A garage is the perfect home for all sorts of items and activities from storing sporting equipment to tools and machines; and it’s original purpose for car parking to activities like a home-office, a gym or a workshop. If your garage is only used for storage rather than other activities it really needs some shelves for organization.
Usually garage shelves can be found in two main forms: site-built and prefabricated. Site-built shelves are usually less expensive and allow you to adapt the sizes to the space available. You can find everything that you need at the local home center, lumber yard, discount store or hardware store.
One of the basics of the garage shelves is made of a simple piece of ¾” plywood or a length of 1x or 2x lumber on a set of heavy-duty shelf brackets. This is mounted by attaching the brackets to the studs directly using long screws then by attaching the shelf to the brackets. To strengthen the shelf you can add a brace at each stud.
Another type of shelves are the floor-supported ones. One method is to run vertical 2x4s every 50 inches and resting them on the floor and attaching them to the rafters or ceiling joists at the top. In addition, the 2x4s are run horizontally on edge between the uprights then a particleboard is used to create the shelve. The most commonly used dimensions are 19-25 inches for depth and the spacing between 2x4s is usually on 25 inches but of course, these sizes can be changed to accommodate the size of the items that you are storing.
For storing small items you should take into consideration the space between the studs. By attaching a series of 1x2 strips horizontally to the inside edges of two adjacent studs approximately 6 inches apart, cutting some 1x4 and 1x6 pieces of lumber and fitting them between studs and slipping them on top of the 1x2s you can create some small adjustable shelves. These are great for jars, cans and bottles and also for other small and light items. The small shelves are great for organizing and storing screws and nails.
The best choice when building prefabricated garage shelves is Steel shelving. Plastic shelving may be enough for storing light Weight items but in time you may need something more resistant for storing heavier items. One disadvantage of the steel shelving is that they cannot be cut to size so they have standard widths, depths and heights so you have to choose something that fits within your available space.
Adjustability is another important consideration in prefabricated shelving. Prefabricated shelves should be adjustable to at least two different locations within the shelving framework and also the pins for adjusting should be heavy duty and should have something in place for preventing them from working loose or becoming accidentally dislodged.
Another thing to be taken into consideration when opting for prefabricated shelves, especially those designed for heavy loads, is that they may require a wall attachment or other support against tipping.