DIY Garage Storage Shelves

Updated February 21, 2017

Garages are wonderful to have for storing your cars and boats. When you have extra space within your garage, however, it is always nice to use that space for storage. The best way to get the most out of that extra space is through the construction and use of shelves, which will allow you to organise and store your items efficiently. The average do-it-yourself homeowner can build his or her own garage storage shelves in six to eight hours, depending on the amount of shelves.

Materials and Tools

There are several different tools and materials that you should know about when preparing for a garage storage project. The materials necessary for garage storage shelves can range from prefabbed shelves that you can purchase from your local building supply store and install--the prepackaged shelves may come with all of the shelving materials, including hardware. If you want to build your own, you might consider using 1-by-12 lumber and wall brackets or wire shelves that are attached to peg board. Peg board can also be placed throughout your garage for ample storage opportunities.

You will need bolt cutters for cutting wire shelves, a circular saw or electric mitre saw for cutting the wood for shelves, a screw gun or drill and Philips bit for fastening the shelves, wood screws and anchors, hand level, tape measure, hammer and a thumb wrench.


Before you begin any project, measure your proposed storage shelf area. Decide whether you will use prepackaged shelves, peg board, self-built shelves or a combination of them all. Make sure that your garage walls are sturdy enough to hold peg board or other wall shelves. If you are attaching shelves onto drywall, then find all of the wall studs with a stud finder and mark them with a pencil. Make sure that any other wall covering materials are attached. If you find that your drywall or other wall materials are bowing or crumbling, then reattach them with drywall screws.


When installing prepackaged garage storage shelves, lay out all of the pieces and make sure you understand what pieces go where. When installing peg board, build a frame out of 1-by-4 lumber and then attach the peg board to the frame after it has been attached to the wall. The frame will give you some space between the peg board and the wall, necessary when using peg board hooks or shelf hooks. Some shelving materials will not hit on every wall stud, if not, then use drywall anchors to attach the shelving. When building your own shelves, choose a material, such as 1-by-12s or wire shelving that is wide enough to support your storage. Make sure that the braces beneath your self-made shelving are sufficient enough to support the weight. And finally, never overload the shelves with things that are too heavy.

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About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.