If the united cries of homeowners around the world are anything to go by, sheds need more storage. It might be to organize your yard tools or to display your collection of rare, antique barrel plugs, but adding shelves to your shed or garage will make a big difference in how you use the space. Basic shelves can be put together with a few screws -- or nails -- some off-cut 2-by-4s and leftover plywood. You can upgrade the appearance as necessary for your shed by buying higher quality material.
Measure the space you have for shelves in your shed. The easiest way to install DIY shelves is by using the existing frame of your space, so if you have exposed wood studs you can simply screw -- or nail -- the shelf support to the studs.
Cut some of your 2-by-4s to the depth of one of your shelves. For example, if you want your shelves to be two feet deep, cut the 2-by-4s to 24 inches long. These are the horizontal supports under the shelf. You need at least two and about one for every 18 to 24 inches of width. So if the shelves are going to be 4 feet wide you would want three or four 2-by-4s as supports. The thicker your plywood and the lighter the material you're going to store on the shelves, the fewer supports you'll need.
Cut pieces of 2-by-4 for the vertical supports. For stud-mounted shelves these will be 30 to 50 percent the length of the horizontal support -- longer for heavier stuff, deeper shelves and thicker plywood. Cut one vertical support for each horizontal support.
Lay the horizontal support on the ground and place the vertical support next to it so they form an "L" shape. Measure from the bottom of the vertical support to the middle of the horizontal support. Cut sections of 2-by-4 to this length, one for each shelf-support. These will be the angle pieces.
Screw or nail the angle pieces to the horizontal and vertical support pieces. Repeat this process for all the support pieces you made for your shelf.
Measure and mark the height for your shelf. If you're installing more than one shelf, start from the top down. Measure each stud where you're going to install a shelf support. Screw or nail one shelf support to the left-most stud with one fastener. Use the level to position the shelf support so it is level from front to back. Screw or nail at least two fasteners in the horizontal support and two in the vertical support.
Hold another shelf support in place and place the level across the attached support and the new support. Fasten the second support to the stud when it's level with the first support. Repeat for all the supports.
Cut the plywood to the shelf size. Lay the piece of plywood across the supports. Nail or screw down through the top of the plywood into the horizontal supports to secure the plywood to the 2-by-4s. Use one fastener for every 12 inches of plywood depth. Repeat this process for all the shelves you want in your shed.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use multiple pieces of plywood as long as they can meet over one of the shelf supports. Have the plywood touch in the middle of the support and fasten them both to the shelf support.
- Create a simple 2-by-4 frame for the shelves if you don't have exposed studs. Skip the vertical and angle supports and just use 2-by-4s in each of the four corners of the shelves. Fasten the horizontal support pieces inside the vertical studs at the height of each shelf.
Things You'll Need:
- Tape measure
- Screwdriver and wood screws
- Hammer and nails
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