Building Garage Shelves

There are a lot of options on the market for building garage shelves.  Many of them are expensive are not that heavy-duty.  I'll show you how I built some sturdy garage shelves for cheap (less than $50).

Material List:

Qty Description
10ea Eight-foot 2x4s
1ea 4x8' sheet of 1/2" plywood or OSB
12ea 3" lag bolts
40ea 3" decking screwing

The first step to building garage shelves is to locate the studs in your walls and secure 2x4s to the walls to support the shelves.  I made my shelves 2 feet wide by 8 feet long so I could split a single sheet of plywood for both shelves.  The vertical 2x4s seen coming through the ceiling are attached to the garage trusses (more on that below).  I used 3" lag bolts to attached to the vertical 2x4s for extra strength.  I made each shelf just over 20" tall to allow plastic totes and coolers to fit nicely.

Garage shelves        

I picked up one of these multi-function tools from Harbor Freight for $30 which works great for making a clean cut through the finished ceiling for the vertical 2x4.  This tool isn't a "must" for building garage shelves but it comes in handy for all sorts of projects.

Multi-function Tool

 

The picture below shows the method I used to attach the vertical shelf supports to the trusses up in the garage attic.  I took a short 2x4 and spanned two trusses and then attached that to the vertical support with two lag bolts.  If you trusses are running the right way, you may be able to attach your vertical shelf supports directly to the trusses.

Attaching garage shelves to trusses

I decided to build an angled garage shelf to prevent a sharp 90 degree corner for people to knock their heads on.

angled garage shelf

 

Shown below is the garage shelves all framed and ready for the top sheeting of plywood.

Shelf Framing

Next I cut the 4x8' sheet of plywood in half with a circular saw and slid the two sheets into place to mark where to cutout for the vertical supports.

plywood shelves

Here are a few pictures of the finished garage shelves that I built.  These shelves are super sturdy. I even tried hanging on them and they didn't budge.

final garage shelves       

custom garage shelves

Building your own garage shelves is actually pretty fun.  You end up with something that is very sturdy and custom to whatever your particular garage might need.

Back to the top - Building Garage Shelves