By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A good way to repel insects from damaging clothes stored away in a closet is by lining the closet walls with cedar planks. While cedar is not foolproof protection against moths, the oil in the material deters insects, making the closet a safer storage area than one with ordinary wallboard.
A carpenter will charge $1,021 to install cedar planks in a typical 180-square foot closet, which includes labor and material; but you can buy the material and do it yourself for $475 and save 54 percent. The planks come packaged in boxes that cover approximately 15-square feet. Along with the material, you'll need basic tools to do the job: a claw hammer, tri-square, saw, and nails or adhesive to fasten the planks to the walls.
Of course, for many, the most challenging aspect of the job is emptying the closet. You'll have to remove the existing rod, shelving and molding which can be saved to reinstall later. Mark each piece with a number or letter on its backside so you’ll know where to reinstall it after the panels are installed. Depending on the thickness of the panels, the molding will have to be trimmed slightly because they’re too long. Use a back saw in a miter box to cut them to size and then reinstall them with finish nails.
You measure the planks to size, cut them to fit and then assemble the tongue and groove edges together locking them in place. Remember, it's a good idea to measure twice, then cut once.
Over time, cedar oils may crystallize on the surface, sealing in the aroma. You can regenerate the scent with a light sanding when needed.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
From This Old House here are instructions How to Line a Cedar Closet.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to install cedar closet lining you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020