create extra storage in the ceiling

Which Garage Renovation To Create Extra Storage In The Ceiling?

Storage solutions often have to be creative. Ceiling space can be a great option, but accessing it can be problematic – you don’t want to get the ladder every time there is a change of season, and it’s time to get the summer (or winter) duvets out. 

One homeowner came up with an ingenious concept for creating a storage space garage attic ceiling, and the good people at Refresh Renovations turned her bright idea into reality.

As the weather warms up, many homeowners begin to think about springtime home renovations. If you're looking for some extra storage space, one option to consider is renovating your garage. But with so many different garage renovation options available, it can be tough to decide which one to choose. 

In this blog post, we'll explore two popular garage renovation options – creating extra storage in the ceiling or adding a new floor. We'll discuss the pros and cons of each option and help you decide which one is right for you. So read on to learn more about these two exciting garage renovation options!

FAQs About Garage Renovation

According to the IRC, the minimum live load capacity of a roof truss for non-sleeping areas should be around 40 pounds per square foot. Again, if it's built for sleeping areas, it should be around 30 pounds per square foot.

To answer your question, the garage attic is not a good area for storage. First, a truss, a manufactured roof system, is designed to support the roofing above and the ceiling below. If the attic is to be used for storage, the truss would have to be designed for the additional weight.

Here's what you'll need to do:


  • Create an access point. Cut a square out of your garage ceiling to serve as your garage attic access point. Purchase an attic ladder to attach to this access point, following the instructions for installation.
  • Install floorboards. To ensure that your garage attic is safe enough for storing items and walking around, you’ll need to install floorboards. You can do this by nailing pieces of plywood side-by-side over the floor joists.
  • Ventilate. If your garage attic isn’t properly ventilated, you risk your items becoming damaged by mould. Ventilating your space could consist of anything from installing vents to placing attic fans in problem areas.

Depending on what you have, the ceiling on your garage can hold a lot of weight. Your garage ceiling can hold three to four tons. For example, if you have a metal roof that can handle a 2,000-pound weight limit, you have a capacity of three tons.

As long as they are not damaged, the joists should be strong enough to allow you to move around in the attic for an inspection and to provide storage for typical boxed items. But they may not be adequate to support the weight of multiple people, furniture, and heavy stored items.

A Quick Renovation To Create Extra Storage Space In The Ceiling Of A Garage

Attic Renovation Cost

When Cushla Williams contacted Refresh Renovations Hawke's Bay with her requirements (lining an attic space in her garage to allow for more storage and installing a ladder system to enable her to access the space easily), they came up with a quote that wouldn’t break the bank.

“The budget that we gave her was $1740 for six to eight hours’ work,” says the renovation specialist. “We were able to stick with this budget, with me coming in to assist the clean-up in the last hour.”

The job was undertaken by one of the builders that the renovation consultants worked with regularly, and there were only a few small hurdles to overcome. The main obstacle was related to the fact that people had walked on the timber in the attic space, loosening the ceiling timber in the process.

Overcoming Obstacles

The trusses had become separated from the timber, and the nails were no longer securing the ceiling in place. The builder had to re-secure the timber, which was an unexpected addition to the workload, but only added an extra half hour to the job.

The second obstacle was working out the logistics of securing a heavy ladder in place with just one person without causing damage to life and limb. The pull-down ladder system came from Mitre 10 – these useful attic accessories retail for as little as $190 and are very cost-effective.

The builder opted to use a fibreboard lifter operated by cranking pistons. 

With this device, he could haul the ladder up to the attic hole (which he had already framed) before heading upwards to finish the job. With the ladder in the right place, he secured the top of it with cleats before then attached it with screws.

The wood used on the attic floors has been laid with the support of trusses that float above the insulation and is secured with short nails. This means that it is easy for electricians to access the wires, but more importantly, it allows the previously unutilised area to be used as storage space.

10 Helpful Tips To Maximise Your Garage Space

Aside from housing your car, your garage is one of the most useful parts of the home. Although homeowners don’t give much attention or credit to garages, these are important in storing your tools and other seasonal items in the home. Others might also store tons of other stuff in the garage.

It is a very convenient space for keeping items since you can stash anything there while keeping it out of your guests’ prying eyes. However, doing so might lead to a messy garage with only a little space left for your car.

If you’re struggling to keep your garage organised and clean, here are tips to maximise space while keeping everything in order:

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Build Garage Cabinets

If your garage still does not have any form of cabinetry and you’re storing items in boxes on the floor, then it’s high time you build garage cabinets. These are a must for every garage. Having a formal storage cabinet will help in keeping your garage organised.

Install Wall Organisers

Your walls are great for space-saving. Don’t just think about cabinets. You can also hang items on your walls by using hooks. This removes clutter on the floor while keeping everything visible.

Add Overhead Or Ceiling Storage.

