Full Guide To Have The Best DIY Garage Shelves

May 27, 2020

Do you know that it’s possible to build, decorate, and repair your shelves by yourself at home without seeking or employing the services of a professional? DIY garage shelves tend to be cheaper, and you can customize them according to your own preferences. Read on to find out more (e.g. DIY garage shelves plans).



What Do You Need To Know About DIY Shelves?

garage shelves


DIY shelves are also known as racks, counter, ledge, or mantel. They are a great way to create extra storage space for your kitchen, living room, bedroom, and garage. 



These shelving units (made from wood, metal, plastic etc.) can serve as storage for paints, chemicals, tool parts, and just about any other thing in your home. Besides adding a touch of elegance to a room, it also allows you to keep things nice and tidy. 



Interestingly, you can build or construct garage shelves DIY without seeking the assistance of experts. These shelves can be made as portable, compact, and elegant as you want them to be. Furthermore, garage racks are usually raised off the ground, and you can use brackets to anchor or support it on the sides with shorter lengths. DIY garage counters can equally be held up by either columns or pillars. They can also be mounted to a wall or suspended from a ceiling. It is noteworthy to mention that DIY garage shelves with hidden internal brackets are called DIY garage floating shelves.


Things To Consider Before Making DIY Shelves

Before you delve head-first into your DIY garage shelf project, there are certain things you should take into consideration. These factors are listed below.





Working on cutting wood


If you do not find the cost of materials to be an issue, woods such as koa, mahogany, and African padauk are considered to be the best woods for garage racks. This is due to their strength, durability, and longevity. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to avoid making your shelves from woods and materials like MDF, particleboard, and softwoods such as pine. This is because they scratch easily and tend to sag when put under a lot of weight.



Moreover, these low-quality materials aren’t sturdy and require additional support for long-term use. It is necessary to know that boards that have knots, are roughly hewn, or have poorly graded sides are much more challenging to paint. Hence, you must avoid them when choosing woods for making shelves.



Garage Space


Safe and Clean garage


It is known that the average garage is usually the largest room (apart from the basement) in each house. More often than not, builders neglect these rooms and do nothing in the garage except maybe drywall it for fire code purposes. Hardly does a builder install a single shelf to hang tools like a rake or shovel. It is more likely for homeowners to pile all their items up against the walls. Hence, the only available space for storage is the simple horizontal floor area next to and in front of the vehicles.



As a result, you must multiply this horizontal space by a factor of 4 or more by constructing a rack. You can build your garage from woods or fabricated metals. If you decide to use the latter, ensure that it’s attached around the top near the wall. This would keep it from toppling over and causing harm to you, members of your family, or even your cars.



Things To Store

Wooden garage storage shelves


For an average house, the use of shelves might be restricted to store hand tools, sports equipment, boxes of seasonal clothing, small appliances, yard equipment, toys, and other things that get accumulated in a busy household from one year to another. Hence, the weight capacity of the unit is not a problem. However, to build the perfect shelving system for home or business, you should consider what items are to be stored, how often the items will be accessed, and their sizes and weights.



However, when building DIY shelves in a commercial or industrial setting, the storage systems should be able to accommodate a variety of tools or items of different weights and dimensions. Furthermore, if you’re looking to store bulky items, then the construction of a sturdy shelving unit system (capable of storing high weight capacities of up to 15 tons) – is required. This unit is ideal for accommodating tools, accessories, and heavy vehicle parts.



Assembly, Size, And Mobility


man assembling a shelf


The majority of homeowners often decide on the kind of storage unit to build without considering the challenges they could face when it comes to assembly. There are some shelves that require a wide range of tools for assembly. On the other hand, there are others that are boltless in design. This means the only tools needed for assembly are a hammer or rubberized mallet and elbow grease. You do not need a screwdriver or any other tool to assemble them.



Another thing to consider before making a shelving system is the overall size of the unit and how much it weighs. This is essential if you want to move the entire unit from one place to another in your home. For instance, if the shelves were assembled in a small storage area, can it be moved out of the door as it is?



