stain the entire shelf to fit your style.
  • Add wallpaper to the backs of your shelves. This can create a unique pattern and add texture to the look.
  • You can add glass on the top of the shelves to create a mirrored look. This can be great for bookshelves in a bedroom.

Mixing mediums can be tricky at times, but doing this can enhance the overall look of your built-ins. If you are unfamiliar with how to mix mediums in a cohesive way, you should seek professional opinion. 

Revamp Old Built-In Bookcases

If you move into a home that has built-in bookshelves already, you may want to simply revamp these. Many try to replace older style built-ins but these can often be revamped much more easily. You can bring new life to old built-in bookcases by simply changing the overall finish.

You can sand down these shelves and restain them or add fresh paint to match your style. To enhance already in place built-ins even more, you can design additional built-ins to make a grander appearance. You do not have to replace these pieces to create a new look. 

Overall, you will want your built-in bookshelves to fit your exact style and needs. You should consider each part of your shelf before the building process begins. These shelves will be a part of your home from now on, doing what works for you is crucial.

Enhance Your Home with Built-In Bookshelves

Now that you know more about built-in bookshelves, you should feel much more comfortable adding them to your home. These beautiful pieces can take your home from basic to architecturally unique. You can optimize

Updating your home can be a daunting task, especially when you are unsure if the changes you wish to make are even worth the hassle. One update that has proven time and again to be worth it to homeowners is the addition of built-in bookcases. Whether you love books or simply need more storage space, built-ins are a great choice.

Built-in bookcases when meeting a purpose of the home increase the overall value of the home significantly. Built-ins can provide more function to a space and can be highly sought after. These bookcases can provide additional storage and serve as quality decor.

If you are still on the fence about adding built-ins to your home, you may want to learn more about the costs and overall benefits. Luckily, we will break down the ins and outs of adding built-ins to your home. To learn more, keep reading!

Are Built-Ins a Good Investment?

According to home appraisers across the country, homes with built-ins have an overall increased property value. While a homeowner may have little interest in selling, adding built-ins is overall a good investment. For most homes, built-ins are a foolproof way to make improvements. 

Are Built-Ins a Good Investment
Living room with Built in library 

While built-ins are almost always a solid investment, you should ensure they are being done properly. If a built-in is not done properly, it will actually lower the overall value. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • If you have a lower-priced home a built-in will likely not increase the value significantly. However, most mid-price or high-price homes will see an increase.
  • Some locations are more likely to benefit from built-ins than others. If you are not interested in adding value to your home, this will not matter. Those who may sell in the future will want to consider this.
  • To get the most from this investment, you will want to ensure the built-ins are done properly. This may mean more costs upfront but will reap bigger benefits.

Overall, adding a built-in to your home will be a good investment. If done correctly, this can actually increase the value of your home. 

How Much Do Built-Ins Cost?

Of course, one of the first things that you need to think about before starting a build-in is how much this will cost. The overall costs will differ depending on where you are located. You can also lower these costs if you are able to do some of the work on your own. 

Overall, the costs of adding a built-in bookshelf will be an average of $2,500. However, some things to consider when it comes to costs are:

  • If you completely outsource the work, it will cost more. If you purchase the materials on your own and simply pay a builder, you can save some extra cash.
  • Those who can do the work themselves will save significantly. However, you should ensure you have the right tools and know how to do this.
  • If you would like to do additional built-in work, such as adding seating with your shelves, this will increase costs. However, most built in seating is less expensive than bookshelves and can be a great addition to this space.

When considering your final costs, you will want to remember that higher quality products yield higher prices. Of course, better quality often leads to longer lasting and more durable bookshelves. It is important to set your own, realistic budget and create shelves that fit this. 

Benefits of a Built-In Bookshelf

Of course, if you are considering a built-in bookshelf, you probably already have a need for this. Adding a built-in bookshelf or set of bookshelves to your home can be a great way to reach a variety of needs. However, the benefits of these shelves can actually be far more than you have even considered. 