When you no longer have wall space, use your ceiling. Use ceiling-mounted racks for additional overhead storage. This is the perfect way of storing seasonal items and keeping the eye-level areas in your garage clean and clutter-free. Just make sure that you’re using sturdy racks or have a safety net placed under them if you’re in an earthquake-prone area.

Create A Folding Workbench

If you or your family uses the garage for crafting or as a workshop, making a folding workbench can save space. Opt for those that are wall-mounted and can be folded after every use. It will look like you didn’t even use that after. This collapsible workstation is easy to build and install.

Get Magnetic Boards For The Small Parts.

If you’re the type who frequently loses nuts and bolts, then a magnetic board will save you. Just have small steel, and metal parts magnetise to the board, especially when working on something. You can also use this to keep little things organised and prevent them from getting lost in the garage.

Go Mobile With Work Areas.

Another idea to save on space is building a work area with wheels. Just being able to go mobile while working on your crafts or DIY projects will make things easier. You don’t have to be stuck in a corner. You can also double this mobile working table as storage for keeping your most-used tools.

Upgrade To Adjustable Shelving

If you have seasonal items in your garage, like decorations and clothes, then having adjustable shelving lets you move around your storage boxes as needed. One idea is to install open wall shelves with wooden strips. You can place items inside large plastic containers that you can move around.

Install Pegboards And Hooks

Always use up your wall space to maximise space. Storage spaces that use up the floor will always make your garage feel full and messy. Keep rakes and other tools in place with a pegboard. You can go large depending on your needs.

Tie And Keep Wires In One Place

If you have a ton of wires lying around in your garage, this can add to a cluttered look in your garage. Tie your wires with zip ties or with a paperclip. Keep everything together in one drawer, so you only have to search for a specific wire at a certain place. 

Power tools that are rarely used can be kept in your most inaccessible storage. Since these also tend to take the largest space in your garage, you can keep them hidden for long.

Don’t be afraid to be creative when thinking about your storage solutions and maximising your garage space. Use your creativity in keeping your garage organised and in maximising your space. Aside from following these tips above, think outside the box. 

Think of other ways or things that you can do to save up space that fits with your style and preferences. Find what works for you, and you will be happy with your newly decorated and clean garage.

Garage Storage Ideas To Create A Place For Everything

Great garage storage ideas are essential to make the most of this space. Ladders, tools, bikes, sports gear, gardening supplies, lawnmowers and more – along with your vehicles – can be stashed in the garage with the right solutions.

But it’s not just a question of finding a home for all your items: they also need to be easy to locate and grab, whether we’re talking outdoor power equipment, hand tools, or holiday decorations, making a range of appropriate storage options vital to optimise the garage.

Garage Storage Ideas That Are Cool And Functional

It can be made part of your home with a garage conversion, but if yours is a place to keep a whole host of DIY equipment and outdoor stuff along with the excess from the house, you’ll find top storage ideas here, along with advice from the experts.

Before you begin, take time to assess what’s in the garage. ‘Be sure it’s something you use or want to save for the future,’ advises Sarah Dunn of Getting it Dunn professional organising. ‘Be discerning when decluttering because it’s always easier to organise when you own fewer things.

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Build A Holds-Everything Garage Storage Wall

Get everything up off the floor with floor-to-ceiling shelving. Open garage storage systems (using moveable brackets on fixed runners) can store everything you need and maximise every last inch of space. The Home Depot has some great garage shelving to shop.

This garage shelving system from Elfa includes different types of storage for hanging, stacking and hiding things away. It also offers a pegboard-style wall panel to hold all manner of objects.

Line Garage Walls With Tool Racks

We've all seen the Chaplin-esque comedy sketches of people stepping on rakes, and leaving long-handled tools like brooms lying around will invite this kind of trip hazard. So copy this garage storage idea and get tools up off the floor with a garden storage rack. You can also find smaller versions for screwdrivers, hammers and chisels to save you from rummaging in drawers of sharp tools.

Look For Garage Storage Ideas That Clear The Floor

Garage storage on a ceiling can come in many forms, but all options save valuable floor space, leaving room for vehicles. A hoist is a great bike storage idea, and this version uses a pulley system to lift and lower items efficiently. It could also be used for kayaks.

Use the walls for other larger items that need to go in the garage. ‘Install heavy-duty hooks in the wall to hang things like ladders, bikes, chairs, and wreath bins, so these items don't clutter the floor,’ says Sarah Dunn.

Smarten Up Your Garage Storage With Stylish Shelving

Even if you use your garage as a dusty workshop, there is no reason why it can't look great with the addition of some simple garage storage systems to help you get organised. If you spend a lot of time there – perhaps making furniture or restoring a beloved sports car – you should make the space as appealing and welcoming as possible.

This garage storage idea from String at Skandium features open shelves for items you need to grab in a hurry, glass door cabinets for prized possessions and closed cupboards for hiding odds and ends. 

