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How To Install Overhead Garage Storage

The garage is a place to store all kinds of stuff, ranging from large vehicles to small appliances and tools. Storage thus becomes an important matter when it comes to renovating or remodelling your garage. Storage units can be placed on almost every part of your garage.

You can use traditional floor cabinets, pegboard and floating cabinets on your garage wall, and tall racks, shelves and cabinets on the corners of the garage. Even the ceiling of your garage can be exploited for storage purposes. Overhead garage storage that is mounted on your garage ceiling is undoubtedly excellent for expanding the storage function of your garage.

Installing overhead garage storage is a great way to gain storage space while sacrificing zero floor space. However, mounting the structure to the ceiling of your garage can be tricky, so you’ll want to make sure you’re carefully laying out your project. Are you getting frustrated by your clutter and garage organisation? Here at Garage Storage Solutions, we offer extensive professional organising and declutter service.

Reasons To Install

There are many reasons why you should mount an overhead garage storage unit on your garage ceiling.

Freeing Up Floor Space

Many homeowners prefer to keep the floor of their garage free of clutters. They need ample floor space to park their cars and smaller vehicles, including motorcycles and bikes. Using ceiling and walls to accommodate storage units is a great way to keep the floor clutter-free.

Easier Access To Stored Stuff

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Believe it or not, objects stored in overhead garage racks and shelves are easier to access than those held on the floor. If you keep stuff on the floor, you will end up stacking objects over objects and cardboards until it becomes tedious for you to find a specific thing. Stacking is not possible on overhead garage storage, making it easier to access stuff stored there.

Safer For And Securer From Children And Pets

No child and pet can reach your overhead garage storage. If you store in your garage stuff that you don’t want your children and pets to touch and the one dangerous for them, overhead garage storage can be the best place to store it because it is always beyond their reach.

Larger Than Wall And Floor Cabinets

Overhead garage storage can be larger than other kinds of storage that you have in your garage. The rack occupies a large portion of the ceiling, whose space is as ample as the floors. If you can organise your ceiling-mounted storage properly, you may not need to use bed and wall-mounted cabinets at all.


Water and moisture mostly accumulate near the floor. If you worry about mould and mildew infestation as well as tool damage caused by water, you should store your stuff over your head. Overhead garage storage not only protects your things from moisture but also from the flood when it occurs.

Precautions Before Installing Overhead Garage Storage

Although there are many benefits that you can reap from installing overhead garage storage, there are also some risks associated with it that you have to beware of. Here are some precautions that you should mind before you install overhead garage storage.

Safety First

There is a large selection of overhead garage storage products that you can buy from home accessories shops. This kind of storage can be a DIY project. Either way, you need to make sure that you can install the storage unit safely and securely. Even minor errors like loose bolts may cause expensive and even lethal accidents.

Weight Limit

You cannot store all of your stuff on your ceiling. If there are too many or too heavy objects stored in your overhead garage storage, the storage unit may not be able to bear the weight, and a severe accident may occur. When you buy an overhead garage storage kit ready to install, you will get information about its weight limit to understand how far the storage unit can go.

Harder Installation

Due to gravity and height, installing a ceiling-mounted rack might be more complex than installing floor and wall cabinets. Therefore, installing alone might not be the best idea, and you will end up asking a partner to help you install the storage unit.

If you are unsure whether you can accomplish the job yourself and guarantee your overhead garage storage safety, you should hire a professional.

Although hiring professional costs your money, the expense can be considered a valuable investment that gives you peace in mind because you don’t need to worry about the safety, security and reliability of your overhead garage storage.

Factors To Consider When Installing Garage Storage

If you are ready to install overhead garage storage, here are some essential factors to mind to make sure that the storage that you are going to install is the best for you and your garage

Storage Type

There are various types of storage units that you can mount on your ceiling. For example, a storage unit is mounted right above your vehicles, a storage unit above your car’s hood, and a storage unit over your garage door. You can install all of them if you want, but you certainly need to look into your garage structure and, especially, its door mechanism.

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Storage Size

The size of an overhead garage storage unit ranges from 2 x 2 feet to 8 x 4 feet. Larger storage units are also available depending on who sells the team. You may need to measure the approximate amount of storage space that you need in your garage and the budget you can prepare to buy the unit. Purchasing a modular unit is a good idea because adding more units later can make a single unified system.

The Drop

The drop is the distance between the ceiling and the base of the rack. The fall may range from 10 inches to about 50 inches. You should measure the height of your garage ceiling to make sure that your overhead garage storage has a drop that offers enough clearance for you and your vehicles.


Lastly, there are several accessories that you can add to your overhead garage storage project to improve their function and safety. When shopping, you may want to check accessories like sport utility hooks, rail hooks, deck hooks, and safety nets. They will make your overhead garage storage safer and more reliable.

Overhead Garage Storage Ideas

These garage storage ideas will help you get rid of anything you don’t need.

