Save time looking for items in your cluttered garage with a quick and budget-friendly DIY storage solution. We’re here to help you build a sturdy garage shelving system that will get everything off the floor, out of the way and easily accessible. You’ll be filling your new shelves with loose items, toolboxes and storage containers in no time.
- 13 pieces of 12 ft long 2×4 lumber
- 3x pieces of 4 ft x 8 ft Plywood (1/2″ thick or more)
- Dewalt 7-1/4″ Circular saw and blades
- Dewalt Max Li-ion Compact Drill/Driver
- Measuring Tape
- 7” x 7” Pocket Speed Square
- 3 Piece Fatmax Chalkline
- 3” Screws for the frame
- Smaller 1.5” or 2” screws to secure the plywood
- Stud finder (optional)
STEP 1: SPACE & SIZING
Choose a bare wall for your shelving. For this design, you’ll need a space that’s at least 12 ft wide and 14 ft tall. Adjust the sizes accordingly to fit your space.
STEP 2: HORIZONTAL SHELF SUPPORTS
You’ll need two 2×4 supports to secure and support each horizontal section of shelving. If installing four shelves tall, use the circular saw to cut eight pieces of 2×4 at 12 ft. lengths. These will be used at the back (wall) and front of each shelf to support the weight of whatever you’re storing.
STEP 3: MEASURE SHELF SPACING
Decide on the height of your shelving. Twenty inches will fit most storage containers. Use a tape measure and pencil to mark the wall where you want the tops of the shelves to be. Keep in mind that a 2×4 will take up 3.5”. So, to have 4x shelving levels at 20” height for each shelf, mark the wall at 24”, 47.5”, and 71.5” from the ground.
STEP 4: WALL SUPPORTS
Locate and mark the studs. If you’re installing the shelves by yourself, make a spacer block by cutting a 2×4 to 20” long. Simply stand the 20” 2×4 on its end at one side of the planned storage unit (tack it in place with a screw), then place the long side of the 12 ft 2×4 against the wall balancing one end on the 20” 2×4 and holding the free end at the opposite side of the storage unit.
Secure the free end with a screw, then making sure it’s level, secure the piece that’s balanced on the 20” 2×4 to the wall. Before fully securing the support, measure from the floor to the top of the 12 ft 2×4 to ensure it’s 24” off the ground (per step 3). Adjust as needed, and when ready, add screws at each stud.
Once the bottom support is added to the wall, move the 20” 2×4 to stand vertically on the bottom 12 ft 2×4 and repeat these steps. Continue for each of the shelves.
STEP 5: OUTER SHELF SUPPORTS
Place a piece of 2×4 in front of the bottom support piece that’s screwed into the wall (making it two 2×4 pieces thick). Tack it in with three screws, which you will remove later. Repeat with the remaining shelves. For the higher shelves, screw in a spare block of wood underneath the support piece to balance the second 2×4 while it gets screwed into place. Remove the block after the final shelf.
STEP 6: UPRIGHTS
Measure the middle of your shelving system and attach your first upright 2×4 to each of the four outer 2×4 outer shelf supports (tacked into the wall supports). Make sure not to cover the screws you tacked in. Use a level so that these uprights are straight before securing. Repeat for each end’s upright – there should be three uprights total.
Once all three uprights are secured to each of the four outer shelf supports, unscrew the tacked screws from the outer shelf supports (keeping the uprights secured) and pull out the shelving unit 24”.
STEP 7: SHELF DEPTH SUPPORTS
Cut three 21” pieces of 2×4 per shelf (12 pieces total). Attach one 21” 2×4 to each end of the shelf’s supports (matching the length of the support 2×4’s), then one 21” 2×4 between the two support 2×4’s four feet from the end – this one should be flat along the top of the support 2×4’s to secure the plywood. Repeat for all four shelves.
STEP 8: CUT PLYWOOD
Cut Plywood – Save time and stack three sheets of plywood flush on a workbench. Screw the plywood into a scrap piece of 2×4 to prevent them from moving. From the long end, measure 24” at each end of the 8 ft wide plywood. Snap a chalk line to connect the two points. Adjust the depth of your circular saw blade to cut all sheets at once along the chalk line.
STEP 9: SECURE PLYWOOD
Slide each piece of plywood onto the shelving unit. If you’re building 12 ft. shelves, you will have a four ft. gap left over. Use the circular saw to crosscut the remaining two 24” x 8 ft pieces of plywood to 48” lengths and slide it onto the shelving unit so the factory edges are touching to ensure they’re square. Screw the plywood into the support 2×4 every 2 ft.
Start filling up your shelves!