How to Build Garage Storage

A garage is one of the largest, and most times the least used, spaces in your house. The garage all too often falls victim to the accumulations of your life. It subsequently becomes unusable for the original intention of parking your vehicles in or setting up a home workshop. This situation of uncontrolled clutter does not have to exist. It comes down to one solution - build garage storage that meets your needs.


  1. 1
    Decide what type of garage storage you need. You will have either owner-designed and built or factory-made units designed to meet the needs of the homeowner.
    • Be sure to consider the cost factor in your decision. Factory-made units vary in quality and price. The lower end is equal to what the basic cost of a home-owner built storage unit would be.
    • The importance of the difference in price breaks down to what you can afford and whether you would take more pride in building the unit from scratch.
  2. 2
    Realize that the decision to build the storage for your garage from scratch can be very awarding as well as cost effective.
  3. 3
    Consider the simplest system of storage, which are shelves. These are also the easiest to build, if you choose to do so, in the style of a ladder. This type of shelving is built along the side walls or the back of the garage. Ladder shelves are based the premise of using wood for the shelving supports and, when looked at from the sides, it resembles a ladder.
  4. 4
    Assemble the tools necessary to do the job - a 4-foot (1.22 meters) level, hammer, corded or cordless drill, drill bits, screwdriver bit, circular saw and carpenter's square. From here, all you need to do is assemble the shelves.
    • Begin by using a 2 x 4-inch (5.11 x 10.22 cm) piece of wood for the legs and shelf supports. Standard studs, available in home improvement stores, nicely fit between garage ceilings and floors and are great to use for the legs.
    • Attach the studs flat against the wall of the garage, preferably into an existing wall stud using 16D common nails or 3-inch (7.62 cm) deck screws, keeping it plumb by checking with a level. Cut a 2 x 4-inch (5.11 x 10.22 cm) piece of wood to the desired length for the shelf width. Attach it to the top of the leg on the wall and then to the edge of the freestanding leg at the top again using 16D common nails or 3-inch (7.62 cm) deck screws.
    • Continue to install the cross braces, beginning from the top down, and space them to meet your needs. Install ladder shelf supports on a maximum of 4-foot (1.22 meters) spacing. Keep in mind that most garage floors slant to the front. Check between shelf supports to ensure they are level between the wall and the outside leg as well as the next set of shelf supports.
    • OSB square edge wood sheathing makes excellent inexpensive shelves. Cut these from 4 x 8-foot (1.22 x 2.44 meters) sheets 23/32 of an inch (18 mm) thick. Thinner materials used for shelving will move the legs closer together. Nail or screw the OSB with 8D common nails or 1.5-inch (3.81 cm) deck screws, after cutting it to width, onto the cross bracing of the legs.
  5. 5
    Paint with exterior latex paint and your home-made shelves are complete.
  6. 6
    Use factory-made garage storage units to give off a more industrial look to your garage. It also will, most likely, increase the value of your house.
    • Factory-made units come in enclosed or open shelves and in various widths. They also come with storage cabinets that stand independent of the house.
    • These units can be moved about to fit the changing needs of the homeowner. They can be found at most DIY stores in a variety of styles and prices.
    • Installation can be done by the homeowner, following manufacturer's instructions, or by a professional installer. This option is just a matter of picking what you want from a catalog, deciding the parts and number of units you need, paying for the purchase and taking delivery of them.


  • Pre-drilling pilot holes for the 16D common nails and 3 inch (7.62 cm) deck screws keeps you from splitting the wood.
  • Need a workbench for your garage? That workbench can be built on the same ladder principle with the top of the bench 24 inches (61 cm) wide. Double the OSB for the top. Glue the panels together and attach to a piece of 2 x 4-inch (5.11 x 10.22 cm) wood that runs along the front and back of the bench. This creates additional stiffness and support. Mount peg board on the wall at the back of the bench and you have a place to hang your hand tools. Use peg board hooks and other accessories.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 foot (1.22 meters) level
  • Hammer
  • Corded or cordless drill
  • Drill bits and screwdriver bit.
  • Circular saw
  • Carpenter's square
  • 2 x 4-inch (5.22 x 10.44 cm) dimensional wood for framing
  • 23/32 inch (18 mm) OSB square edge (wood) sheathing
  • 16D common nails
  • 8D common nails
  • 3-inch (7.62 cm) deck screws
  • 1.5-inch (3.81 cm) deck screws

Article Info

Categories: Sheds and Garages