When you have so much stuff in your garage the most valuable item – your car – is banished to the driveway, it’s more than a bit sad. Things are looking up though because, by building a nifty mezzanine level, it doesn’t have to be one or the other – you can get your car back under cover and store all of your stuff!
You will need a garage with a relatively high ceiling to have room for a mezzanine, which can greatly add to the ‘floor’ area. Here, the ceiling is 3.3m, plenty of room for over a metre of extra storage. If you have a garage with a pitched roof and exposed ceiling beams, you could always beef up the frame to make a similar storage platform to suit your space.
Gather your supplies
• Plate 90 x 45 x 3100mm pine
• Side plate 140 x 45 x 1060mm pine
• Post 90 x 90 x 2270 treated pine
• Front beam 140 x 45 x 3100mm treated pine
• Joists 90 x 45 x 1210mm pine
• Flooring 1800 x 900 x 19mm
• Yellow Tongue particleboard
• Brackets (size to suit) 90 x 45mm treated pine or pine
• Shelf (size to suit) 19mm plywood or particleboard
You’ll also need
100mm AnkaScrews; 65mm Tapcon screws; half stirrup post anchor with 65mm leg; 4590 (45 x 90mm) joist hangers; Dulux Weathershield low sheen in Garage Slate and Black; ladder; cordless drill; masonry bit; 75 and 100mm batten screws; wall-mounted hanging systems. Note: adjust sizes to suit your space.
Step 1 Make room by emptying out garage. Not only do you need space to fit out the new storage area, but you get a chance to sort out what’s needed, and what really should have been thrown out years ago. If there is anything you haven’t used in the recent past, chances are it can be thrown out or passed on. Get someone to give you hand, maybe something you no longer need will be their treasure.
Step 2 Move your car in so you can close garage door then, using tape and a spirit level, mark front of car on ground so you know how far out you can come (substantial storage beside the car should be above head height).
Step 3 To install mezzanine, start with plate on back wall. Here, it was just above door height (normally about 2040mm) so you don’t hit your head. Top of plate is 2350mm from floor. Cut plate to length, cutting around any protrusions that should not be moved (here, a vent pipe from adjacent bathroom). Hold in place and mark screw positions every 500mm or so. If you are drilling into extruded bricks (those with holes in them), try to screw about 20mm in from ends of bricks to miss invisible extrusion holes as much as possible. Drill clearance holes in plate, then hold in place again and mark hole positions on bricks. Using masonry bit, drill first hole in brickwork. Hold plate back in place and screw to wall using
1 AnkaScrew. Check plate is level, then mark position of other holes. Move plate slightly and drill remaining holes, then realign and screw plate to wall. Repeat for any additional plates as well as adjacent side wall in same way (here, the side plate is 140 x 45mm to fit between engaged brick piers), using
2 AnkaScrews at front end of side plate as this is a critical support position.
Step 4 If other side wall of garage is clad in fibrous material (as here), use a post for support rather than fixing through sheet, just in case asbestos is present. Screw post anchor to bottom of post, then calculate total post height needed. It should be same height as top of plate on wall, less 10mm, so mezzanine floor will not be in contact with post. Cut post to length.
Step 5 Mark a 130 x 45mm housing in top of post so it will face out. Cut out housing using a power saw and remove waste using a hammer and chisel.
Step 6 Stand post in place. For a 1300mm deep mezzanine, outside of post should be 1300mm from back wall. Mark position of screw holes on garage floor. Bore holes at an angle so you can drive in fixings. Using a ratchet and Tapcon screws, fix post anchor to floor.
Step 7 Cut front beam to length, place in housing on post, then fix in place using two 75mm batten screws. Screw other end of front beam to end of side plate using three 100mm batten screws.
Step 8 Mark 450mm centres along back plate as centres for joists. Here, joists are supported by 4590 (45 x 90mm) joist hangers. Cut a short length of joist as a spacer, to position joist hanger so top of joist will be flush with plate. Using a hammer and nails, fix 1 side of joist hanger to plate making sure it is plumb.
Step 9 Repeat along plate, then repeat along back of front beam so hangers are directly opposite.
Step 10 Cut joists to length, then sit in joist hangers and nail off. The joist running into back of post will need to be shorter and will need to be skew screwed into position.
Step 11 Cut mezzanine flooring to length. Flooring would normally run across joists but here, joists are spaced at 900mm so they can coincide with joints in 900mm-wide sheet. This is fine for a mezzanine which is just used for storage. As you screw on sheets, make sure joints are tight. Cut around pipes or conduit as needed. It does not need to be glued as it is only for storage, and will be much easier to dismantle at a later date if need be if not glued. This mezzanine added about 4m2 of extra storage or floor space.
Step 12 Paint frame of storage area (here, we also painted the cladded wall, existing door and additional shelving), so you can start putting things away up on mezzanine. This will then help you work out how much more you need to store at a more conventional height.
Step 13 To make additional wall-mounted shelving and shelving brackets, use 90 x 45mm treated pine, just in case garage walls get damp. Measure and cut shelf suppor ts and wall uprights (here, 500mm long) and then braces (here, 450mm with a 45° angle at each end). Screw shelf supports to uprights then, checking angle using a square, screw on braces to hold brackets in alignment.
Step 14 Decide on height of shelf on wall, then screw 1 bracket in place using concrete screws. Use a spirit level across top to screw on other brackets at 450mm centres. Cut shelf to size (here, 500mm wide) from either plywood or offcut of flooring. Position across top of brackets and screw into place.
Step 15 If you want to retain an old cabinet, such as this wall cabinet used to display trophies, give it a fresh coat of paint to match your new storage shelves and get someone to give you a hand holding it in place as you screw it to wall. Again, check it is level after driving in first screw. Fix additional wall-mounted hanging systems in place.