|Project by DavedA||posted 11-04-2016 02:12 AM||862 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
We just hit a one year mark in our new home, and our garage, and half our house still isn’t organized and unpacked. Aside from all the other excuses, the biggest reason is because we moved in with a baby almost ready to debut, so many things took a backseat to preparing for that.
Now that things are starting to settle down in our new home, I finally got some time to start organizing the garage, while cataloging things to get rid of. Coming from a house with a basement and detached garage/workshop, to a house without any of that means space is a premium. I saw all these pictures and guides online of people adding storage shelves above their garage doors, so I decided to take a crack at a design and build my own.
The work I have done so far, since being married, has all been small, so I only have a Skill Miter Saw and Skill portable Table Saw to work with for this. Upgrades are on the way, but I did get it done. Because of interruptions – bought too few screws, and 1 too few 2×4s, and I have 2 kids – this took me 2 days.
To start, I modeled up a rendering of what I wanted to do in Sketchup (http://www.sketchup.com/). I almost graduated trade school with a degree in CAD using Autocad, so I am a bit partial to modeling things up before I build. Also, the learning curve on this application wasn’t too bad with my background, so it made it fun. The rendered model is to scale, including the ceiling joists, so I could really mock up placement of everything.
After doing that, I sourced building lumber from my local big box. Each loft is 8×6, so I used 3 sheets of OSB, with one ripped in half. I used Simpson Strong-Tie hangers for the joists, and some angle brackets for the frame board. I cut all my boards to measurements in the model and did a dry fit outside. I also secured the joist hangers and angle brackets during this test fit. Because I wanted to recess the OSB by around 1/8”, I ripped the joists to just longer than the hangers, and secured the hangers a little lower than the frame boards. I also cut 5” cleats to secure along the wide edges of the frame to support the OSB.
2 sides of each platform are secured to the walls using SPAX Power Lags, as are the 2 long and 2 short ceiling cleats. These Power Lags are pretty sweet, by the way, and make this work so much easier for one person to do. The vertical supports are screwed to the cleats and platforms using SPAX construction screws because of their rated sheer strength. I also went a little overboard and bought the Simpson SD screws, because I installed things at night, in the garage, with kids sleeping inside, so hammering nails would have been a bit loud, and because it was just SOOOoooo easy.
The ceiling in the garage is below a bonus room, so it’s pretty solid. We also had this house built, so I have seen the framing, and know what the ceiling joists are capable of handling, and have no worries about the strength of these long term.
Because I stopped with space between the platforms for the garage door opener, I have easy access to the entire space, except the corner where the walls meet. However, I have climbed up on this, and I ended up hanging from it when the ladder knocked out from under me a bit, so I know it will hold me. I also had a couple friends , who are bigger, hang from it with no flex.
Next up is to build some smaller perimeter shelves, a work bench, and some cabinets, to create my space.