Building shelves as a do it yourself project is a straightforward and inexpensive way to give a new home more storage space. Do it yourself shelves are best for basements, kitchens, attics, and other areas within the home that require a neater space to store and organize items. Wood is an excellent material to use when building shelves because it is inexpensive and easy to manipulate.

Decide on Design

It is crucial for the homeowner to decide what the purpose of their shelf will be before they begin to construct it. If it is to hold small objects in a kitchen, they best design may be an ordinary wall shelf with brackets for mounting. If the shelf is for the garage, the homeowner will want to consider whether or not they need to leave room underneath the shelf for larger items like bikes and trash cans. The design should also be drawn out to ensure that the homeowner knows exactly what the design looks like and where it will go.

Gather Materials

Wood is obviously a main material used in building wood shelves. Many large retailers like Home Depot sell wood in conveniently shaped pieces. For the shelf construction, a person would need wooden horizontal beams, transversal joints, and shelf surface. If the shelf will have legs, they will also need wood studs. Joist hangers and wood screws are also necessary to make shelves.

Gather Tools

In order to construct a wooden shelf at home, a person will need either a manual or electrical saw. A drill is also required, and a level, tap measure, and pencil are also necessary.

Construction Steps

Every shelf-building situation will be unique depending on what design is being constructed. The following steps are for a wall shelving unit with legs that will be found in a garage. The steps listed can be adapted for any shelf.

1. Mark the position of the horizontal beams, along the wall.

2. Cut the beams, to the desired length.

3. Attach joist hangers, on each rear beam.

4. Cut the front legs, to the desired length.

5. Cut the side transversal joists.

6. Attach a joist, to each of the front legs, so that they are perpendicular.

7. Insert the joists, into the joist hangers, and fasten them with screws.

8. Attach front beams being sure they are at the same level of the joists.

9. Put another joist, at the half distance mark, between the legs, using a joist hanger.

10. Use wood to create the surface of the shelf.

11. Add several shelf end stoppers, to prevent small items from falling off of the sides of the shelf.

Additional Considerations

Some woodworking experts would suggest that wooden shelves should have supports at every three inches. For shelves that are intended to hold extremely heavy materials, those supports may be used as frequently as every two and a half inches. The way that nails are driven into the wood will also have some impact on how heavy of a load the shelf can support. If the nail is drilled at an upward angle, it is likely that the nail will pull out if a heavy load is placed on top of the shelf. Nails that are driven straight into a wall with no angle do a decent job at supporting a heavy load. However, the best practice of driving in the nail when the shelf will be holding heavy storage materials is to drive it into the wall or wood at a downward angle. This greatly increases the ability of the cleat to carry a sizeable load.

Benefits of Building Wood Shelves

In addition to saving money, there are many other benefits to making your own wood shelves. Wood shelves are easy to make at home because they are typically the same cut multiple times. No difficult calculations are required. Furthermore, they are assembled quickly. They are also easy to take down and move if necessary, and they can be reassembled quickly in a new location.