Use Pegboard For Smaller Garage Necessities

A pegboard is one of the most versatile garage storage solutions and is perfectly suited to the wide range of things we need to store in our garages. Use one with hooks to hang your best paint brushes, rollers and cleaning paraphernalia, or add pegs to suspend garden tools or brooms. You can also easily add small shelves to them.

Make Shelf Brackets Multitask

To make the most of a set of garden shelves, opt for brackets to hold some of your essentials. You can hang hoses and power tools from the brackets or thread garden tools to be supported at either end.

Find Fixings Fast With Multi Drawers

While finding a spot for all the large, bulky tools and sports gear, don't overlook all the little bits and bobs that need somewhere to live. Never be scrabbling around for a bolt, screw or nail again with this clever garage storage idea from The Container Store. 

The four drawer storage chest has dividers to make the spaces within even smaller, as needed, plus it has a handle so that you can carry it from room to room. 

Create A Garage Workshop With Fitted Cabinets

If you use your garage a lot, think about designing it similarly to your kitchen. And to put an efficient garage storage system in place, you will need cabinets for storage, countertops and, of course, a sink for washing your hands, dirty paintbrushes and tools. 

One option is to use a kitchen designer. Still, a specialist garage storage company will be able to supply drawers that are strong enough and appropriately sized for tools and hardware.

Pack And Pile Storage Boxes With This Simple Garage Storage Idea

Keep everything from tools to out-of-season clothes dust-free but visible in a set of clear storage boxes or bins. ‘Group like with like and assign it to a bin,’ advises Sarah Dunn. ‘For example, all car cleaning products go into one bin, all gardening supplies in another.’

Bins can either be stacked on shelves or in a corner out of the way. They will also protect your possessions from mould spores and potential damage from pests, such as moths or mice. Clear boxes like these versions from The Container Store are great, so you can see what is stored in each, while if you use opaque ones, label them clearly.

The Samla range from Ikea comes in eight different sizes (from five to 130 litres) but allows for easy stacking. Lids are sold separately as clips to keep the lids in place (although these aren't necessary unless you have a habit of cramming the boxes to the brim). You can also buy a tray insert with two compartments, perfect for organising things within the boxes.

Quick, No-Fit Garden Storage Ideas? Get Garage Racking

Versatile, hardwearing and affordable – there are many reasons why racking is a popular garage storage idea. You can fill the entire rear wall of a single garage with racks at low cost, then add small drawer units, toolboxes and storage bins for a varied and inexpensive solution to all your storage needs.

Find Sports Gear Storage Solutions For Your Garage

Piling sports gear in a cupboard is not the best way to look after it. Fortunately, there are plenty of specially designed options for your sporting needs, such as this board rack from The Container Store. It safely supports up to three boards and has handy holes for suspending bags or helmets. It's a good storage solution for kids' scooters, too.

Or build a sports storage wall to your exact requirements with this solution from Elfa.

Save Space With Overhead Garage Storage Ideas

Your car dominates the garage, and cabinets take up what little space is left, so it might feel like there isn't much room for anything else. But – look up and think again. Overhead racks, suspended from the ceiling, offer another area to stow things away. Just make sure they don't interfere with your up-and-over door. 

They are better suited to lighter items to avoid the risks of lifting anything heavy over your head or up a ladder or use them to support longer items that have no place on the ground (planks of wood, skis or boat oars).

Get Organised With Sturdy Shelving 

The key to good garage storage is shelving, and don’t opt for flimsy racking. It needs to be tough and sturdy to withstand all manner of items. 

Ikea’s BROR range is easy to assemble and robust. It can cope with all temperatures, it won’t warp, and it can hold a load double that of a standard shelf.

Invest In A Workbench 

Workbenches are a good asset for any garage if you love doing DIY. Even if your garage is on the slim side, you should be able to source one narrow enough to fit with one of the walls. Look for sturdiness, too. DIY benches need to withstand weight, and centre bracing is key. 

Hang Storage High 

As we’ve mentioned before, keeping the floor space of your garage free is key as you don’t want to be tripping over things or running them over when you drive your car in. The solution? Opt for specialised racks that create horizontal yard tool storage to optimise space and keep essentials out of the way. 

How Can I Organise My Garage Cheaply?

To organise your garage cheaply, opt for open shelving, which is an affordable way to use the space around the walls. Take a look at plastic boxes with secure lids, too, as these are a low-cost choice. 

Before you invest, though, assess what you need to store. ‘The first step to a DIY garage organisation would be to take a day off,’ says Sandy Magura of Foundation Organizing. ‘Then gather trash bags and empty boxes and bins. 

Begin to throw out what is trash and grab anything you may want to sell or donate. Take that out of the garage. The next step is to spread out some empty boxes and bins and whatever you are keeping and categorise all like items together.’ 

Once you’ve been through this process, you’ll know how much storage you need and won’t overspend.

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