Even homes with two or three garages, seem to have too little storage. In fact, this is one of the main complaints of most homeowners – not enough storage. Many of those that do have homes with garages keep the carsparked outside, keeping sports equipment, tools, boxed storage, extra furniture, and so on, stored inside. One way to increase the amount of storage in a garage is to start by adding shelves. Shelving options include prefabricated and site-built. To purchase all the necessary equipment and materials, simply visit your local hardware or home improvement store, or lumberyard.
Prefabricated shelves provide a solution that is sturdy, portable, adjustable, and easy and quick to install. The best option for garage storage in relation to prefabricated shelves is steel. Many people think that they should only purchase the steel shelves if they have heavier items to store when in fact, steel should be the option of choice regardless how heavy or light the items. Although plastic shelves cost less, ultimately they will break down quicker than steel. For fabricated shelves, consider the various types of things you plan to store. Additionally, you need to determine an area within the garage where the steel shelves will be located, taking careful measurements since this type of shelving cannot be cut down to size. This means when you shop for steel shelves, you will find standards sizes from which to choose.
Prefabricated shelving is also rated according to the weight it can accommodate. These ratings range from lightweight, perfect for storing the family’s Christmas tree, sports equipment, or other boxed storage that does not weigh much, to heavy-duty, which would include items such as paint, sacks of concrete, heavy tools, and so on. To determine the appropriate rating for your needs, try to average the weight of everything you want to store and choose a shelf that can accommodate 25% over that average. You also want to consider that with prefabricated shelves, they can be adjusted. The best choice is an option that can be adjusted in a minimum of two locations within the framework. Make sure the unit has supporting pins to help prevent the shelves from dislodging. Many of the prefabricated shelves specific for heavy loads way need to be attached to the wall to ensure the unit does not tip over. This would be especially important if you have smaller children that might want to climb on the shelves for play or to find something.
Site-built shelves generally require some carpentry work. In most cases, this type of shelf is less expensive and can be adapted to various sizes to match your space need. The site-built shelf is usually constructed from 1½-inch plywood or a 1×2-foot piece of lumber that is placed on heavy-duty shelf brackets. To install this type of shelf, you would first attach the brackets, making sure you attach them to the studs, using lag bolts. If you want even more stability, the brackets can be attached to a ledger, which is a 1×4-foot piece of lumber that is attached to the studs on the backside of the shelf. Even adding metal brackets that have been augmented will help provide additional strength.
Floor-supported site-built shelves are an even more sturdy design. For this option, you can run vertical 2×4-foot pieces of lumber every 48 inches, allowing them to rest on the floor at the bottom, and then attaching them to the ceiling joists or rafters at the top. If you like, you can run additional 2×4-foot pieces of lumber horizontally on the edge between the uprights and then use particleboard or plywood for the shelves. Generally, the shelves measure from 18 to 24 inches deep and are spaced along the horizontal 2×4-foot lumber. Another excellent option is rafter-hung shelves. For this option, 2×4-foot lumber is bolted to the sides of the rafters as a way of forming overhead support. This framework can be left open for storing items that are long such as ladders or snow skis, or you can add plywood to create the shelves. One advantage of this option is that not as much floor space is used. Additionally, because this option is hung, you can adjust the height to accommodate any vehicle need to be parked in the garage.