Just some of the many benefits of adding built-in bookshelves to your home are:

You Will be able to Optimize Your Space

If you have a home that does not quite fit your space needs, it is not always possible to add more room. However, you can add space more easily by building built-in bookshelves for storage space. These do not take up as much room as standalone bookshelves, but rather work with the space you already have.

If you work with someone who is well versed in designing and installing built-ins, you will be able to maximize your space within the home you already have. You can create more storage for the items you have or wish to purchase without leaving unused space. This can also create a cleaner storage space that looks professional and tidy.

You Have More Display Space

Even those who are using these bookshelves primarily for books themselves can benefit from having this additional display space. Having built-ins is a great way to add decoration to your home. You can use the shelves for storage or you can decorate them to fit your aesthetic, holidays, or simply to showcase items that you love. 

They Create a Focal Point

If your home is lacking the architectural charm that you wish for, adding crown molding or other elements can be expensive. However, adding a built-in bookshelf or bookshelves to rooms that lack structure can fix this problem. You will quickly add a focal point to the room.

By adding a built-in bookshelf to the room, it will draw the attention of those who enter. When you pair this bookshelf with quality decor, it will quickly add to the overall look of the room. Of course, you can enhance these bookshelves as you see fit which will add even more to the overall aesthetic.

They Define the Space

Whether you are adding these bookshelves to create your own mini library or to simply create more space, they help define a room. You can add these book shelves to an office to store work and establish the room as a work space. On the other hand, you can install these shelves in a media room and house entertainment options. 

While you may have no interest in selling your home, it is important to remember that these shelves will add value. When you have a room that simply does not have a purpose, adding bookshelves can help with this. Of course, these are just some of the many benefits these shelves can offer. 

Where to Build Your Bookshelves?

Now that you know more about the costs of your built-in bookshelves and how they can benefit your home, it is time to consider where you might build these shelves. You may already have a place in mind in your home, or you may not know exactly where you are going to build these new pieces. 

Some places that work wonderfully with built-in bookshelves are:

  • Add Them Around a Window / Doorway – As mentioned, bookshelves can add focus to a room and doing this around a window or doorway can increase this even more. By adding shelves around these areas, it will add to the overall look of the room. 
  • Use Them to Divide a Room – If your home features an open floor plan, adding shelves can actually divide the rooms in a unique way. They can help separate larger spaces into more designated areas. This can help give the area purpose, as mentioned above.
  • Use Them to Enhance Your Aesthetic – Most homeowners have a room that they choose to decorate and show off their aesthetic. Whether you add your shelves to the living room, dining room, or even entry way, you can use these to decorate your home. They can almost serve as a piece of art for your home.
  • Add Shelves to the Bedroom – One thing that many do not take into consideration is adding the built-in bookshelves to a bedroom is a great option. These can actually be used as a headboard and add storage to a room. If you have limited space, this is a great location to add your build. 
  • Add the Shelves Around a Fireplace – Truly nothing will make a bigger statement than adding bookshelves around a fireplace. This will give off a true libracy aesthetic and become the perfect place to read your favorite books. Adding your shelves to a room that has a fireplace will create a beautiful focal point. 

No matter which room you decide to put your built-in bookshelves in, they will be the perfect addition. Built-in shelves work well in almost any room, but you will want to take this into consideration before beginning the work. 

Best Materials for Built-In Bookshelves

One of the first steps to building your bookshelf is deciding what materials you wish to use for the project. Of course, these bookshelves will be primarily made with wood, but the wood you use is something you will need to decide. While it may seem that all wood is created equally, this is not always true.

When choosing which wood you will use for your project, some things to keep in mind are:

  • Birch Plywood – This is a hardwood that works well for at home projects. It is sturdy and resists splitting when drilled into. It is a popular choice, mid range in costs, and hardier than other options. 
  • Pine Plywood – This is a lighter weight and softer wood that is very inexpensive. While you may be able to afford more of this wood, it is quick to knot and split when not handled correctly. If you are doing a small shelf, this may be a good choice but it may not hold up to bigger projects.
  • Oak Plywood – This is a heavier hardwood that requires some expertise to work with. If you want a rustic look and a unique charm to your bookshelves, this is a good choice. Of course, this heavier wood will come at a higher price point than others. 

