One of the challenges many of us face is that we often have too much “stuff” and no place to store it. True, you may have a third bay in your garage or an unfinished basement that you can just pile things up in, but what happens when you need that extra garage bay, or you want to finish off your basement. You need to find a new place to put things. This was the project I was contracted for with a client of mine. They wanted to maximize their finished the basement, which meant no allowing for a lot of storage room in the finished project.
We started by looking around the house for different places we could create storage, but also looked at better ways to maximize the storage room they had. The first thing we did was get more shelving for the storage room in the basement. They had originally just had boxes and stuff all around the basement, stored in corners and on top of each other. We purchased the shelves at a local hardware store and assembled them on site for her. You could also build the shelves in place, but we wanted the ability to move the shelves around if they need to make changes. By installing the shelves, they were not only able to maximize the space, but also it made it easier to access their things when they needed them.
Unfortunately, with the storage room organized they still did not have room for the things they wanted to keep. When I went into the garage, the first thing I noticed is how high the ceilings were. The house had four steps up from the garage floor to the main house, and this gave them about a 12’ ceiling height in the garage. There was a lot of wasted space up there just begging to be used. Our solution was to build shelving above the overhead door that actually hung from the ceiling.
We started out by building a platform that fit above the tracks that held the garage door. We had a length of about 18’ to work with and we decided to make the platform 4’ deep to maximize materials. If you are doing this project yourself, you might want to consider the clearances you have to work with. I was working in a large garage, so we were able to make the platform on the ground and with two people, we lifted the platform up into place. If you are working in a more confined garage, you might want to consider building this project in place. The platform rests on a ledger board that was fastened into the exterior wall above the garage door. In most homes, that wall has a solid header above the garage door, so you don’t have to worry about finding studs to make a solid connection.
We installed a second support board to the ceiling at 4’ out from the wall (the width of the platform). For this board, we did need to make sure we found the ceiling joists and bolted into them. This board was going to take a lot of weight, and we could not take the change of it crashing down. With the ceiling support in place, we cut the supports that would mount from the platform up to the ceiling supports. These were also attached to the platform and ceiling support with lag screws for added strength.