Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + #2: Converting Wasted Garage Space into a Storage Attic with Hyloft Racks

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Blog entry by CaptainKlutz posted 11-30-2019 04:50 AM 1191 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Oh No! Forced to Move, and Set Up Another Work Shop! Part 2 of Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + series Part 3: Adding Wood Storage to Garage! »

Welcome back! :-)

Several weeks ago I added Hyloft storage racks to my garage ceiling. Find these to be great use for that empty space above garage doors. Have been using the same racks for 10+ years in 4 different garages since I bought my 1st couple. I currently own (5) of the 45×45 sized racks total.

My newest garage was a challenge to install the racks for two reasons.

1) Only have 9’ ceiling, and with 7’ garage door; only leaves ~18” of available space. Fortunately, our families attic storage items (Easter, Halloween, Christmas decorations, camping stuff, etc) are mostly in plastic totes that are all ~14-16” tall. :-) So the space is just enough to get job done, even if only stacked one high.

2) The garage ceiling has ‘hip’ roof line. The front of garage extends out past the main house. This creates rafters running in two different directions, which is total PIA to figure out from bottom. Luckily, was able to see into far reaches of garage in attic and figured this out before I spent hours with stud finder, finding nothing in right place. :-(

The racks are easy to install:
Find studs, find studs in proper orientation and distance apart, drill some pilot holes, screw in lag bolts, assemble racks on hangers, then test for interference and strength.

I test the rack installation strength by hanging my 260lb mass on the bars after installation, despite they are only rated for 250lbs. LOL

The interference test is trickier. Have to slowly open/close the garage door to make sure nothing hits.
Like everything else in a Klutz life, I had interference issues. Found out the garage door installer had added several inches of ramp to door track in back. So I ended up having to make a longer piece of angle iron to move the track down a couple inches down, or it hit the Hyloft racks. While I making measurements, also realized the ceiling is not level to floor (floor as large slope outward for drainage). So I had to pick a length that gave enough clearance for racks to door, but didn’t allow the track to create an uphill movement for door when closing.

This is the result with 2 racks hung.

You will notice that I ran the end of rack out past the top of garage door on side. There is only 14” there, and that space is usually wasted also.

Here are 3 racks install on one side of 16’ door with electric door opener, and bunch of junk moved off the floor and into the newly created attic!

While I making garage improvements, I temporarily installed a 4’ flourescent light to bottom of the last rack, as it was hanging just past the end of garage door when opened. :-)

Now have more light in garage, and a bunch of stuff off the garage floor and out of way.

Several days after getting storage added to the left side of ceiling, worked on right hand side. Install (2) of the original Hyloft black racks. They use a more robust 2 lag bolt hanger, heavier gauge metal, and are black hammer tone finish. They are still only rated for 250lbs per rack.
This was result:

That rack happens to be half empty right now, as all the Christmas boxes are in the house for the after Thanksgiving decoration activities. :-)

Each one of the 45×45 racks holds ~6 plastic totes. The new attic storage has space for 30 boxes of family junk.

The only caution I would add about this glorious attic idea. Were a dust mask when you pull boxes down from racks! Wood/metal dust always finds a way up there, and it’s easy to get a face full of YUK if you forget.

Thanks for reading!

Next project: Wood Storage!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

2 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


6548 posts in 2766 days

#1 posted 11-30-2019 10:28 AM

When I built garage storage for No 1 son I had the same panel lift door clearance issues to consider.

-- Regards Rob

View Jerry's profile


3281 posts in 2210 days

#2 posted 11-30-2019 06:53 PM

Well, I came from just the opposite situation, my former shop/garage was just 20×10 x 8. Three years ago we moved into our first house and the garage here is 20×20 x 9. Still smaller by 36 square feet than what you’re working with.

This is how I’ve got my shop/garage arranged. Maybe these pictures can serve to give you some layout ideas.


-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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