Attic Shelves

Plans For 10 Attic Storage Shelves With A Material Cost Of About $50

by FI Designer

The cost of your home is one of the largest factors that influence your overall financial success. Creating extra storage space in our attic was one way in which we have been able to live comfortably in a modest-sized house, allowing us to maintain a high savings rate.

As discussed in the Financial Benefits Of A Modest Home post, American houses have gotten much bigger over the decades. Efficiently utilizing space such as attics can be a helpful strategy to avoid outgrowing your home and avoiding lifestyle creep.

This storage system can support 3 medium size plastic totes between roof trusses spaced at 24 inches. The load is suspended from the truss top chords and diagonals. These plans include cut lists to build 10 shelves. We currently have 20 of these shelves in our attic.

Designing FI is for entertainment purposes only. The creator of these plans makes no claim as to the safe working load of the shelves and is not liable for any damages or injuries associated with the shelves. The builder of the shelves shall be responsible for all workmanship and selection of materials that are adequate and free from defects. The user of the shelves shall be responsible for ensuring that the shelves are not stood on and not overloaded. The user of the shelves shall be responsible for monitoring the shelves for damage such as splitting or excessive sagging.

The shelves are intended to be loaded with 3 medium size plastic totes as shown in the photographs. As a rule of thumb, the appropriate weight for each tote is one that an average size person can safely carry up the access ladder to an attic without straining. The use of totes to load the shelves is recommended to ensure that the load will be evenly distributed. In contrast, loading the shelves with loose objects may increase the risk of concentrated loading.

The following materials were used to construct the shelves. The material cost breakdown provided in the plans is historic and not adjusted for today’s material prices.

  • 1/2″ – 4’x8′ OSB plywood
  • 1″x2″ – 8FT furring strips
  • 1/2″ two hole conduit straps
  • 1/2″ EMT conduits – 10FT
  • 3/4″ metal hanger straps
  • Construction screws

The following are recommendations for building the shelves.

  • Pre-drill all holes to prevent splitting of small lumber by screws.
  • If screws are too long for the material thickness you can cut them to length with bolt cutters.
  • Use a straight piece of wood temporarily screwed to plywood to cut a straight line.
  • Use 2 screws at the end of each hanger strap.

Latest version:

Call to Action
Please do not stop here. Consider the following actions, and please share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Are there ways to better use the space available in your house?
  • Are the possessions that you are storing still providing value in your life?

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