While ready-made storage shelves are convenient, turn your desire for additional storage space into a DIY project and build a custom shelving unit to fit the exact space you have available. These DIY garage shelves offer spacing flexibility and are easy to reconfigure if you decide to reorganize the space. Additionally, you can dress them up by installing side panels and stock trim molding on the face of the frame. This project guide explains how to build garage shelves and anchor them to the wall and floor for extra support.
Tip: Take your custom garage shelving plans a step further by anchoring it to the ceiling joists and the floor. This will make it sturdier under a heavy load than other garage wall shelving.
Gather Tools and Materials
Mark the Locations of the Top Plates on the Ceiling
- One plate should be flush against the wall and the other should be parallel to it with its front edge 24 inches from the wall.
- Cut the 2- x 4-inch top plates to the full length of the shelves, then attach to the ceiling joists using 3-inch screws.
Mark Points Directly Beneath The Outside Corners
- Using a plumb bob as a guide, mark the points directly beneath the outside corners of the top plates to find the outer sole plate locations.
- Mark the sole plate locations by drawing lines perpendicular to the wall, connecting each pair of points.
Cut Outer 2- x 4-inch Sole Plates
- Measure and cut the sole plates to their desired lengths and align on top of the lines you just drew.
- Drill the sole plates into the ground for additional support.
Tip: Learn how to drill into concrete with this handy guide.
Prepare The Shelf Risers
- Prepare the shelf risers by cutting 7/8-inch wide dado grooves with a router. Cut dadoes every 4 inches along the inside face of each 2- x 4-inch riser with the top and bottom dadoes about 12 inches from the ends.
- Gang-cut the risers by laying them flat, clamping them together and attaching a straightedge guide to align your dado cuts.
- For each cut, make several passes with the router, gradually extending the bit depth until the dadoes are ¾-inch deep.
Trim The Shelf Risers
- Using a circular saw and a straightedge guide, trim the shelf risers to a uniform length before unclamping them.
Build Two Center and Four End Shelf Supports
- Build two center supports by positioning pairs of shelf risers back-to-back.
- Joining them with wood glue and 2 ½-inch screws.
- Build four end shelf supports by positioning the back of the dadoes shelf riser against a 2 -x 4-inch board of the same length.
- Join them with glue and 2 ½-inch screws.
Position End Shelf Supports
- Position an end shelf support at each corner of the shelving unit between the top and sole plates.
- Attach the supports by driving 3-inch screws at an angle into the top plates and sole plates.
Position Center Shelf Supports
- Position a center shelf support, one with both faces dadoed, at each end of the center sole plate, then anchor the shelf supports to the sole plate using 3-inch screws driven at an angle.
- Use a framing square to align the center shelf supports perpendicular to the top plates. Then, screw them to the top plates.
Cut Plywood Shelves to Fit
- Measure the distance between the facing dado grooves, subtract ¼-inch, and then cut plywood shelves to fit.
- Slide the shelves into grooves.
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