With warm spring days on the way, many of you will be doing some spring cleaning. Do you have a place where you can put away all your winter/seasonal items? By installing overhead garage shelving you can easily add 200 square feet of storage to a typical 2-car garage. Imagine organizing all the items cluttering your home in bins on these garage overhead mightyshelves.
I start by cutting two 2×4’s the length I want the shelf. Then I layout all the 2×4 “rungs” every 24″ on center using a tape measure, speed square, and pencil.
Then I cut all the 2×4 “rungs” 3 inches shorter than I want the depth of the shelf to be (to account for the thickness of the front and back “rails”). I’ve built these shelves anywhere from 2-feet to 4-feet deep, depending on what will be stored on them when finished. Then I fasten the “rails” to the “rungs” with a couple 10d or 16d framing nails in each end.
I use a piece of 7/16 inch OSB (wafer board) to square-up the shelf. I nail it down with 8d framing nails about every 8 inches along the “rails” and “rungs”. Then I cut off the excess sheathing with a skill-saw.
Here’s how it looks all nailed off and ready to install:
I chalk a line to mark where the bottom of the shelf will be located on the garage wall. (The height usually depends on the size of the items to be stored on the shelf). I leave a minimum of 6 feet 8 inches of headroom below the lowest shelf. I nail a 2×4 temporary block to every other wall stud to support the back “rail” of the shelf flush with the chalk line.
Then I lift the shelf into place, resting it on my temp. blocks. I shoot a couple nails through the back “rail” into the wall studs, then I nail a long piece of wood as a vertical temp. brace to the front “rail” after leveling the shelf with a level.
Now that the shelf is temporarily braced, I can install the permanent hardware. I start by driving a 1/4 inch by 4 inch Spax lag screw through the back “rail” into each wall stud to support the back of the shelf using a drill and T30 star bit. Here’s what the Spax screws look like:
Then I drill a 1/2 inch hole through the front “rail” about every 4 feet. I run a piece of 3/8 inch threaded rod up through each of these holes and through the drywall ceiling into the attic space above. I put a 3/8 inch fender washer and 3/8 inch nut both above and below each shelf. This allows me to tighten them to the shelf with wrenches on both sides so the nuts won’t loosen or slip.
Then comes the fun part… crawling up into the attic space. I cut a 2×4 block for each threaded rod going up into the attic, long enough so it can rest over the top of the bottom cords of the trusses next to each threaded rod. I drill a half inch hole in it for the threaded rod to pass through and fasten a 3/8 inch fender washer and nut to the top and bottom of it. I use a couple 10d or 16d framing nails to fasten the block to the trusses. (This is a really solid way to support the shelves below. With threaded rod every 4 feet and the trusses spaced every 2 feet, the blocks end up spreading the weight from the shelves over all the trusses above).
Once the permanent hardware is installed, I remove my temporary blocks and bracing. Here’s how it looks upon completion:
Here are some pictures of some completed garage mightyshelves in use:
I have created step by step instructions for how you can build these “MightyShelves” in your garage, complete with diagrams and a list of all the tools you will need. Click here for a free copy. If you would like to build mightyshelves in your garage, but don’t have accessible attic space above, click here to view my blog post for alternative hardware methods.