Adding Storage Above The Garage Door

Through the moving process I have taken the notion that less is definitely more in the house. And while that doesn’t mean I’ve thrown anything away it does mean that I’m not going to be cluttering the house with this and that and this and that. That’s the plan anyway. I do however know that life happens quicker than we realize and everyone does tend to gather more belongings than what is necessary so this is my attempt to prepare for the future. Adding shelves above the garage door is a great way to utilize some otherwise wasted space. And adding this much storage will postpone the need for a typical outdoor storage shed.

To start I found the appropriate distance from the front wall in the garage to the ceiling joist I wanted to secure to. And cut two sheets of 3/4” Adventech flooring to the depth of my shelf. The span ended up being 36” deep. This flooring material is nearly bulletproof (figuratively speaking) and it will end up only having a 29” unsupported span so I doubt it will sag much. Even if it does I can always brace it at a later date.

What I used in the video:

 

 

 



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The first thing to do is secure a cleat to the ceiling. The easiest way to make a cleat was to rip a 2×4 right down the middle. This gave me two cleats to use. One for each side of the garage.

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I used 3” decking screws to secure all of the 2x wood. To prevent splitting every screw went into a pre-drilled hole.

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I didn’t bother to cut notches for the H-bar used in the ceiling as it’s only 1/16” or so and I was using nine 3” screws in this 8′ 2×4. The screws will hold everything just fine.

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Each 8′ shelf will need three vertical ties to connect the shelf to the cleat in the ceiling. Again, 2×4’s were used here.

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These were then glued and screwed into the cleat. Here you can see why I went with two 8′ shelves instead of a solid shelf the length of the garage or garage door. The garage door opener beam is higher than the garage door rails and ultimately higher than the shelf height. I could have also extended each shelf to the side wall but I’m not gaining that much storage area and it’s so much easier to use a full length of plywood.

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It’s always good to check for square.

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Another 2×4 ripped down the middle is needed for the bottom of the vertical ties to support the front side of the shelf.

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And that piece is glued and screwed on as well. This will give a roughly 1-3/4” platform to secure the front of the shelf to.

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The hardest part was getting the shelf material in place. ¾ of a sheet of 3/4” Adventech flooring is HEAVY! Much heavier than I anticipated anyway.

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A few screws in the front side to secure it. And no, as much as this next picture may indicate this project is not sponsored by Adventech. This was an inadvertent perfect brand placement.

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And lastly just two screws in the back side to prevent the shelf from sliding front to back. Here you can get an idea for the span that resulted. I doubt I’ll have any major sagging problems out of the OSB. Advantech is crammed full of resins making it nearly water proof so I doubt humidity will be an accelerating factor in warpage. Even if it does develop a slight sag I could easily brace the shelf from below.

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In the end I’m glad I got this one off the to-do list. I have no immediate need for it now but I’d rather be prepared for the future on this one. I sure don’t want household junk to be stored in the main working area of my shop. Thanks for reading and I hope you’re able to at least get an idea for some storage options in your own home or shop from this. Have a good week and take care folks.

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38 Comments

  1. Bob

    Jay,
    can you give some details about the wall edge support for the shelves? how are they attached to the wall?

    1. Jay Bates

      Look at the second to last picture. On my particular garage the door header is about 6″ wider than the wall so there is a little shelf. I just screwed through the shelf into the header.

      1. Bob

        I see…. I don’t have that external header like you do. I guess a 2×4 bolted to the wall will suffice as an attachment point.

  2. William Walters

    Wow! That’s cool. Going to take a look in my garage right now to see if I can do the same. Thanks for the great videos.

  3. Vince Baker

    Hi Jay
    I have been wanting to do this same thing in my garage. But I only have 15” from the ceiling to the track for the garage door so I was thinking of only putting scrap wood on these shelfs. Do you think this would work if I turned the shelves so they were going length wise one on each side of the garage so I could slide wood on or off.

    1. Jay Bates

      That would be a great use of space Vince. I believe Izzy Swan and Steve Ramsey both use the space above their garage door for wood storage.

  4. Jarrod

    Your timing for this project is perfect for me. I have wanted to do the same exact project since a have a two bay garage door and a one bay garage door. That is a TON of unused storage potential. Is there an average weight rating I can calculate for shelves that I produce?

    1. Jay Bates

      Sorry Lisa. I do not. Not all garages have the exposed header like mine does so your application may be different. This was intended to be an overall guide.

  5. Scott

    Hello Jay,

    I have seen some of your YouTube videos. Well done! I am curious, for these shelves, did you screw the clets into studs above your garage ceiling?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  6. jblaze

    wow man! strong work! that’s an awesome idea. I’m def going to put that in my garage. by the way, you have one clean workshop!

  7. Matt

    I watched your video and was inspired to build my own. Thanks for sharing your work. The videos are great!

  8. Tom

    That is really nice as long as you have the springs like what is on your garage door, but if you have the torsion springs and one breaks, the guy that has to change the springs might want you to take it down so he can do his job. I know what your thinking, their is always some guy who can find a problem to a cool storage area.

  9. Roger Rines

    This is exactly what I was looking for……Thanks for doing the heavy lifting……And I get to go buy some new tools……Great Stuff!!!

  10. Britt

    Great video and it got my hubby motivated and ready to get this done! Cant wait to have the garage clean and useable!! Thanks!

  11. Brandon

    We did this for our garage as well, after finding this on Pinterest. I used lag bolts for fastening the cleats to wall/ceiling and 3-in drywall screws for everything else. Could know or guesstimate what kind of weight this would support? Thanks for inspiring.

    1. Jay Bates

      I honestly have no clue. There are a lot of variables that would come into play. I know I’ve got about 500 pounds on mine with no problems.

  12. ty

    Hey Jay great ideas, in the video with the conduit lumber rack, …….Who is the guy pictured in the plywood at about 2:37 seconds

  13. Tom Lawrence

    Very good idea EXCEPT if your garage door springs/ torsion bar run between the rails and not along the rails. Your garage door installer / repair man will have a few choice words as he goes to repair the door or replace the door springs

  14. Brian

    Love your videos, Jay. Tons of great ideas for my garage/workspace. Are there any special considerations for having the ceiling cleat only attached into one ceiling joist? Mine will only be for Rubbermaid totes of holiday stuff so nothing too heavy. Just curious if yours is holding up with a good amount of weight from one joist?

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