Over Garage Door Storage

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Introduction: Over Garage Door Storage

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human t…

I had seen this somewhere before. It is simply some "tracks" screwed onto the ceiling that allow plastic storage totes to slide into them and be securely held above the garage doors. This allows you to store things out of the way but still close by and somewhat easy to get to. When looking online, I could not find it. So I thought I would document it and put it up here on Instructables.

Step 1: How Much Space?

I had measured above my garage doors before deciding on what size totes to get. There are lots of different size totes you could use, but for the amount of space above my garage and the size of the items I was wanting to store, the 17 gallon totes seamed to be the best. In this Instructable, I will be sharing the dimensions I used to make tracks for these totes, If you chose smaller or larger totes, adjust the dimensions accordingly.

Step 2: Find the Joists

I use my preferred method of finding studs and joists. I drill where I think there is a joist and if I hit it, I know where it is. I found that my joists were on 24" centers so I decided that I would make my tracks a little longer than 48 inches to span over three joists.

Step 3: Top Piece of the Track

I cut a piece of 2" x 3" lumber 52 inches long. Since I was using 3-1/2" long screws but wanted more than 1-1/2 inches of screw going into the joist, I counter-bored three holes with a 3/8" diameter forstner bit about one inch deep. I then drilled thru the board with a 3/16" diameter bit. I drilled 3 holes, one in the center and the other two 24 inches from the center. I then put the #10 x 3-1/2" screws in the three holes and the track was ready to screw to the joists.

In hindsight, I wish I had made these a little bit longer on one end and tapered them. This would have given a funnel affect to help guide the totes into the tracks. I might make some wedges to add to the ends of them.

Step 4: Bottom Piece of the Track

The bottom piece of the track was a 48" long piece of the 3/4" thick plywood cut 5 inches wide. When screwed to the 3" wide side of the 2x3 top piece, this gives you 1" of overhang on each side. This overhang is what the lip of the tote rests on. I put eight 1/8" diameter holes down the middle of this board. These holes are for the #8 x 2" long screws. The eight holes are 6 inches apart, starting 3 inches from the end. This put the holes at 3, 9, 15, 21, 27, 33, 39, and 45 inches. This spacing made sure that, when lined up properly with the track top piece, the screws would not hit the three screws in the top track piece.

The track pieces in the middle support totes on their left and right. The tracks on the end only support a tote on one side so they only have to be 4 inches wide. These are drilled the same but the holes are not centered, they are 1-1/2 inches from one side so that the holes are centered in the top track piece.

Step 5: Hang the Top Piece

The top piece screws into the ceiling joists using three #10 x 3-1/2" long deck screws. I used an impact driver and appropriate bit to drive the screws securely in.

Step 6: Hang the Bottom Piece

I screwed the bottom piece into the top piece with eight #8 x 2" long deck screws. Once screwed in I was able to hang from the track, so I am confident that they will hold up the totes.....unless they are full of lead.

Step 7: Hang More Tracks

I cut some scrap pieces of plywood to use as temporary spacers to help with the placement of the track pieces. The top to my totes are 18 inches wide so I cut the pieces 18-1/8" long, to give a little bit of wiggle room. I clamped these pieces to the first track using small c-clamps. Then it is just a matter of fixing more tracks to the joists until you have all your tracks mounted.

Step 8: Test Fit As You Go.

Even using spacers and measuring, the best bet is to test the track spacing by sliding the totes in between the tracks.

Step 9: Using the Track Totes

Now that the tracks are all in place, it is time to use the totes to store stuff out of the way. All you have to do is lode up the totes, add the lid, and slide them into the tracks. I might add labels to the ends and bottoms to help with getting the right tote down, when I need the stuff.

Step 10: Video

As usual I made a video.

Thank you for watching.

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    37 Comments

    0
    mariskaddt
    mariskaddt

    1 year ago

    Very nicely done and thanks for sharing. Hope you win!

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you. I made it to the finals...so I will win something.

