Save Money on Overhead Garage Storage

With the upcoming expansion of our family, my wife and I have been discussing the space in our home. While we have a good size home (~2,600 sq ft), its currently laid out with 3 bedrooms and 1 bonus room over the garage. With our second child going in our 3rd bedroom we'll lose our guest room and things are going to be significantly tighter for us. My pack rat habits don't help either. Storage space is already at a premium for us.

However, we do have a nice high 2-car garage. Its cluttered, but there are high ceiling with plenty of unused space. I wanted to take advantage of it by building some overhead storage in the garage. I used this article on DIY garage storage as a basis for building our overhead storage.

It cost me about $260 in supplies and roughly about 26 hours of my time to purchases parts and put all three platforms together (as 3 separate projects). I did find commercial products for a 4'x8' overhead storage platform that ran $299 installed.

Cost Comparison of 3 Unit Overhead Storage Options for Our House
Professional Installed $299 + $299 + $299 = $897
DIY Projects $260 parts + ~26hrs of labor.

Value for My Time = $897 - $260 = $637/26hrs = $24.5/hr

Im pretty happy with the value I got for me time. It was an enjoyable project to work on and given how time poor I am, I believe I received enough value per hour to make it worth my while.

As you can see it didn't take long for us to fill up our new storage:

I did find just by forcing us to move stuff from one space to another we were able to purge a good portion of the stuff we are storing. While quite a bit of work, its a good exercise to do every couple years to keep my pack rat ways under control.

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Comments (5)

I note that you didn't factor in any quality difference. From the pictures, I'm not certain which way I'd give the quality advantage, so perhaps excluding that factor is appropriate.

I'd also generally factor in a "screw-up" estimate at the beginning, though doing the math after the fact may make this irrelevant. In my case, I'd put an appreciable value on that, though I'm not certain how much. Of course, if you have a goal to improve your skills in this area, then doing it yourself is a huge benefit.

handyman i am not, so you might attribute this comment to sour grapes.

that said, i don't see how you can say that $25/hour or so is value enough for your time especially when you probably make more than double that at work and have been complaining of being time poor! on the other hand, if your point is that you had fun, that is totally tangential to the monetary aspect.

just my take ...

- s.b.

This is perfect timing for us! We too are expecting (due next month), and I was eyeing that exact same storage rack from the ValuPak to create more storage space in the garage. I'd be curious what your cost breakdown for the DIY supplies were. Did that include tools and lumber? How much did you already own?

What you mentioned about going through things every year or so seems like sage advice. As a fellow packrat I've noticed I sometimes forget things I have that might have come in handy at some point in the past if I could have gotten to it quickly or remembered it at all. It seems as though every spring cleaning or so everything should be touched/moved a little just so it stays in conscious memory.

Having a small database of your possessions might not be a bad idea either if for no other reason than if theres a fire it would make submitting a claim to the insurance easier.

What a excellent storage solution. I can see that it would have taken a lot of time but a great way to maximise your use of space. I think that I will give this a go in our spare room which is small and which currently has no storage space available.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
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