The Pros Of DIY Garage Shelves


hardworking carpenter measures handmade shelves


Not only do shelves make organizing your garage quick and easy, they also ensure that you can find things when you need them. Although it may not be the ideal choice in every situation, there are definite benefits to making your very own shelf from scratch. The pros of having DIY garage shelves are as follows:



Organizes Clutter

DIY shelves can bring a sense of order to your home. Building a new garage shelf or bookcase allows you to organize any area from garage to home office. Since shelves can hold a variety of items, you can place your items on shelves to make them more accessible to everyone. Furthermore, you have the choice to organize your items in a logical manner while incorporating some design elements.



Can Be More Durable Than Store-Bought Options

If you choose quality materials and solid design for your rack, it will be more sturdy. A durable shelf can stand up to a lot of movement, and store plenty of things such as kid’s toys or games, art sculptures, tools, etc.



Typically Quite Affordable

Often, it can be much cheaper to get the materials needed for building your garage shelves at home as opposed to purchasing a ready-to-use unit. However, ensure that everything’s done right the first time to avoid having to fork out more money re-doing the shelf.




Building your own DIY garage shelf gives you the freedom to customize the shelving system to satisfy your exact needs. You can make the most of your shelves by determining how they will be used and where they will be placed. Additionally, its design can be tailored to fit your space and the items for storage.



Showcases Your Personality

DIY shelves provide the best space for you to reflect your personality, hands down. You can easily share items that reflect your interests and hobbies and build the ideal shelf to complement your home. With the variety of shelf design ideas floating around on the internet, you may feel overwhelmed by having to choose only one. However, you can take into account the color scheme used in your room, the space available, and the number of items to display. Furthermore, you get to take pride in the fact that you built the whole unit by yourself.



Perfect DIY Shelves For Garage

Well-built DIY garage shelves with a door can enhance the ambiance of a room. These racks are the ideal blend of looks and functionality, and can complete your space in unique ways. Below are different shelving types that are suitable for use in the garage.



Wall mounted options are ideal because of the amount of space they save. Furthermore, they tend to be long-lasting and easy to maintain.
Increase your productivity levels with DIY workbenches like this one. You’ll be able to retrieve items easily and focus on the project at hand. 
These super strong shelves can support heavy loads. Some can be suspended from the ceiling for a space-friendly and trustworthy storage solution. One will last you for a long time!
Apart from helping to save space, overhead garage shelves are also tough and durable. 
Pull out garage shelves help to simplify life by making items accessible with just a simple push or pull. They’re also affordable and easy to clean.
Go for a chic aesthetic with modern garage shelves: they’re pretty, functional and usually great value for money.




Tips On How To Install Shelves




Before installing a shelving system in your home, you could consider the following tips:



  • Choose a shelf that’s of the correct size, depth and style to match the items you plan to store and display.
  • Do your research thoroughly in order to select a shelving system that’s in line with the standard and correct bracket specifications.
  • Consider how many shelves you need and decide on the arrangement method.
  • Use mounting anchors based on the weight-bearing capacity to fasten a shelf to a hollow wall if the need arises.
  • Don’t forget to read the directions on the package carefully. You must take note of how many uprights and brackets are included, and also determine the breadth and length of the shelves.



Now to install a shelving unit, you should follow these 11 steps:



Step 1

Ensure that you use a stud finder to pinpoint the locations of studs on the wall. These studs are typically placed 16 inches from each other. However, some can be up to 24 inches apart.



Step 2

Then, mark the location for the top hole of the screw of the first standard and drill a small pilot hole via its top hole.



Step 3

Screw in the top of the standard, but do not tighten it completely.



Step 4

Use the level of a carpenter to straighten the screw, so it becomes plumb, before marking the position of another mounting screw.



Step 5

Turn the bracket to one side and drill a pilot hole for the mounting screw.



Step 6

You must then reinstall the upright and install the mounting screw.



Step 7

Find the correct position of the second screw. To do this, you place a shelf support bracket in the standard hanging on the wall.



Step 8

Mark the wall location of one of the mounting screws for the second standard and install it as you did the initial one.



Step 9

Repeat with the other screw.



Step 10

Mount the shelf brackets in the standards. Since these brackets are usually included in slots that secure them in place.



Step 11

Finally, you have successfully installed your shelves.



Space Saving Shelves for Garage



This storage shelf has a great 5-layer design which helps to expand space for storage vertically and provides ample area for placing multiple items.




