Over the garage door lofts

  • Advertise with us
Project by DavedA posted 11-04-2016 02:12 AM 1666 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We just hit a one year mark in our new home, and our garage, and half our house still isn’t organized and unpacked. Aside from all the other excuses, the biggest reason is because we moved in with a baby almost ready to debut, so many things took a backseat to preparing for that.

Now that things are starting to settle down in our new home, I finally got some time to start organizing the garage, while cataloging things to get rid of. Coming from a house with a basement and detached garage/workshop, to a house without any of that means space is a premium. I saw all these pictures and guides online of people adding storage shelves above their garage doors, so I decided to take a crack at a design and build my own.

The work I have done so far, since being married, has all been small, so I only have a Skill Miter Saw and Skill portable Table Saw to work with for this. Upgrades are on the way, but I did get it done. Because of interruptions – bought too few screws, and 1 too few 2×4s, and I have 2 kids – this took me 2 days.

To start, I modeled up a rendering of what I wanted to do in Sketchup ( I almost graduated trade school with a degree in CAD using Autocad, so I am a bit partial to modeling things up before I build. Also, the learning curve on this application wasn’t too bad with my background, so it made it fun. The rendered model is to scale, including the ceiling joists, so I could really mock up placement of everything.

After doing that, I sourced building lumber from my local big box. Each loft is 8×6, so I used 3 sheets of OSB, with one ripped in half. I used Simpson Strong-Tie hangers for the joists, and some angle brackets for the frame board. I cut all my boards to measurements in the model and did a dry fit outside. I also secured the joist hangers and angle brackets during this test fit. Because I wanted to recess the OSB by around 1/8”, I ripped the joists to just longer than the hangers, and secured the hangers a little lower than the frame boards. I also cut 5” cleats to secure along the wide edges of the frame to support the OSB.

2 sides of each platform are secured to the walls using SPAX Power Lags, as are the 2 long and 2 short ceiling cleats. These Power Lags are pretty sweet, by the way, and make this work so much easier for one person to do. The vertical supports are screwed to the cleats and platforms using SPAX construction screws because of their rated sheer strength. I also went a little overboard and bought the Simpson SD screws, because I installed things at night, in the garage, with kids sleeping inside, so hammering nails would have been a bit loud, and because it was just SOOOoooo easy.

The ceiling in the garage is below a bonus room, so it’s pretty solid. We also had this house built, so I have seen the framing, and know what the ceiling joists are capable of handling, and have no worries about the strength of these long term.

Because I stopped with space between the platforms for the garage door opener, I have easy access to the entire space, except the corner where the walls meet. However, I have climbed up on this, and I ended up hanging from it when the ladder knocked out from under me a bit, so I know it will hold me. I also had a couple friends , who are bigger, hang from it with no flex.

Next up is to build some smaller perimeter shelves, a work bench, and some cabinets, to create my space.

4 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


10111 posts in 3047 days

#1 posted 11-04-2016 02:41 AM

You sure will open up a lot of space with this. Slowly but surely is the way to go. Nice build and good luck on your future shop.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Mork's profile


307 posts in 3779 days

#2 posted 11-06-2016 04:51 AM

Very cool! I have a few ideas on the storage subject also… probably need to post them.

Man Sketchup is fantastic! I’m been using it maybe 5 or 6 years. I’m impressed you took the time to put in the garage door tracks and details. I have a question, do you think Sketchup is more user friendly than Autocad? Obviously autocad has more options but I have found Sketchup does about everything I need.

View DavedA's profile


64 posts in 1574 days

#3 posted 11-07-2016 02:43 AM

I think Sketchup is easier to jump into quickly than Autocad. I think Autocad is more robust, and complete, to work with if you are drafting house plans, or if you need complete solutions for mechanical or architectural drawings, but for quick models of projects or ideas, I like Sketchup. I have almost a dozen models for future projects I will be building. Before we lost our dog, I was trying to come up with a way to create storage for her stuff combined with a feeding and watering station. I modeled something up on my laptop on a 45 minute flight with about 3 different variations. To do the same in Autocad would have taken much longer.

View DavedA's profile


64 posts in 1574 days

#4 posted 11-07-2016 02:46 AM

Oh, and the garage with rails was actually a complete Component available for Sketchup through their community. It just happens to match mine exactly, minus my windows. I just moved it into the correct position, and cleaned up a few elements off the drawing that were excessive compared to mine, which just made it easier to look at. But I didn’t take all the time to draw up the door with rails. I look for existing components when it comes to those things.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics