Build Closet Shelving 3 - Wire Rack Shelving Units

< Back to Part 2: Materials and Tools - Continue to Part 4: Custom Made Wood Shelving>

If, after looking at all of the available options, you decided to go ahead and use wire rack shelving, you should have purchased some product specific hardware with your basic materials. While the hardware is fairly self explanatory and each manufacturer will provide specific mounting instructions on the packaging, there are a few key things to remember so that your shelving is durable and doesn't come crashing down around you as soon as you begin to put weight on it.

The first thing to remember is that it is always better to hang your brackets over a stud if at all possible. This may mean that they are not centered on the wall, but it will greatly increase the strength of the shelf if it has been screwed into the framework of the house. Use the stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and then use your pencil to mark the location of each one. All of the major supports for your shelf should be located over one of these marks.

Unfortunately, closets are sometimes framed in unconventional ways, especially if it was worked into the construction of the house as an afterthought. If for some reason you are not able to locate your supports over a stud, make sure you use the drywall anchors when driving the screws that hold your supports. Never hang the supports in the drywall by themselves.

Once you have located and marked the studs, or determined where you are going to put your anchors in the wall, use your level to draw a light, straight level line in every place that you want to hang a shelf. By having a guideline on the wall that you know is level, you won't have to be standing back trying to eyeball the shelves. This will also prevent you from having to hold up the shelf with one hand and the level with the other while trying to lean back far enough to see if the shelf is straight. Does that read like a mouthful? Doing it is even harder, and sketching lines on the wall beforehand will make things much easier.

The actual installation of the shelves is usually pretty simple. One key thing to remember is to follow the steps in the order that the manufacturer prescribes. While it is possible to do some freelancing with wire shelving, you really shouldn't need to. The hardware is available to create just about any kind of system you could think up and the unit will be much more secure if you install it with the manufacturer's own supplies.

< Back to Part 2: Materials and Tools - Continue to Part 4: Custom Made Wood Shelving>

Brian Simkins is a freelance writer living in Chicago. He enjoys using his 14 years of home improvement experience to educate and equip new home owners.