Having a lack of storage is a common household problem, but thankfully shelves are a great way to quickly add extra space for your possessions – and without breaking the bank. Shelves are relatively easy to put up too, so we thought we’d create this handy three-step guide to help those who may not be quite so confident in their DIY abilities!
The first action you’ll need to take is to plan where your shelf will go of course – you don’t want to drill or hammer a nail into a pipe or any cabling, so check for these hazards using a multi-purpose digital detector.
Depending on what type of wall your shelf will be on, you’ll need specific fixings for the brackets. For masonry walls you will need large screws (at least 50mm) and wall plugs, whereas for stud partition walls, the screws will need to go directly into the horizontal brace or studs. If you’re going to have a heavy load on your shelf, 38mm – 50mm screws are what we would recommend – and make sure you also have a hammer drill to hand for drilling these screws in.
It’s also really important to consider what’s going to be sat on your shelf when you’re actually choosing the shelf and brackets too, as heavier loads will of course need a thicker shelving unit, as well as sturdier brackets. Bringing the brackets that support the shelf closer together will also allow it to hold a heavier load.
Right, now all the planning is complete – it’s time to finally put up the shelf!
Firstly, you’ll need to hold the shelf against the wall you plan to put it up on, and make a line of where the bottom will go – as well as two little marks to signal the spacing of the brackets. Always make sure you use a span chart to determine how far apart your brackets should be – and don’t forget to use a spirit level as this will ensure you won’t have a wonky shelf!
Now it’s time to put up your brackets. Using the two little spacing marks you created in stage one, place the brackets against the wall, making sure they are absolutely straight. Once you’re happy, drill into the wall and then screw the brackets on.
Next, you need to lay the shelf across the two brackets and pencil through the fixing holes on the bottom of the shelf – this is so you can drill your pilot holes for the screws. Once completed, put the shelf back onto the brackets and screw in the fixing screws - and voilà, a perfectly assembled shelf!