Once you decide on which wood you wish to use, you will want to decide what finish you hope to achieve. It is not necessary to stain or paint this wood upon completion, but it can lead to a longer lifetime for your project. Adding a stain to the wood can help it match your aesthetic and seal in the wood. 

Things to Keep in Mind Before Building

While built-ins are often a great choice for practically any home, they can become overwhelming if not properly planned out. You do not want this home project that should be a simple process to become too much. By planning out how to create the perfect bookshelves for your home, you can ensure the process is easy with great results.

Living Room area with Built-In Cabinets
Living Room area with Built-In Cabinets

Before ever beginning the process, map out exactly what you want and ensure you have adequate space. These built-ins are not easily replaced and will become a part of the home. Measure out the space where you wish to add the bookshelves and even tape off the area. 

By staging out the build before starting, you have a better idea of what you will receive as the finished product. However, some other things to keep in mind before starting your build are:

Consider the Height Before Building 

When you want to build these built-in bookshelves, you should not only consider the overall size of the shelves but also the height. You will want to decide what height you want these shelves to be. Many build the shelves to ceiling height, while others stop halfway up the wall. 

Of course, if your ceiling is very tall, you may need a ladder to reach the top shelves of your bookshelf. This can quickly become inconvenient and this is definitely something to consider. Most consider shelves that are between 72 and 80 inches the most functional in a home.

Consider Adding Shelves to Small Spaces

While you may have a grand location for your shelves, you should not forget that the small nooks and crannies also make great shelf locations. Those who are struggling with location should not forget that even the small areas work wonderfully. Also, it will not add much to your overall costs to add a built-in to a small area. 

Consider the Function Before Designing

If you have a goal for your built-ins, you want to ensure they meet these needs. If you are using these primarily as bookshelves, you can use a simple design that fits the size of most books. However, if you are hoping to store other items, you will want to alter the size of the shelves.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you want the shelves themselves to be mobile or if you want them to remain stationary. Most traditional bookshelves will be the distance between each shelf. However, you may want to alter these shelf sizes or even design the shelves in a way that they can be moved to fit larger items. 

Mix Mediums for a Unique Look

To make your built-ins more unique, you can mix mediums to create a beautiful set of shelves. You will want to decide on materials that fit your home’s overall aesthetic but do not restrict yourself. You can go for a classic look, or you can mix up mediums to create something more your style.

Some easy ways that you can mix mediums for your shelves are:

  • Mix a classic wood look with painted shelves. You can even paint or stain the entire shelf to fit your style.
  • Add wallpaper to the backs of your shelves. This can create a unique pattern and add texture to the look.
  • You can add glass on the top of the shelves to create a mirrored look. This can be great for bookshelves in a bedroom.

Mixing mediums can be tricky at times, but doing this can enhance the overall look of your built-ins. If you are unfamiliar with how to mix mediums in a cohesive way, you should seek professional opinion. 

Revamp Old Built-In Bookcases

If you move into a home that has built-in bookshelves already, you may want to simply revamp these. Many try to replace older style built-ins but these can often be revamped much more easily. You can bring new life to old built-in bookcases by simply changing the overall finish.

You can sand down these shelves and restain them or add fresh paint to match your style. To enhance already in place built-ins even more, you can design additional built-ins to make a grander appearance. You do not have to replace these pieces to create a new look. 

Overall, you will want your built-in bookshelves to fit your exact style and needs. You should consider each part of your shelf before the building process begins. These shelves will be a part of your home from now on, doing what works for you is crucial.

Enhance Your Home with Built-In Bookshelves

Now that you know more about built-in bookshelves, you should feel much more comfortable adding them to your home. These beautiful pieces can take your home from basic to architecturally unique. You can optimize the space you have available and give yourself more space to store your items. 

the space you have available and give yourself more space to store your items. 

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