How To Install Overhead Garage Storage Racks

Overhead Garage Storage Racks
Printable Installation Instructions (.pdf files)
Overhead Storage Rack Installation Instructions  | Steel Wire Decking Installation Instructions          

Tips, Tricks & Design
Below we will provide the most extensive help section available in the market. With years of experience we offer below all of our tips and tricks we have learned along the way. Send us photos of your space and we would be happy to offer design suggestions for your area.

If you are having trouble with your installation the best way to get help is to take pictures and send them to us via email along with any other information you have.  We will respond during normal business hours and help in any way we can.
Rack Positioning Guidelines & Examples
Rack Mounting Configurations

Avoid Celling Lights
Trusses, Lights & Rack Positioning

Have the proper tools
You will need a corded ½” 7 amp drill for this project. Lower powered drills are not strong enough to drill in the lag screws. Your drill should have an extra handle on it. That will help identify you have the right one.

Link to the drills we use

Do Not overtighten the lag screws. These drills are powerful enough to drive the bracket through your drywall and even snap the head off of the screws. Makes sure to predrill all of your mounting points. When the lag is flush with the ceiling it does not need any more tightening.

A ¼” impact gun with socket adapter will cut your time in half and is a very useful tool for everyday homeowners. You are able to use a ratchet and socket if you don’t have an impact drill.

Link to the impact guns we use

We use these magnetic stud finders every day. You can order one with your rack kit or get them from Amazon here >

I strongly suggest making this stud finder one of your new favorite tools. The fastest way to find trusses AND the direction the are running is by using a magnetic stud finder to find the screws in the drywall. But then to also follow those screws to find the direction of the truss. I cannot stress how much I love this tool, with this stud finder in your hand you can find a ceiling joist in seconds.

**the one and only exception where this stud finder does not work is in newer construction of large multifamily units which have garages in the bottom floor.  These building are now using steel channels which they screw the drywall to. We do not suggest homeowners to install ceiling racks in this scenario. If you find these steel channels please contact customer service immediately. There are ways to move forward but it is extremely difficult without experience. We would be happy to help explain the process to you or a handyman.
Installing above garage doors? Be sure to add the “extra vertical posts package” so you can free hang your rack. When measuring the space above a garage door always measure on each side by the rails. Do not measure in the middle where the door sags. Measure when the door in in different positions, often the door will slightly raise or lower as it travels the rail. If you set your rack at 20” drop then you will need at least 23” of clearance.

Ceiling trusses
Help!! I cant find the ceiling joists! One of the hardest things for some homeowners is going to be finding the wood joists in the garage ceiling. 

Don't worry, we are here to help! Below I will share with you all of the tips and tricks from the professionals that install racks every day. 
Most common ceiling joists are spaced at 2ft on center or less. Newer construction is commonly 2ft spacing on center. Most older homes before 1980 are 16” spacing. Trusses will run in only two directions as shown below.
Garage Ceiling Trusses

If you have what we call a “pyramid style roof” will be the only time you will have a truss direction running at a 45 angle to the building shown below.
Pyramid Garage Truss Example Photos

Its up to the installer to ensure the structure is sound and can bear the weight of your storage rack. If possible inspect your trusses for any rot, decay or water damage prior to installation.

Other ways to find trusses and the direction they run
Go outside and look at your roof. Which direction is the slope of your roof. The Joists run in the same direction.

Look at how your garage door and motor is mounted. They often mount to ceiling joists and if you look how close together their mounting screws are can give you some clues.

If you have an attic opening, you can always climb up and see first hand where the trusses are located.

Once you have decided a location don’t be afraid to poke some holes in the drywall. You need to do that anyway to find the edges of each joist to ensure you are drilling into the center.  A $5 bucket of drywall patch and touch up paint is worth every penny to guarantee you are making a secure connection to the truss.

Never in any circumstance can you mount an overhead storage rack using any kind of drywall anchor. You must always mount every screw securely into the wood framing of the home.

Your vertical posts must always drop down in between your two mounting points and never outside of them.
Wall Mount Overhead Garage Storage Rack

Two Story Homes
If you have another story above your garage we strongly suggest you purchase the “2 story bolt pack”.
2 Story Bolt Pack For Installing Overhead Storage Racks 

Two story homes often have “box style” trusses or Joists. In this scenario the 2x4 is turned on its side and often times a lot of plumbing and electrical is ran through this void.

2 Story Home - Box Style Trusses or Joists

If you are using a screw that is too long you can hit one of those vital lines and cause a costly repair.

This is why we always find each side of the joist. Through process of elimination, you can decide which length of screw to use. A 2x4 turned on its side is only 1.5” thickness of wood and is 3 ½” wide. Then add your drywall thickness and that will be the length of screw you use. Keep this in mind when you are pre drilling your holes so that you do not pre drill too far into a vital line. 

You can use a piece of tape to mark your drill bit so it doesn’t go in too far.
  • 1 ½” of wood thickness and ½” of drywall only requires a 2” lag screw.
  • 1 ½” of wood thickness and two layers of ½” of drywall only requires a 2 1/2” lag screw.
  • In this scenario a 3” lag screw will pass through the wood and if there is a line above it will be damaged.
Joists spacing can change for many reasons, most often if your roof pitch has changed then inside will as well. Often times at the point of change you will find two joists together or possibly a large support beam.

Other Overhead Storage Rack Installation Notes

  • We do not recommend you attempt this project if you are not comfortable working on a ladder and finding wall studs and ceiling joists. It is crucial that all mounting points have a secure, proper connection to wood structure which can support it.
  • Every situation is unique, our installation instructions do not overtake common sense and good judgment when installing and loading your Overhead Rack. If you ever find yourself in a confusing spot take some photos and contact customer service.
  • In no way ever should a rack be mounted with any type of drywall screw/anchor. All connection points must be made into secure wood structure framing.
  • This product is intended to be installed into a wood framed residential home. If your home is made of block, concrete or steel stop immediately and contact customer service.
  • Load heavier objects against wall mounted sides to transfer weight away from the ceiling and evenly distribute weight throughout the rack.
  • Most building codes require 24” spacing minimum between ceiling joists. We package a 26” bracket for all ceiling mounting points. If you have a unique situation where spacing is greater than 26” contact customer service. We can ship a larger ceiling bracket to accommodate any situation.

It is up to you the homeowner/installer to determine the structure of the home is sound and can support the weight of the ceiling rack and the items being loaded onto the rack.
Hanging Hooks
If you would like to attach hooks to the racks, we recommend these Crawford 7.68" Vinyl Coated Rafter Hooks. Keep in mind you don't want to exceed a combined total of 600 lbs of weight on top of, or hanging from a 4' x 8' overhead rack.
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