Where To Put Overhead Garage Storage?

It might sound funny even to wonder where to install your overhead garage storage, but you’ll be surprised to learn the answer. 

Some companies offer greater versatility levels than others, bringing fully customisable garage storage racks that you can fit into your space.

Typically, a top-notch garage shelving company will provide you with the following options:

Installation on the ceiling: This is a default choice for overhead garage storage racks because they allow you to use your garage storage space to the fullest. Frames will be securely adjusted to the ceiling, allowing you to keep your belongings out of the way.

Mounting on a wall: Another possible option is to have your overhead garage racks mounted on a garage wall. Whether you’ll choose this option is entirely up to you and your preferences.

Customising layouts: Whether your garage has an unusual shape or you want to try a distinct form, the best garage storage installation pros will bring you personalised solutions.

What You’ll Need 

  • Five hanger boards 1-1⁄2 in. × 3-1⁄2 in. × 30 in. 
  • Five joists 11⁄2 in. × 3-1⁄2 in. × 45-1⁄8 in.
  • One floor 3⁄4 in. × 4 ft. × 8 ft. CDX plywood
  • One ledger 1-1⁄2 in. × 3-1⁄2 in. × 8 ft.
  • One front joist 11⁄2 in. × 3-1⁄2 in. × 8 ft.
  • One ceiling cleat 1-1⁄2 in. × 3-1⁄2 in. × 8 ft.


  • 12 lag screws, 1/4 in. dia. x 3 in 
  • 2-1/2 in. all-purpose screws
  • 17 L-angles for 2×4 construction
  • 6 joist hangers for 2x4s
  • 1-1/2 in. joist hanger nails
  • 1-1/4 in. all-purpose screws

Lay Out Joists And Hangar Board Positions

Clamp three 8-ft. 2x4s together edges up and ends flush. Starting from your left, measure and strike lines at 23-1/4 in., 47-1/4 in., and 71-1/4 in. Make an X to the right of each line. On two boards, extend the lines and Xs on the face; label these boards as the ledger and the front joists. Next, open the lines to the other beginning of the front post. Label the third board as the ceiling cleat.

Lay Out The Ledger

Use a 4-ft. level and carpenter pencil to draw an 8-ft. -long level line along the wall 30 in. from the ceiling.

Find The Studs Along The Line

If your garage isn’t painted, you can quickly identify stud locations by the vertical rows of nails or screws. Otherwise, use a stud sensor to mark where your layout line crosses each stud.

Position The Ledger

With a helper holding one end, align the ledger’s bottom to the layout line with the X marks to your left. Drive 2-1/2-in. Screw through the log into the stud closest to the one end of the board. Check for level, and then drive a screw into the stud most comparable to the other end. Garage Storage Solutions features an innovative wall storage system with heavy-duty sliding wall components such as hooks, garage shelving and stylish, durable steel cabinets designed to hold your gear securely and neatly in place.

Secure The Ledger 

Predrill and install one lag screw with washer into each stud along the length of the ledger. If a screw falls over an X, you’ll need to counterbore the screw hole so the screw head will be below the surface where it won’t interfere with the joist. Make the counterbore with a 3/4-in. Spade a bit, then predrill the screw hole through the counterbore.

Lay Out The Ceiling Cleat

Use a 4-ft. level to make a plumb mark on the ceiling above each end of the ledger. Next, use a framing square to create a line on the ceiling square to each end. Then use a chalk line to extend these lines 48-1/8 in. from each end. (That extra 1/8in. will make it easier to slide the plywood floor into place.) Next, snap a line parallel to the wall between the ends of the two lines. Finally, use a stud finder to mark where the line crosses joists in the ceiling.

This project assumes that the ceiling joists in your garage run perpendicular to the ceiling cleat. If the posts run parallel to the cleat, you have two choices: You can adjust the width of the storage unit to the nearest joist. Or you can make five 2×4 cross-cleats to span two joists. Use 3-in. lag screws to attach the cross-cleats through the ceiling into the posts. Then lag-screw the ceiling cleat to the cross-cleats.

Install The Ceiling Cleat

With a helper, align the ceiling cleat to the inside of the line, with the Xs to your right as you face the wall. Hold the cleat in place with a screw into a joist at each end. Predrill, and then install one lag screw into each post. 

Cut And Install The Hanger Boards

Using a circular saw or power mitre saw, cut the five hanger boards to length. Position each along its layout line, covering the X and butting into the ceiling, then attach it to the cleat with a 2-1/2-in. Screw. Check for plumb, and then add a second screw.

Install L-angles Where Cleat Meets Hangers

Use an L-angle with 1-1/4-in. Screws to attach the back face of each hanger board to the bottom of the ceiling cleat.

