A storage container to be placed on an overhead shelf

How to Do Overhead Storage in Your Garage

Need more storage space? If you look up in the garage, more than likely all that overhead area is unused. Visualize how a storage space would look, and what you would store there. With a little creativity and imagination, and some basic carpentry skills, you can transform all the wasted space into a usable storage area.

What Do You Need to Store?

First, you have to look at the space and determine what you needs are. If you have to hang up just a bicycle or a canoe, quick-and-easy hooks are the answer. These screw into the overhead rafters, and have a soft padded covering so items won't get scratched or dented. If you have sports equipment such as soccer balls, netting may be the best alternative. For larger items or a lot of items, you may want to build a complete shelf or even a loft. If you want to build a loft, look at the roof pitch. If it's steep, a loft will work, but if it's shallow, shelving is the answer.

What’s Your Strategy?

Second, you have to develop a specific game plan. You have to draw up what it is you want to build, according to what it is you want to store. If it’s lightweight goods, simple framing lumber with a lightweight plywood floor is all that’s needed. If you have to store heavy items, framing must be sized according to the weight bearing capacity. After drawing, you have to consider the building materials involved. Usually, framing lumber, and plywood are common building materials, along with screws and nails. You may want to branch out to more exotic materials, such as steel framing or modern recycled plastic decking. For theses, special screws are used.

Can You Build It?

You also have to consider your capabilities. You may have drawn up Westminster Castle, but are you capable of building it? Do you have access to the tools, the time, and the labor involved. If you don't have any of these three, then the job is best left to a reputable contractor. Shop around for one, and ask for a reference list of previous customers.

Can You Afford It?

Finally, cost is a factor. Investigate costs, and develop a budget accordingly. If you want to save some money, consider buying used building materials. The local classifieds usually have listing from contractors that sell off remnants of a job. You can also ask your friends and family if they have some lumber lying around. There’s no point in not saving some money if you can.

Last Updated: September 16, 2014