Building basement storage shelves will not only result in a tidier basement but will inevitably mean that you can also find things a lot more easily in your basement. An advantage of building your own basement storage shelf arrangement is that you can have a variety of shelf lengths, widths and depths according to the things you want to store.
The following all require drilling into walls – before drilling into a wall make sure there are no service conduits behind where you’ll be drilling.
Using angle brackets is generally fine for shelving up to 1m in length, providing the load they’ll carry isn’t too great. The shelf that sits on top of the brackets should be at least 12mm thick and should overlap the brackets by around 10cm. A long shelf carrying a heavy load should have an extra angle bracket it its middle and a shelf thickness of 19mm.
To fit the brackets, cut the shelf material to size and screw the underneath of it on to the top of the short arms of the angle brackets, making sure that the back of shelf sits squarely and flush with the long arm of the bracket.
Using a spirit level mark on the wall the height for the top of the shelf, hold the shelf against this line and mark where on the wall to drill the holes for fixing the supporting long arm. Having drilled the holes and inserted the plugs, screw the shelf into position.
Fixing Metal Twin-slot, or Channeled Frames and Shelves
The principles of ‘length and strength’ for metal twin slot/channel shelving is the same as for angle brackets. To fit the support for the brackets simply mark plumb lines where they are to be fitted and then screw them into the wall. It’s best to fit the brackets into position first in the support runners and then screw the shelving to the bracket.
Whilst twin-slot/channel supports are available in a variety of lengths and with various methods of holding the brackets and shelves in place – they are also the most expensive option. However, their advantage is that they are adjustable, should you decide to store different things in the space after they are fitted.
Making your own Wooden Basement Shelf Frames
These can be made to withstand just about any load imaginable, especially if constructed in an alcove or recess. The simplest shelf frame in an alcove can be created by using a spirit level to mark lines along which battens can be screwed into the wall; and you can then cut a shelf to neatly fit into the alcove. Here, the thickness of the battens and the shelf will determine the overall strength of the shelf.
If you haven’t got an alcove or recess you can use this method in any corner of the basement, fixing battens to match the width and length of the shelf just along the two walls of the corner. However, such a shelf should not be relied on to carry very heavy loads.
If you have a wide alcove, or want to run shelving along one wall and between two others, you should build a ladder support for the basement shelves. To do this cut lengths of timber as you would for regular alcove battens, cut a second long batten – so as to end up with a rectangle.
Screw together the one long batten and the two end battens, then for approximately every 25cm cut short battens that can act as cross-members, or the rungs of a ladder. Diagonally screw or nail them into the long batten already fixed, at intervals of about 25cm. finally screw the other long batten into place and fix the whole construction to the wall.
You can then cut and fit lengths of shelving on to it. To ensure you fix this framework to the wall horizontally – it might be a good idea to get someone to help you keep it level, especially if it’s more than you can comfortably support.