Today, garage renovations have become one of the most common upgrades for houses. One way to renovate a garage is by building a garage storage loft. What is a garage storage loft?. A garage storage loft is basically extra storage built above the garage. A storage loft can be as simple as a simple structure built strong enough to be a storage or built as complex as an attic.
Let us ask you something. When you park your car inside the garage, where do you place it? People park their cars in the middle area and place their garage storage on the wall most of the time. When you build a garage storage loft, you free up these spaces while leaving more room for your car to park in.
Although the garage is usually away from a homeowner’s living areas, they are still a part of the house. Thus, making the added storage from the loft ideal for storing the items you don’t need to keep at the house at all times or for storing items that are used seasonally.
One of the most common spots for a garage loft is above the door. If you want to build your loft this way, you can use the door track as the place where the loft starts. That is, take full advantage of the structure that you already have.
If, however, you want a large storage loft, you can create a loft above the garage. Yes, such loft functions similarly to an attic. If you are an avid DIY person, it may take about two or three days to complete a garage loft like that.
How to Build a Simple Garage Storage Loft?
Making a garage storage loft is not difficult and also does not take a long time. You just need to prepare it carefully and know the steps. To build a simple garage storage loft, you will need the following items:
- Wooden posts.
- Wooden boards.
- Plywood boards.
- Joist hangers and nails.
- Lag bolts.
- Bits, screwdriver, drill.
- Lumber screws.
- Post anchors (the size should be proportional to the wooden posts and boards).
Like any other DIY project, the first step is preparation. In this case, make sure that you have all the needed materials and tools. We don’t include the number and the size of the timber and lumber boards as the number, and the size will depend on your garage’s size as well as the loft’s size you are going to build.
Before you start the project, make sure that building a garage storage loft does not breach local laws. Also, make sure that the project will not harm the integrity of the garage and your house as a whole. This is important as there is no point in upgrading your house while at the same time harming the integrity of the garage and the house.
Measuring size properly is very important. Be sure that there is enough space left for your car in the garage. If you have a high ceiling, try to take advantage of it. If you have a short ceiling, make the most out of it.
Plan the Loft
To plan the loft, just use the posts. If required, you can also add supports to create a larger or wider loft. Leave enough space for each floor joist every 15 inches or so. Leave enough space for the boards along with the four directions of the loft.
By doing the above, it will be easier for you to measure the size of the lumber you will need to build a garage storage loft. Then, you can either purchase whole boards then cut them using a circular saw yourself or having them cut by the store at the size you want.
That is up to you to decide. If you are quite adept in cutting lumber and have the time to do it, then, by all means, do so. If not, having them cut is not a bad idea, either.
Secure the Boards
Next is securing the boards to the walls. How can you do it? Simple, using lag bolts. Screws lag bolts about 3 inches into the studs. Make sure that every wall stud is attached with aboard.
After you are done attaching boards to the wall studs, the next thing to do is attach the posts’ anchor using some wood. Screw these posts and secure them to their positions. Next, attach the ledger boards and screw each and every one of the boards on the wallboards and the support post placed on the floor.
Install the Joists
After you the boards are secured, the next step is to install the joists. Prepare your joists nails and joists hangers. Nail these hangers on the left and right sides of the frame. Make sure that they are attached firmly. Then, slide in the joists into these hangers. The floor supports you installed previously should be sturdy and firm enough to hold and support the loft.
Add the Flooring
The final step is to add the flooring into the loft. To do it, take the plywood boards and lay them over the joists. Before you screw and secure them, be sure that the boards are placed properly. You want a loft with firm and secure flooring, so do just that.
12 Steps On How to Create a Garage Loft
Build the Frame
Measure and mark a level line 3-1/2’ up from the floor along the back wall. Line up one of the 2” x 10”s on this line and screw it into the wall studs. Use the same process to line up and attach the side pieces to the support walls, remembering to drive screws into the studs. With three sides secured, nail the fourth 2” x 10” into the ends of the two side pieces.
Install Floor Joists
Measure and cut eight 2” x 8”s to fit snugly inside the rectangular frame (54-1/8″ for this project). Space the joists evenly and install them using metal joist hangers at the wall sides (Image 1) and nailing through the frame into the end of the joist on the other side (Image 2). If building a larger frame than used in this project, install more joists to make sure the floor has enough support.
Make Support Posts
Even with walls partially supporting the sides, the loft frame needs support. Measure and cut two 4″ x 4″ posts to the total height of the loft wall (from the floor to the top of the knee wall). Position one post inside the corner of the frame, make sure the frame is level, then mark the top and bottom of the frame on the post. Cut a notch in the post the same width and depth as the framing lumber so the post will fit flush against the frame.
Note: To notch the posts, use a hand saw or circular to make several cuts in the notch space, then remove the material with a chisel.
Install Support Posts
Position the posts on the inside of the frame and fit the notches over the frame. For this project, Karl positioned one post at the corner but installed the other three feet in from the corner to leave room for the stairs. Check for level and plumb, then install by driving screws through the frame into the post. These posts sit inside the frame and will not be visible in the completed loft.
Measure and Cut OSB
Measure and cut sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) to serve as the loft flooring. Install by nailing through the top of the OSB down into the joists and frame.
Build the Frame Extension
The frame for the curved part of the loft will consist of three 2” x 8”s, attached at an angle to give as much support as possible to the curve. The exact dimensions will depend on the size of the curve desired. For this project, the frame for the curve will extend 2 feet from the main loft frame. Measure and cut 2″ x 8″ lumber to the desired dimensions, mitring the edges of the boards. Nail the extension together.
