DIY: How to Build Suspended Garage Shelves

This Suspended Garage Storage unit was designed and built by Amy from Hertoolbelt. She’s a tractor-driving, tool-loving mom of two. We’re delighted to share her DIY garage shelves using the Simpson Strong-Tie® Workbench/Shelving Hardware Kit.

I’m always looking for great storage ideas and solutions, especially in the garage where things tend to pile up. There is a lot of empty space above the garage door, so why not take advantage of it and add suspended garage shelves? These shelves are great for seasonal item storage and stuff that you want to keep but do not need that often. Simpson Strong-Tie connectors make these DIY storage shelves easy to build and install. The depth of the shelves are 2-feet deep but can be easily modified for 3-feet deep.

suspended garage storage unit

Materials (for each 8′ long x 2′ deep shelf)

Cut List

  • 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 96″ wood
  • 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 92″ wood
  • 2 – 2″ x 4″ x 22 ½” wood
  • 3 – 2″ x 4″ x 21″ wood
  • 2 – 2″ x 4″ x 35″ wood – length may change depending on the garage door clearance
  • 2 – 2″ x 4″ x 6″ wood – optional
1. Determine the distance

suspended garage storage step 01

First, you’ll need to determine the distance between the highest movement of the garage door and the ceiling. For my garage, 35″ gave me plenty of space so the garage door would clear the shelving. This measurement will be the vertical support length.

2. Assemble the frame and shelf

suspended garage storage step 2

The shelf is assembled with Rigid Tie RTR connectors supporting the front of the shelf to the ceiling. The shelf frame is assembled with Rigid Tie RTC2Z corner connectors and secured to the garage wall through the back of the shelf.

On top of the vertical supports, install a 20-gauge Rigid Tie connector and secure with SD8 screws. On the bottom, attach a Rigid Tie corner connector and secure with SD8 screws, making the bottom of the connector flush with the bottom of the board. Make the corner connectors mirror each other on the two vertical supports.

Install a Rigid Tie corner connector on the end of each 22 ½” boards, mirroring each other, and secure with SD8 screws. On the 2″ x 4″ x 96″ board, measure and mark 2′, 4′ and 6′. Attach a 21″ board at each location and secure with 2 ½” screws. Attach the corner connector to the respective ends of the 96″ board with SD8 screws.

suspended garage store frame example

3. Mount supports on ceiling beam


suspended garage storage step 03

Locate the ceiling support beams. From the wall measure and mark over 24″. Install a vertical support 24″ from the wall, securing in place with 2 ½” screws into a ceiling support beam. If your beams are not visible, as in the photo below, be sure to use a stud finder. Install the second vertical support approximately 8′ from the first support in a support beam, again 24″ from the wall. Again, use a stud finder to ensure you are installing the screws into the center of the beam.

4. Lift shelf frame into place


Lift the shelf frame into place, installing the sides into the corner connectors. Level and secure to the garage wall in the studs with 2 ½” screws. Secure the sides to the corner connectors with SD8 screws.

Install the 2″ x 4″ x 92″ board in the front, and secure to the front corner connectors with SD8 screws. Secure the 21″ boards to the front piece with 2 ½” screws.

5. Cut and place plywood


suspended garage storage step 6

Cut a 4’x 8′ sheet of plywood in half the long way. Cut corner notches for the vertical supports.

Place on top of the shelf frame and secure with 1 ¼” brad nails or screws. The 2′ x 8′ plywood is just shy of overlapping on the side pieces. If your plywood needs support, add 2″ x 4″ blocks on the inside of the side pieces.

suspended garage storage final

Enjoy your new garage storage space, I know I will!