Install The Joist Hangers

They are using 1-1/2-in. Joist hanger nails, use a hammer to install three joist hangers on the ledger and three on the front joists positioned so the joist ends will cover the X at the three inner layout lines. It’s essential to install the hangers before installing the front beam because the hanger boards are not yet stable enough to hammer against. Use a scrap of 2×4 as shown to make sure the hangers are correctly positioned.

Install The Outer L-angles

Strike a line 1-1/2 in. from each end of the ledger (the thickness of each joist) and the front post. Next, install an L-angle at each of the catalogue and the front beam.

Position The Front Joist

With a helper, align both ends of the front joist to the bottom outside edges of the outermost hanger joists and then clamp the post in place.

Attach The Front Joist

Clamp the front joist to another hanger board. Check that the front post is level and then connect with four 2-1/2 in screws. Again, clamp and then screw each connection.

Install The Joists

Cut the five joists to 45-1/8 in. long. Then slip three of the joists into their joist hangers and secure them by hammering 1-1/2-in—joist hanger nails into the angled hole on each side of each joist hanger. Next, put the outer joists against the L-angles and secure them with 1-1/4 in. screws.

Install The Remaining L-angles

Use L-angles and 1-1/4 in. screws to secure each side of each hanger board to the front joist.

Install The Floor

Put the plywood in place, climb aboard, and snap lines to locate the joists below at 24 in., 48 in., and 72 in. Secure the plywood with 1-1/4-in. Screws about every 12 in. in to the ledger, front joist and joists. 

Products To Maximise Your Overhead Garage Storage

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Use A Net

Create additional overhead garage storage space by hanging a cargo net from the ceiling and storing oddly shaped sporting goods or seasonal decor. You can store lightweight items that would otherwise take up floor space. 

No Ladders Needed With A Garage Ceiling Storage Lift

There is no need for a ladder to bring the storage down to you with a ceiling storage lift. This ceiling storage lift by Racor is perfect for storing bulky items that would typically take up floor space like outdoor furniture, boxes and totes.

Go Basic

Nothing is more versatile and cost-effective than bare coated garage hooks for garage ideas. Screw-in hooks to rafters or ceiling beams to hang anything from bikes to tools — make sure to install correctly and not exceed load recommendations.

Garage Storage Lift Systems: Pulleys Ease The Pain

If you own a heavy bike or lack the strength to lift it over your head, try a ceiling-mounted pulley system and let physics ease the effort. 

Spring-to-action Claws

Use spring action to grab your bike by mounting a claw-style bike hook on your garage ceiling or rafters. This hook, made by Gladiator, is available at Home Depot.

Ceiling-mounted Shelves

Add a simple shelf for additional overhead garage storage with an adjustable height ceiling storage rack. 

Mix-match Heights

No two garages are the same, so choose a ceiling storage rack with adjustable heights to fit your needs or garage space. Hang a shallow rack above the open garage door and deeper shelf where your garage door track stops to maximise your vertical space.

Try A Sling

Hang slings from the ceiling to store long, narrow sporting equipment like kayaks, canoes, paddleboards or skis against a wall and off the ground. See the one item that will protect the roof of your car when you haul your kayak.

Access The Attic

Install a pull-down attic ladder to better access the attic or overhead garage storage. When not in use, it folds back up and out of the way. But before you add extra weight to your trusses, make sure they’re rated for storage.

Stay Away From Cardboard

Ditch the cardboard boxes and store your overhead garage storage items in heavy-duty latching totes. These will keep moisture, bugs, and pests out better than cardboard and can be labelled with duct tape and a sharpie for easy identification.

Canvas Storage Bags Protect Decorations

Protect bulky seasonal decorations like artificial trees and wreaths from garage dust and dirt by storing them in canvas storage bags—Tuck a dryer sheet in before zipping to deter insects and critters.

Try Attic-decking Panels

To maximise the overhead garage storage space above garage rafters, install attic decking panels to create a usable and accessible surface for storage. Before you start this project, though, consult a knowledgeable building professional to make sure your rafters are rated for the extra loads.

Add A Hook

Maximise the overhead garage storage space under your garage doors by adding to your existing garage door track with J-style hooks. Hang long items like ladders, yard tools, even a few spare pieces of 2×4.

Drop Shelves

Use a couple of 2x4s and a pair of 2-way adjustable hooks to create dropped shelving. These brackets can hold 50 lbs. each, so it’s best to use them for lighter loads.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the best ways to maximise your overhead garage storage. 

If you’re looking for a way to store those items that don’t have a prominent home or want some clever ideas for organising things in tight spaces, then we think these tips are perfect! 

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to organising and storing stuff around the house — so get creative with what works for you. 

Be sure to follow our guidelines below if you plan on installing any of these solutions yourself as well. Can I find garage storage cabinets to match my style? Absolutely! Even the cabinets in the garage should reflect your unique tastes and style. Garage Storage Solutions offers stylish storage in a variety of materials and finishes.

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