What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Garage Shelves?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Before a homeowner heads to the supply store to get materials to make DIY garage shelves, it is wise to take accurate measurements of the garage space and determine where the shelves will be built. It is also a good idea to determine what will be stored on the shelves so the builder will have a better sense of how strong the shelves need to be and where they should be located. Once the builder has accurate measurements and a solid plan, he or she can choose among the many materials available for DIY garage shelves.

Garages tend to be damp, cool places, so the DIY garage shelves will need to be made from materials that can withstand moisture damage such as rot, cracking, splitting, and mold build-up. Galvanized screws and brackets are strong and resistant to corrosion, and while it may be tempting to buy less expensive hardware that is not galvanized, the more expensive screws will end up saving the homeowner money in the long run. Wood should either be pressure treated or chosen for its moisture-resistant properties. Cedar, for example, is naturally resistant to rot and bug infestation, though it may not be the best choice for DIY garage shelves because it tends to be more expensive than other options.


Think about mobility when designing DIY garage shelves. Designing the shelves so they can be adjusted up and down will add versatility to the space, though these shelves may not be able to hold as much weight as shelves that are built with solid posts that run all the way to the ground. This is why determining what will be stored on the shelves is especially important: the weight capacity will often dictate the most useful shelving system.

The builder should make sure he or she has all the proper tools to complete the project. If the builder is working with wood, the tools necessary for the job include a drill, circular saw, pencil, plumb bob, stud finder, and possibly even a chop saw or miter saw. Any heavy-duty shelving units that are built will need to be secured to studs in the wall to prevent the units from falling over, especially when loaded with stored items. A stud finder will help the builder locate studs and screw the supports of the shelves into the wall safely and securely.


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