To many people, the garage is more than a parking area. It may also serve as a home office, as a gym, or even as a workshop. Rarely do people keep their sporting equipment, tools and machines in places other than the garage. If you are using your garage primarily as a storage facility, you definitely need to put up shelves for better organization.
You have two choices for your garage storage shelves: build them on-site or get them prefabricated. If you are handy with tools, the better choice is custom building your garage storage shelves. More than the savings, you also get to optimize the available space. Check your local home center, hardware or discount store and the lumber yard for your supplies.
You can build a simple garage shelf using a piece of plywood, about three quarters of an inch thick, or 1x2 feet of lumber set on heavy-duty shelf brackets. Attach the brackets to the studs with long screws. Next, attach the garage storage shelf to the shelf brackets. Strengthen the shelf by adding a brace at each stud.
Your other choice is to build floor-supported garage storage shelves. One way is to array 2x4 wooden bars vertically, 50 inches apart. Stand the bars on the floor then attach the tops to the rafters or trusses. Then, run another set of 2x4s horizontally in-between the standing bars. Just add particle boards to create the shelves. Average measurements used by others are about 19 to 25 inches deep while the space between the bars is typically 25 inches. Of course, you can change the specs to hold the different sizes of the items you want to store in your garage.
If you are keeping small items, try to work on the space in between the studs. What you can do is attach a series of strips, about 1x2, to the inside edges of two nearby studs. Arrange them horizontally with a distance of 6 inches between each other. Then, cut a few pieces of lumber measuring 1x4 and 1x6 which you can fit between the studs. Slip them on top of the 1x2 strips and you have got adjustable shelves, small enough for jars, bottles, cans and other light items. They also make great organizers for nails and screws.
If you prefer prefabricated garage storage shelves, your best choice is steel shelving. Shelves made of plastic are good only for light items and you will need the sturdier steel shelves to hold the heavier items. However, you will find that you will have to use the steel shelves "as is" since they cannot be modified to fit your wants. Anyway, they are manufactured following standard measurements so you can choose the specs that will meet your requirements.
When choosing prefabricated shelves, you must choose those that are adjustable to allow flexibility when storing items of different dimensions. Get those that can be adjusted to at least two different heights within the same structure. Check the pins as they need to be heavy duty and can lock the shelves tight without coming out loose or getting dislodged.
Another important aspect of prefabricated garage storage shelves should you choose this option is that they may have to be attached to the wall or require some form of support to avoid tipping. This is necessary if you intend to use them for heavy loads.
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