How to Build Wall Shelves in USA

Build Wall Shelves


Does not your house look empty without walls shelves? What would your blank wall look like with shelves having books or decorations on it? Absolutely, it will increase the charm of your living space. Well, in this blog post, we will explore how we can add beautiful shelves in our living space, what are their benefits, and details about different types of shelves including their building methods.

Table of Content

Benefits of Installing Wall Shelves

If you are worried about storage space in your house, shelves are the best solution to your problem. You can place many things on shelves and organize your home in a better way. Besides building or buying a big cabinet, shelves are a cost-effective solution to store your cluttered items. Simply put, shelving is an addition that can surprisingly increase the functionality of your house. You can beautify your surroundings by utilizing these incredible spaces and by exploring your creativity in designing.

Types of Wall Shelves

Before we move towards building shelves, it is better to determine the total types of shelves and then decide what to choose according to your needs and desires.

  • Floating Shelves

Whether you want shelves for your living room or kitchen, floating shelves fit best everywhere. In the living room, you can use them for setting adornments and books, while in the kitchen, it is utilized for setting dishes, glass, and cups. You can also use shelves to add a natural look by setting some baby green plants.


  • Fixed-Bracket Shelves

Fixed-bracket shelves look similar to floating shelves. The only difference between these two types is the addition of supports that you can customize according to your taste. Like floating shelves, these can also be used in any part of the house, including the kitchen and garages. Additionally, the cost of shelves increases as you move towards antique supports. So choose according to desire and place!

  • Adjustable Slotted Shelves

The biggest benefit of adjustable slotted wall shelves is that you can mount them on the wall and stand them on the floor according to your preferences. It is a suitable option when you do not want to go for built-in shelves. Another advantage of adjustable slotted shelves is that they can withstand heavy weights and you can freely use them in the garage. Users can also adjust the height and spacing between two stands.

  • Built-in Shelves

These shelves are fixed in walls and mostly used as TV stands or bookcases. They consist of cubical apartments. This type of shelf has been coming from our ancestors. It has only one shape and structure in old times. However, today you can customise build-in shelves according to your taste and desires.

  • Ceiling-Mounted Shelves

If your house does not have enough space but needs some for storage purposes, you must go with ceiling-mounted shelves. Ceiling-mounted shelves promote versatile designs that are both functional and aesthetic. In the kitchen, you can hang this shelf to set up glass sets, dishes, or plates. Besides kitchen accessories, they are also useful for hanging clothes and setting up garage appliances.

  • Pullout Shelves

Some people need covered storage spaces. For them, pullout shelves are the best option. They are fixed inside cupboards with a railing so that you can pull or push them smoothly. Nowadays, ladies want pullout kitchen shelves to arrange spices, bowls, etc. Both ready-made and customized built pullout shelves are available in the market, and you can choose any option according to your needs and expectations.

  • Box or Cube Shelves

Box or cube shelves are the best options to cover a wall in your living room or bedroom. In the living room, you can use it for decorative purposes while for bedrooms, it is the best source to set up your books collection, photo frames, etc. Additionally, you can set the squares according to your choice; horizontal, vertical, interconnected, and overlapped.

  • Leaning Shelves

It is a beautiful and innovative addition to the category of wall shelves. In simple words, it is a slim stand that can enhance the magnificence of your room by giving space for decorations and photo frames. It is an affordable option among all other same-size storage shelves. Moreover, the leaning shelf comes in different portions and you can choose for your house according to the background and desired storage area.

  • Tension Rod Shelving

Do you not want to drill your wall? It’s okay, you can set a tension rod shelf to boost the elegance of your room. It is the best option for rooms with small spaces. The rods move from floor to ceiling and fixed shelves between two rods provide storage space for your items. Like leaning shelves, tension rod shelving is also a reasonable option for those who do not have much budget for wall shelves.

  • Freestanding Shelving

If your target is to beautify your house more, just choose freestanding shelving. It provides a wide range of shapes, materials, shades, and sizes. As a wide range of options are available here, you can customize your wall shelve according to your preferences. One can use it for books, decorations, and baby plants.

