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Garage Shelving

Garage Shelving Idea 1 – How To install shelves above the garage back door to increase garage storage

Our house has a 2.55m ceiling height which is a bit higher than average. To maximise garage storage our idea was to have garage shelving above the back door. In this article I’d like to share with you how I installed the shelves in the corner above the door that connects with the back yard.

All materials I used were purchased at a local Bunnings:

  • MDF cut by Bunnings staff to my dimensions
  • Heavy duty brackets ($18 each)
  • 3 x Dynabolts per bracket
  • 1 Masonry drill bit to make holes in the bricks
  • 1 HIgh speed steel drill bit to make extra holes in the brackets where necessary

The overall material costs for this project were between $80 and $90.

Tools I used for this garage shelving project:

  • Bosch jigsaw
  • Makita drill
  • Hammer, screwdrivers, bender, level

At Bunnings I started with picking a 16mm MDF sheet ($30/whole sheet) in the wood and building supplies section. The sheet dimensions are 1.2m x 2.4m  and I got it cut in three long pieces of 380mm each. It was much cheaper to buy a whole sheet and get it split in three shelves than buying the ready to-use shelves.

Dynabolts are great for attaching shelving brackets to brick wall

I selected two heavy duty steel brackets without reinforcing support brace to be fixed above the door frame (see photo below). For the shelves on the brick walls I used heavy duty steel brackets with reinforcing support brace.

Two heavy duty steel brackets are attached to the brick walls above the door frame by 6mm diameter Dynabolts

I had an old masonry drill bit (top quality but already used a couple of times) and it would take way too long to make a hole in the bricks. Back to Bunnings to buy this new one. With this one it was like drilling into wood (almost ;-)). I strongly recommend buying a new drill bit if you plan to make more than two holes in the brick wall.

High quality masonry drill bit makes life easier when it comes to making clean holes in the bricks

In some instances one of the pre drilled holes was right on the mortar between the bricks. As I preferred not to attach the bracket to the mortar I drilled another hole so the thee Dynabolts are securely placed inside the bricks.

One of the pre drilled hole was in the mortar. It's preferrable to make another one so the attach is housed in the brick
Voila, a new hole is made

The Bosch jigsaw was handy to make a corner cut in the shelf

Once a corner of the shelf has been cut it sits nicely on the brackets

Another cut was necessary to cater for the pillar

U cut in the shelf around one of the garage pillars

The corner is complete:

The bracket on the pillar is 300mm deep whereas the other one on the wall is 400mm deep

End result with “stuff” on:

Our garage shelving systems above the door

We wanted to exploit the height of the ceiling with this garage storage solution. On the left of the same wall the shelves I installed didn’t have to be at the same height. I put them at about 2m which means there is more room between the shelves and the ceiling. That’s convenient to store big suitcases.

Voila our DIY garage shelving systems for brick wall

What garage shelving systems do you plan to have in your new house?

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  1. Hi
    One thing to remember if you are going to have very high shelves is you need a good step ladder stored in the same area. Lots of home accidents are caused by people overbalancing when reaching for heavy things high up from chairs etc.

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for the comment and advice. I would also add that you should not put heavy stuff on these shelves like containers full of books or paper.


  2. I love that you’re trying to use all your available space. Although I would worry that someone would open the door while you were on your step stool. I can’t quite see from your photo but have you just hung the kids scooters from the shelf brackets? If so they’re doing great double duty and it keeps them out of the valuable floor area.

    • Hi Chloe,

      You’re correct, this kind of shelf brackets are quite handy for the kids scooters 😉
      Good point about the door. At the moment I’m the only one who use this door to get to the back of the house, if I know my wife or kids are around I will lock it before going to the step stool.

  3. HI There,

    What size dynabolts did you use?

    Also, why did you cut at 380mm for each MDF width? Where did the other 60mm go in the 1.2m wide MDF board? I’m assuming the cuts were 2-4mm each?


    • Hi Terry,

      I used the 8mm in diametre, 40mm and 66mm in length. I put the 66mm long in the top hole of the brackets as it’s where the bracket tends to separate from the wall because of the downward forces.
      Re the shelves I got guy at Bunnings to cut the whole sheet (1.2m x 2.4m) in 3 pieces of 2400mm x 380mm. There were a thin trim remaining after the cuts as 380mm x 3 + 2 x 5mm (blade thickness) = 1150mm (the width of the sheet is 1200mm).

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.

  4. Also,

    If you wanted this shelving to support more wight, would you add more brackets to reduce the unsupported span of the MDF? or would you replace the MDF with something more stronger?

    Thanks again

    • Hi Terry,

      I would add one extra bracket to support more weight. Though in my installation I did not plan to put heavy stuff on these shelves (like boxes full of books) as I feel it can be dangerous with people circulating nearby. I only use these over head shelves to keep cartons off the floor, the Christmas tree, beach tente, that kind of things.

      I put the heavy stuff in the store room. You can check out how I did it here

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