How to Build Sturdy Garage Shelves | Garage Gear Guru

How to Build Sturdy Garage Shelves

If you are a garage owner, you know that a garage houses not only cars but also wood saws, gardening gear, sports gear and many other things. And as a result your garage gets crowded and cluttered pretty quickly. You will quickly find yourself wondering how to organize a messy garage. Building some garage shelves is a good way to make a garage a bit more organized. In this post, we will show you how to build sturdy garage shelves.

Tools needed

  • Hammer and nails
  • Circular saw
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Long level
  • Chisel
  • Small ladder


Before you dive into action, you have to know what items you will store on the shelves. What is the tallest item you have? You have to make shelves that can hold this item. Large and heavy items are usually stored on the bottom two shelves.

So, you have to make them a bit taller than the other shelves. The upper shelves do not need to be tall, because you will store small and light items on them. If you want to learn how to build sturdy garage shelve, you must take this preparation phase seriously.

Find and mark the studs

To learn how to build sturdy garage shelves, you have to learn how to find and mark the studs. For this part, a stud finder is needed. Identify and mark all the horizontal and vertical lines that your shelves will follow. To mark each stud, the stud finder should be taken. Find the exact spot where you have to screw the boards.

Calculate the amount of wood you need

Before you start working on the project, you must know how much wood you need for the project. The lengths of the longest pieces can be 6 to 9 feet. Apart from the horizontal framework, you will need boards to be tacked to the wall.

You will also need some plywood. The depth of the shelves can be 17-21 inches. Make sure it is deep enough to contain the largest item on your list. In order to learn how to build sturdy garage shelves, you must learn how to take measurements accurately.

You can get a rough idea of how much wood you need by measuring the length and breadth of the shelf. We recommend buying some more wood than you need, because you will end up spending your valuable time if you run short of wood when you are almost done.

Build the shelves

Tack the 2x3s first. Make sure they are placed horizontally. The studs are on the vertical lines, and you can mark the lines by putting nails. For this part, use screws and nails. The nails will give the vertical strength and the screws will give the horizontal strength.

For increased support, you can extend the shelves for the perpendicular wall. It will provide added horizontal strength.

Once you have screwed and nailed the boards, work on the end boards. Measure them accurately and then cut them precisely. One the support beams, notch out some space. Avoid using the baseboard for this purpose.

Then take the outer boards and put them up. Start from the bottom and gradually go up. When putting up the boards, make sure there is something supporting the ends of the boards. The perpendicular board should be against the wall.

Just repeat this process when you are working on the next row. Level all the boards and check to see if any board is warped. Between those horizontal beams, you can tack in some boards for added support.

And you are done! To really learn how to build sturdy garage shelves you have to work on multiple projects. When you work on your own project, you will have to deal with unique issues. Hopefully you will be able to resolve those issues.

On the other hand, if you aren’t looking for a DIY solution to garage organization, check out our round up of the best garage storage shelves available on the market.

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