This unit is sturdy and stable. It has a buckle design with velcros which help to prevent the brackets from falling or bending.




This unit is a sturdy 3 Tier Laundry cart. It is useful in your kitchen for serving meals or for storing your mixer, bread machine and pots, and pans. It can also help store gadgets, towels, or tools in the garage.




This unit is perfect for garage style as they are durable, space-saving, and foldable. They are also easy to install and environmentally friendly.




These shelves are easy to install and do not require assembly. They are also made from heavy powder-coated steel.



Do’s and Don’ts for DIY Heavy Duty Garage Shelf


man sanding piece of wood


This article provides several ways on how to build sturdy garage shelves 2x4s, particle boards, and wooden dowels. What you need is a cordless drill, saw, and some clamps. However, using power tools can help speed up the process. Here are the steps:



  • Always make sure you cut everything to size since shelves are made from 25 mm waterproof particle boards and 50×50 spruce beams.
  • Connect the beams and posts with wooden dowels to create a very strong structure.
  • Use your hands to mark and drill holes into the beams. You can set up a horizontal boring machine to drill holes faster.
  • You can drill the holes into the beams by hand and then transfer them to the posts with the aid of dowel finders.
  • Apply glue using a strategy that works quickly. The use of regular wood glue gives you ~10 minutes before the glue starts to set.
  • You should prepare the boards while the glue is drying.
  • Depending on where the shelves are to be used, you can beautify, sand, and paint it any way you want.
  • Add angles to make your unit more sturdy.
  • Finally, the product is completed. You now have yourself a sturdy heavy-duty shelf.



Shelves Ideas: Materials From The Garage


garage wire shelves


Garage shelving ideas help you get your desired look or style without having to spend a fortune. You can use these ideas inside your house or outside. Here are the best shelves ideas for your garage:





Frequently Asked Questions About DIY Garage Shelves

Using Stud Finder on interior home wall


1. What’s The Purpose Of A Stud Finder In Shelving?

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, homeowner, or a furniture expert, a good stud finder detector must fulfill one key criteria: it has to be accurate. You can make use of an electronic stud finder that uses multi-sensory technology to locate studs/wood/AC wires in multiple locations on your wall.



2. How To Use A Stud Finder?

If you want to use a stud finder, place the device on the wall and turn it on (usually by holding its side buttons). Then, slide the foot finder horizontally across the wall until the lights show the position of the stud, and mark the point with a pencil. Other studs will be spaced 16 or 24 inches away from this stud. Beware of erroneous readings, however, as the finder may detect other masses located behind the wall (e.g. plumbing structures).



3. What Kind Of Wood Should I Use For Garage Shelves?

The woods best suited for DIY garage shelves include Pine, Plywood, Cherry, Koa, Red Oak, Padauk, and Mahogany.



4. How Do You Make A Homemade Shelf?

Do you know that you can construct your own garage shelves from 2 x 4s and plywood? This shelf can store all your hardware, batteries, tool cases, and more. To build it, you will need a tape measure, spirit level, drill/driver or punch, circular saw, and miter saw.



5. How To Maximize What You Have for DIY Garage Shelves?

The following tips will help you to maximize every inch of space in your garage:



  1. De-clutter the space.
  2. Install a pegboard.
  3. Add a folding table.
  4. Hang cans of spray paint.
  5. Utilize the space above your garage doors.
  6. Hang a utility rack.



6. How To DIY Storage Shelves For Small Areas?

If you can’t seem to find a corner that’s suitable for placing a set of narrow storage shelves in, you can create one by inserting the shelves into a wall. Start by looking for space without obvious obstacles, then locate any existing studs within its wall. Other DIY shelves ideal for small areas are joist space storage, DIY garage shelves with doors, and many others.



7. How To Choose The Best Color For DIY Garage Wall Shelves?

It is much suitable to choose a pure satin white for the walls of your garage or a glossy white if the walls are smooth and flat.


More DIY Garage Shelf Ideas

DIY Wood Garage Shelves: How To Build One

By: Kevin Ashwe • Full Guide To Have The Best DIY Garage Shelves

DIY Wood Garage Shelves: How To Build One

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