By Gene and Katie Hamilton
If you have a less-than-organized garage or basement, you can feel better about the clutter by adding shelves to line the walls and store all your stuff. We like using Strong-Tie metal connectors with ready-to-cut sheets of plywood to make sturdy utility shelves. They won't win a beauty contest but they're a practical solution to getting organized.
A handyman or carpenter will charge $220 to build a 4-foot-wide, six-shelf unit. If you have basic carpentry skills, you can build it for $100, the cost of the materials, and save 54 percent. Plan to precut the lumber first and make your cuts accurate and square. With 264 screws to drive, you'll almost certainly want an electric screwdriver or drill/driver. You also need a tape measure, framing square, handsaw, miter box or a circular saw, square/saw guide, hammer, sanding block and sawhorses.
The first phase of the project involves cutting 2x2 lumber into legs and rails and then cutting plywood into shelves. Then sand all the pieces. Lay out the shelf connectors, creating a rigid shelf so there's no need for diagonal bracing. Assemble the pieces last by attaching the legs, rails and shelves. For extra stability, fasten the unit to the wall.
Go to www.strongtie.com for more project ideas with plans and instructions.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to build utility shelving lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.