Category Archives: Cleaning

Build your own garage shelf for under $30.

A garage without storage is a pitiful thing. It gets cluttered, messy, and soon, it becomes impassible. Ive been looking for cheap storage options for my garage, but havent had much luck finding anything (I even googled how to build garage shelving instructions, but didnt readily find anything suitable). Home depot sells storage racks for way more than I would have paid for them…$60 for a 36″ x 18″ 72″ resin flimsy storage rack, and target sells a smaller wire rack for about $40. These didnt seem like suitable options, so I decided to save some cash take the DIY route, and make my own heavy duty storage rack instead.

I wanted my rack/garage shelf to fit the space in my garage just so, so I measured and calculated the figures. I would need ten 2′ x 4′ x 8′ studs to make a rack that was 70″ x 19″ x 72.” I ran to the nearest Home Depot and purchased the studs, and came across some small metal casters…little wheel attachments to make my shelf mobile. These were about $3 each. The total came out to be just shy of $30, and that was fine with me considering I would be saving a lot more if I wanted to buy a heavy duty shelf of this size.

1. First item on the list was to cut the four legs of the shelf to six feet tall.

Rack legs

Rack legs

2. Next I cut the shelf supports (the crossbeams) for which I needed six. These needed to be 66.5″ as the legs of the shelf would add 2.5″ to the width.

Cross Beams to support the shelving

Cross Beams to support the shelving

3. After, I cut the short links which would connect the front and rear portions of the rack. I wanted my shelf depth to be 19″ so I cut these to 16.5″.

Links for front and back of rack

Links for front and back of rack

4. After all the cutting was done, I needed to drill the holes to where I wanted my shelving located. I drilled 4 holes, with two holes alloted for the crossbeam, and two for the links. I made three sets of the four holes on each of the legs of the rack. One set for the top, middle, and bottom shelf.

Pilot holes for screws which would hold the crossbeam and links

Pilot holes for screws which would hold the crossbeam and links

5. Now for the assembly. I assmbled both the front and rear of the racks first, by laying them on the floor and screwing in the crossbeams. I then attached on the front of the rack the links so I could attach the rear portion of the rack to the front portion after. I installed the casters after this was all done.

Front and rear rack faces attached with links

Front and rear rack faces attached with links

6. The joints of the rack look like this:

Side view

Bottom view

Bottom view

7. Next comes the shelving platform. I didnt buy any plywood or material to use for the shelving. Instead I scrounged around my wood shed and found some 1/4″ board of sorts, and some old pieces of 5/8″ plywood. I had to cut pretty creatively to utilize all the board and cover the shelf platforms.

1/4" board for the upper shelves (where lighter things will be placed)

1/4″ board for the upper shelves (where lighter things will be placed)

5/8" platform (where heavy things will be placed)

5/8″ plywood (where heavy things will be placed)

8. After finishing my rack, I noticed that I had enough space to add another shelf. I added this one above the middle shelf, and found some messed up 2 x 4’s in the wood shed. They were not in the best shape, but would work for this application. I installed these sideways as the shelf was not going to hold a lot of weight, and would allow more clearance for putting things on the middle shelf.

With extra shelf added.

With extra shelf added.

The shelf took a few hours to build, but the satisfaction of making something and saving money (although with the time trade-off) is to me, definitely worth it. an added bonus are the casters which make my shelf mobile. After piling on the clutter in the garage, it was really convenient to be able to roll the shelf around and into different positions. I also realized that the casters have the extra benefit of keeping the wood off the garage floor where it might someday come into contact with water (washing the garage floor, flooding washing machines, etc.).

I did add one final touch to the shelving, in that I added an eye hook to tie some rope through which connected to the wall. Living right next to the San Andreas faultline, I wouldnt want to find my shelf and all its contents laying on my car after an earthquake. Now for the best part…when my wife pulled into the garage and saw all the clutter neatly organized onto the shelf, she was delighted…and finally realized I could build something that I always say I could for less. Score!

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How to remove spots and stains on carpet

When renovating our house, we opted to use hardwood floors in the living room and hallway, and carpet in the bedrooms and office. This was opposite of the way we purchased the house as it had carpet in the living room and hallway, with hardwood floors in the bedrooms and office. After shopping around at several bayshore contractors for good quality carpet, we ended up using Home Depot as they had higher quality carpet, with cheap installation. We were quoted roughly $2100 for full house installation (both berber carpet and the thick berber padding) and the removal of old carpeting and pad. Going with the same configuration at a San Francisco Bayshore contractor was around $2500 and they didnt carry the the soft name brand carpet we wanted).

Anyways, we opted to get a rather light uniform carpet color (Color is almost white – which may have been a bad choice considering were thinking about having kids sometime soon) and within the first year of having it, weve stained it several times. I then decided it was time to invest in a carpet stain remover and went to Target to do some shopping. I brought home a product called “Spot Shot” and decided to give it a try (I got mine for $3.29 for a 14 oz can). Out of all the other options for carpet stain removal, I opted for this one because of two main selling points:

What Spot Shot looks like...taken from their web site (shhhhh)
What Spot Shot looks like…taken from their web site (shhhhh)
  • The ability to remove OLD STAINS from pets, greasy foods, motor oil, red wine, blood, grape juice, show polish, cola, mud, coffee, and lipstick (I liked this one because the stains have been sitting in the carpet for a while now).
  • The ability to do so without scrubbing and rubbing. You just have to blot the area after use.

I did pick up another product called Oxi Clean, but it comes in a powder form and you have to mix it with water and rub and scrub…Im too lazy for that (its a sunday!), so I went with Spot Shot as you just shake the can and shoot it (there might have been a subconscious pull for me to select this one, me being a man and all).

Here is a picture of the spots I was trying to remove. The spots dont really show in the pictures, but they were noticeable and would not come off with just plain water and a paper towel.

Before Spot Shot

Before Spot Shot

After Spot Shot

After Spot Shot

The directions tell you to just spray the stuff on the stain and to not oversaturate it. I covered it pretty well with the liquid and let it sit for a few seconds. Then I used a clean LAP pad (clothlike thing they use to wipe up blood in the hospitals…my wifes sister is a nurse in the OR) to blot out the stain. To be honest, I did scrub and rub a bit to see if i could get it to work faster, but I dont think I needed to. The directions mentioned that I might need to repeat until the stain is removed, it was just barely noticeable after the first application, so I did it twice. After the second application, the stain was gone.

Overall, the product reminds me a lot of brake cleaner, just spray it on and wipe it off (it actually evaporates fast though). I even used it on one of my kitchen table chairs and it removed an old oily stain. Im pretty impressed with the way this product worked, and no longer stress too much about when we have kids, as this stain remover should do the trick with anything they get on the carpet. I guess this post turned into a Spot Shot review…

So with this done, when my wife comes back, ill show her how awesome I am and get more love points!

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