Attach the Angled Extension
Position the angled frame on the front of the rectangular frame, flush with the top of the frame. Make sure the frame is level with the mainframe, then nail one end of the angled frame flush with the edge of the mainframe. Adjust the other end of the angled frame so that it’s flush with the mainframe, check for level, and nail in place. Measure the inside of the frame at both ends and adjust until it extends a uniform distance from the mainframe.
Add Corner Support Posts
Cut two 4″ x 4″ posts the same height as the top of the frame. Position them inside the front corners of the frame, check for level and plumb, and attach using screws.
Add Floor Joists
Measure and cut 2″ x 8″ lumber to fit snugly inside the angled frame. Fit the boards inside the frame and attach by nailing through the frame into the ends of the boards.
Add a Center Support Post
Use screws to attach a small piece of 2″ x 8″ lumber to the centre of the angled frame, keeping this board flush with the top of the frame. Position a 4″ x 4″ support post against this board and check for plumb. Nail through the post and into the board and frame. Attach the post by driving screws through the frame and board into the post.
Cut and Install the Floor
Fit sheets of OSB over the angled frame, nailing through the OSB into the frame. Notch one sheet of OSB to fit around the support post. Make sure the OSB extends far enough past the frame to create the curve.
Cut the curved floor. Draw the desired curve onto the OSB, making sure it extends past the curved loft frame. Cut out the curve with a jigsaw.
Prepare and Install the Plywood
Prepare plywood. Thoroughly soak the plywood with water to make it easier to bend. This project used two sheets of plywood—one each for the storage area and the knee wall.
8 Reasons Why You Want a Garage With a Loft
Are you using your garage for nothing more than storing your cars? Is there a lot of wasted space toward the ceiling? It sounds like you can use a garage with a loft!
Garage lofts are the perfect solution to many problems. Whether you don’t have enough space in your home, you’re not utilizing your garage, or you need more storage, then this article is perfect for you.
We’ll give you eight reasons why you’ll want a garage with a loft. By the time you’re done, you’ll see all of the benefits of a loft so you can get started on your next project.
Can Be Used As Storage
One of the primary uses of a loft is for storage. Since they’re raised above the ground floor of your garage, you’re essentially doubling the amount of space you have to store your belongings. Larger items such as bicycles and sports nets will be out of the way but still easy to access (check out this article on garage storage).
Add an Entirely New Room to Your Garage
Many homeowners are now creating garage living spaces. They allow the homeowner to have an extra living area. There are many ways you can use the new room in your garage, but we’ll go over the most common uses.
A garage bedroom is extremely common for families with many children. Rather than forcing them to share their personal space, one can move their belongings into the garage and have their own space. It’s usually one of the oldest kids because they’re ready for more responsibilities and would like more privacy.
If you work from home, then a garage office is a no brainer. It’ll help separate your home and work life and will give you peace and quiet during the workday. Plus, you won’t have the distractions of TV or other fun things staring you in the face. It’ll be used for work and only work.
Some homes don’t have a family room, meaning families don’t have many places to go and hang out with each other. That’s why some homeowners are turning their garage into a makeshift family room. Believe it or not, your garage family room might be larger than a traditional family room, and you’ll be able to fit other items such as a pool table or bar inside. The sky’s the limit!
Gives Your Garage a Unique Look
You might be worried about having a suspended room in your garage – it’ll detract from its physical appeal. In fact, it might be just plain ugly. We’re here to put those fears to rest.
Lofts actually look pretty cool! They’ll give your garage a unique aesthetic that you won’t get any other way. It’ll also attract friends and family as a fun place to hang out and is a great conversation starter.
Have a Garage Living Space and Park Your Cars in the Garage at the Same Time
If you planning on converting your garage into a living space, you might be wondering where you’re going to park your cars? With your garage being turned into a living room or bedroom, your vehicles will be left in the driveway or street. This could become a major pain when the snow starts falling and frost forms.
Having a garage loft completely negates that problem. Since the room will be suspended, you’ll be able to easily and safely park your cars underneath. It’s the perfect way to get everything you’ve ever wanted out of your garage.
We’ve already mentioned some ways having a garage with a loft will give you more privacy. Since the room is out of the house and away from all commotion, a garage with a loft is the perfect place to get away and do what you’d like.
The privacy also allows you to have multiple families living in the same home. Let’s say the child of the homeowners sold their home and is looking for a new one. They’ll have somewhere to go and call their own while they’re searching.
Keep Valuables Away From Your Cars
You might be using your garage as storage in addition to parking your cars. While you’re getting the most out of your garage, your belongings are also at risk of being hit. Sometimes it’s hard to see over the hood and one wrong move can result in breaking or damaging something that’s valuable or even irreplaceable.
All of these fears can be resolved with a garage loft. If everything is stored above your car, they’re not at risk of being hit or damaged.
Improves Your Home Value
With all of these benefits a garage loft provides, it makes sense that it’ll also improve the value of your home. A garage with a loft is highly sought after, especially by larger families. They’ll spend a little extra to have that convenience and extra space.
Prevents You From Needing to Upsize
If you have a growing family but don’t want to move out of your home just yet, don’t worry. A garage with a loft will give you a little extra time before you have to upsize.
You can turn your office or spare bedroom into the babies room and use your garage loft as a makeshift extra room. It will also give you and your guests more privacy. It’s a win-win situation