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The luxury of having a garage in your home can be a slice of heaven but without organized storage that heavenly blessing can become a chaotic nightmare.
First and foremost, shelving has to accommodate your stuff. Your stuff doesn’t have to accommodate the shelving. Remember that.
I evaluated several overhead shelving solutions and considered factors that include safety, durability, adaptability, install-ability, customer service, and even aesthetics (yes, aesthetics because you want efficient, reliable storage, but not something that looks like a chicken coop). I was able to narrow my choice down to two popular solutions and finally settled on the SafeRacks 4×8 Rack as my favorite.
My Top Pick: SafeRacks™ 4×8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
- Customizable Ceiling Drop-Length, Best in Class
- Easy Step-by-Step Instructions and a Full Support Center to...
- Industrial Strength with a Powder Coat Finish
- Holds 600 Pounds and has a Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Get $125 Installation in Select Markets
- Customizable 18”-33” drop length from ceiling
- 600 lb weight capacity
- Industrial-grade strength with a Powder Coat finish
- Easy assembly instructions and full customer support center
- Lifetime warranty
This is a bestseller on Amazon, and I can see why. It has extensive holding capability with respect to its 32 cubic foot volume and 600-pound weight capacity. Its rigid design provides a stable platform that allows you to remove and replace items at will as your storage needs change.
While I favor the fixed position of this system, it may require a step ladder to access the contents, which can be a minor inconvenience. Even for that small inconvenience, I find the fixed position favorable because it safer and items aren’t as likely to fall down and injure the person standing beneath.
Because this system is suspended from the ceiling, large objects such as lawn and maintenance equipment, appliances, and automobiles, can still be stored on the floor below.
SafeRacks uses a heavy duty 14-gauge industrial grade channel steel, which is a U-shaped formation that provides maximum strength. The Powder Coat finish gives the steel framing a nice aesthetic appeal while protecting it from elements such as ultraviolet light, moisture, impact, and chemicals.
A heavy gauge wire mesh deck provides a reliable platform that will not rot or corrode. Ceiling brackets are lag screwed into the overhead joists (you’ll need a stud finder to know where they are). The adjustable suspension height allows the system to be adapted to any garage.
Convenience Oriented Alternative: Racor® 250 lb. Heavy Storage Platform
- Adjustable - Mounts to any ceiling, adjust to angle ceilings...
- Durable - High strength steel allows you to lift up to 250...
- Efficient - Raises and lowers by crank and includes all...
- Reliable - Steel cables allow for 8ft of vertical lift and...
- Reclaim Your Garage - 16 sq feet of additional overhead...
- 250 lb weight capacity (about half of the SafeRacks capacity)
- Ideal for light or small loads
- No ladder requirement
- Pulley and vinyl-coated cable system allows easy load and unload
- Platform dimensions: 4’ x 4’
- Works on ceilings up to 8-feet tall
- No warranty
When the collective bulk of your storage is under 250 pounds and fits comfortably on a 4’ x 4’ platform this Racor storage solution could be ideal.
The cable and pulley system allows the platform to be raised and lowered eliminating the need for a step ladder. Vinyl coating on the cables protects them from corrosion related to moisture and other elements. Once a height is achieved the cable lift is can be easily locked in place.
While the design is clever, using moving parts, each moving part must be in proper working order or the rack will be no more easier to use than any of the alternatives. It may also become dangerous to use.
The most glaring downside is the warranty. There isn’t one. However, the manufacturer offers a 90-day return window from the date of purchase should the product have factory defects.
I personally don’t trust moving parts above me or my car, opting for the fixed rack above. For those of you not bothered by that, this rack will prove to be a very convenient solution for you.
Fixed systems like the SafeRack that are lag-screwed into joists seem to be the most stable and accommodating. Since none of these systems provide the actual storage tubs and totes, the fixed systems offer you the greatest bang for the buck for whatever vessel you use to store your treasures.
Overall these products all share one major thing in common, they must be bolted into the joists. NEVER suspend overhead garage shelves from the drywall. They will pull through (likely sooner than later), come crashing down, and can cause serious injury, or worse, kill someone. Don’t be that person on the evening news whose overhead garage shelves slipped free from the drywall anchors and crushed them.