    3
    kapplegate
    kapplegate

    1 year ago

    This is great. I just got through jury rigging something but will do this. I am going to look for clear/translucent containers because otherwise I will forget things for years that I forgot I had!

    0
    mariskaddt
    mariskaddt

    Reply 1 year ago

    This is so true!!!! I forget that i have something that i need fora project or something and then go out to buy, only to findoutlater that i already had oneof those 😢

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    Clear containers is a great idea. I am just going to label the end and bottom of each tote. Thank you for the comment.

    0
    Pariah Phoenix
    Pariah Phoenix

    Reply 1 year ago

    I most likely wouldn't go with the clear units. The ones he is using is more rugged and the sides should be able to handle this. The clear ones are made with a different plastic that usually get brittle faster, specially from the cold if not in a heated garage. It can work but I would really look the totes over.

    0
    kapplegate
    kapplegate

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Phoenix. I've been looking at bins today and I only have 10" above the door so I think I can get away with clear. I may just do it where the garage door isn't because my rafters run the opposite direction of his. I have some areas above shelves where I can put things without danger.

    0
    mcgary911
    mcgary911

    1 year ago

    Nice use of wasted space. One look @ my garage tells me this is in my future.

    0
    mariskaddt
    mariskaddt

    Reply 1 year ago

    Seems we have the same magic 8 ballor our futures are the same. Definitely going to use this one!!!!

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for the comment. Please let me know how it turns out for you.

    0
    mcgary911
    mcgary911

    Reply 1 year ago

    Well, I had that look @ my garage, and I only have a touch more than 9" clearance between the door lip and the ceiling, so it wouldn't be worth it for me. If you have shorter doors or higher ceilings, it'd make more sense. I still like the idea.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    They do make smaller bins, but you are right, 9" is not much space at all.

    0
    Gossla
    Gossla

    1 year ago

    Great idea! Thanks for the instructions. I have some bins like this that I bought at Costco. Is that where you bought the bins you used in this project?

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    I got my bins at Lowes, but I have seen the same ones on Amazon. I like to put "hands on" when working on a project. I think it helps me to determine the right size better. Thank you for the comment.

    0
    UkeDog
    UkeDog

    Question 1 year ago

    Great concept, and looks to work really well. If I follow how you've done it, the bins need to slide in/out perpendicular to how the joists run above? In other words, your joists run parallel to the garage door...yes?

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for the comment. You are correct, the joists run parallel to the garage door. And I was thinking that my joists were on 16" centers, but it turned out that they were on 24" centers, but it all worked out.

    0
    UkeDog
    UkeDog

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ok, in my case the ceiling joists (or truss bottoms, actually) run perpendicular to my garage door, so my bins would need to use a "side access" design. Such that I could leave a space down the center of the garage door to set up my stepladder to store/retrieve. Being mindful also, that truss bottoms typically aren't the sturdiest construction pieces. So I better plan on storing only light items in my bins!

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    That sounds even better. My side of the garage is full of bicycles, and projects, so I don't have to worry about my car being in the way. I am only storing light items as well. Please let me know how it turns out for you.

    0
    Pagan Wizard
    Pagan Wizard

    1 year ago

    I really like your over-all design, but I think I would have made one minor change. Instead of first screwing the 2X3 to the ceiling joist, and then screwing the plywood to the 2X3, I would have just used 1/4 inch lag screws that are about 5 or 6 inches in length. Predrill the plywood and the 2X3s so the holes line up, then predrill the ceiling joists so those holes line up with the other lumber. Run the lag screw through the plywood, through the 2X3, and bury it in the ceiling joist. This would give you maximum holding strength, leaving zero chance of the plywood separating from the 2X3s, and your belongings crashing down onto your car.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    My garage ceiling is the floor to a bonus room above. If it were in an attic, I would have drilled all the way thru the joists and used threaded rod and some 2x4s running perpendicular to the joists. That would have been bomb proof, but I think that it will work for the not so heavy stuff I plan on storing in them. Thank you for the comment.