By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Installing wall shelves is a good way to put a blank wall to use. In a utility room, a single shelf over a clothes washer and dryer might be all that's needed to store detergents and cleaning supplies; in a home office, a wall of shelves can take the place of a bulky storage cabinet; and in a garage, shelves help bring order to chaos.
Among the many shelving systems available, we've always preferred vertical standards with brackets because they are easy to install and a good looking addition to a room. The standards are long, slotted metal strips with grooves that are fastened with wall anchors; the metal brackets fit into the grooves at the appropriate height. At home centers and hardware stores you'll find standards sold in various lengths and finishes with brackets with a small lip on the end that holds a shelf firmly in place.
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Do some investigating with a stud finder to find the location of the wall studs which is where you’ll install the standards that hold the brackets and shelves. To use a stud finder, here's help from How Stuff Works.
The wall studs bear the weight of the system and are likely to be 16-inches or 24-inches apart. Mark the wall with light pencil mark. If you don’t have a stud finder, look at the base shoe molding along the floor. There’s usually a nail head which tells you it’s nailed into the wall stud. Other tools you'll need are a measuring tape, electric drill and carpenter's level.
The project involves drilling mounting holes for the wall anchors and then using them to fasten the standards to the wall. When a standard doesn't line up with a stud, use a toggle bolt instead of a wall anchor. A carpenter or handyman will charge $299 to instill the unit and includes labor and material. You can buy the shelving components and install it yourself for $135 and save 54 percent.
The average price to install wall shelves noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
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.