After the rain we recently had here in the Chicago area, I have
decided that I want to put in the suspended basement shelves that I
have intended for many years. I know I could make a set in a variety
of ways, and I am open to suggestions. However, I am trying to come
up with a particular set, and I haven't seen anything close for sale.
It is essentially rods which have two curves, like eyehooks, at the
top to nail them to a joist. They hold a 2 x 12 below, one on each
end of the board. You can hang another set belowx for multiple
shelves. A series of them increases the capacity of the shelf.
I have probably not described them well since I am falling asleep
writing this, but any help would be appreciated.
Why can't you just have the lowest shelf above the highest water
line? I mean, how bad does your basement flood? If the basement gets
a few inches or less, why not just raise standard shelving up on some
blocks? What do you see as the benefit to having them hung from the
I actually get very little seepage, and none if the drain outside the
basement door is not clogged. The main advantage of having the
shelving off the floor is to be able to sweep/clean/squeegee under
them. As it is right now, the bottom shelves are high enough that
there would be no direct water contact should I get less that a few
Mostly, the stories I heard from a few people (floor-to-ceiling
basement flooding, spouting floor drains) after our recent round of
storms got me thinking about the shelving in the basement. That, and
a little seepage that damaged a few cardboard boxes.
I like the concept of the wire shelving I described because it is
pretty versatile. It was kind of modular, unobtrusive in appearance,
and could be moved or expanded fairly easily. A whole run of shelves
could be suspended from your ceiling, wall-to-wall and you could
increase the weight capacity by adding more hangers, limited by the
number of joists in the span and the need for proper spacing between
Not disagreeing, but one downside of these things is that the shelf is
not rigid. You bump into one end, or something sticking out, and the
whole thing starts moving around till it settles down. Thus, of dubious
use for fragile stuff like canning jars, or stuff that could hurt people
if it fell. I would be very hesitant to use in a house with kids, or in
Maybe if you could jam the shelves between two walls as you put it
together, that would minimize the problem. Or perhaps nail some 1x4
straps to the ends of the shelves or something.
Are you looking for "designer" shelves or just "utility" shelves?
If you aren't going for looks...
4 vertical PT 2x4's, with the tops screwed to the joists, some
horizontal cleats and 3/4" plywood would make for some pretty sturdy
shelves. I've got 2 sets in my basement storage area - without the PT
since I don't need it.
If you were willing to sister some 1 x 4's to the verticals, you could
use PT for a foot or so and then regular 2 x 4's from there to the
Similiar to the 2nd picture at this site, except using two 2 x 4's per
side instead of a solid side wall.
I also have a slightly "fancier" set that are adjustable. I can
describe them if you are interested.
You may be trying to describe all thread. Hangers, eyes,
couplings, etc are readily available. The rod is normally
stocked as 10', though Ace and some others probably only have in
3'. Contact any commercial contractor supply house.
Keep the whole world singing . . .
I remember seeing wire shelf hangers like you are talking about as a
kid, but haven't seen them in stores in years. The most common ones I
saw were intended for 1x shelving, and shaped like a square-bottom U,
with extra little side loops at the end to hook the row below into them.
Sorta like a chain ladder. Top clip got hammered into the joists or hung
off big screws, and lower loops you needed to squeeze shut with pliers
so a accidental bump wouldn't make the shelves fall down.
If no local store has them, or they are pricey, I can think of plenty of
cheap painless ways to fake the same high-water shelving result. A
vertical 2x6 lagged off to sill plate, and triangle braces or metal
shelf brackets to hold up the shelves would probably be simplest. One of
the borgs or the other usually has 'utility shelf' brackets on sale.
Some things are not worth your time to reinvent.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.