How to Build Wall Mounted Garage Shelves

A garage is a place that must be neat and clean all the time. However, regular practice is completely opposite. Most people use the garage for throwing out unnecessary products. The dispersed items destroy the looks of your garage and put a bad impression on your visitors. Shelving in the garage can solve your problem. Let’s explore how to build wall mounted garage shelves for properly oring your products.

1: Determine the Positions of Wall Studs & Measure the Distance Between Them

First and foremost, fix the position where you want to install a wall-mounted shelf in your garage. Fix the studs’ positions and measure the length between them. Draw dots on the wall with a lead pencil after measuring the exact distance.

Pro Tip: Keep the measuring tape straight while determining the distance between two points to get accurate measurements.

2: Cut Boards to Use Fix the Frame

Cut the 2 boards by using a handsaw and ensure that the length matches the measurement you took in the first step. For braces and sides, trim boards of 16 inches in size. To determine the required number of side and brace pieces for a shelf, divide the length of the shelf by 2.5 feet and then add 1 to the quotient. Now, cut the frame pieces according to your requirement.

Prop Tip: If you are using a power saw for cutting boards, wear glasses to protect your eyes.

3: Make a U-Shaped Frame

Place one of the elongated wooden pieces horizontally on your workspace and fasten one of the 16 inches of wood pieces vertically to its one end using clamps. Create two diagonal pocket holes on the side of the 16 inches piece, facing towards the longboard, in order to conceal the screws. A Dremel tool can be utilized for this step. Use 2-3 inches screws to firmly attach the side piece by driving them into each of the 4 pocket holes. Repeat the same procedure with the second side piece on the opposite end.

Pro Tip: If you are okay with visible screws, you can ignore creating pocket holes.

4: Fix the Frames into Walls Using Studs as Support

Fix the frame onto your targeted garage wall in such directions that the longest board piece is opposite to the studs while the side pieces should be perpendicular to it. Then, make 2-3 inches of wood screws in the center of the frame. Use at least 2 screws per wall to keep the frame in place.

Pro Tip: Level the frame properly so that the items do not slide over it once you have installed it and started using it for storage purposes.

5: Add the Brace Boards Along the Back of the Frame

Take the brace piece, which should be the same length as your side pieces, and place it on the backboard, 2 1/2 feet away from one side, so it sticks out from the wall. Use two screws, about 2-3 inches long, to attach the brace to the backboard. Repeat this process for the rest of the brace pieces until you reach the other end of the shelf’s frame.

Pro Tip: Level the braces accurately, otherwise reinstall them with proper measurements.

6: Fix the Front Board Piece

To attach the second long piece of your frame, place it against the front edges of the braces and side pieces. Use 2 screws that are 2-3 inches long to secure it in place. Make sure to drive the screws through the front piece into the ends of the sides and braces. After attaching each brace or side, check that the board is level so that it does not hang crooked.

Pro Tip: If you feel slagging in your shelf frame, add a vertical board between the floor and the shelf.

7: Install Plywood Using Screws

To create a shelf, cut a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood to match the length and depth of the shelf using a handsaw. Once cut, place the plywood on top of the shelf and secure it to the frame beneath using 2-inch screws. Make sure to place screws every 6 inches down the side and brace pieces to ensure a secure hold.

Pro Tip: Use thick plywood to support heavy weight.

8: Add More Support By Installing Angled Boards

Cut several boards of length 16 inches, equal to the number of side and brace pieces you have. Trim the ends of the boards to a 45-degree angle while resembling a trapezoid shape. Position the angled end of each board against the bottom of the shelf, next to one of the braces. Secure the angled pieces to the braces and sides using 2-inch screws.

Pro Tip: Do not put any weight on the shelf until the angle braces are installed.


Also, visit our blog post How Much Does It Cost To Build A Garage in USA for more detailed information!

How to Build Floating Shelves

When it comes to hanging shelves, there are numerous methods to choose from. However, the charm of floating shelves lies in their absence of visible hardware above or below. How to make floating shelves? If you’re eager to create your very own DIY floating shelf, follow our detailed guide;

1: Cut the Shelf According to Your Desired Length

Take two sections from the 1 x 8 boards and cut them to match the width of the shelf. In this particular project, the width measures 24 inches.

2: Set the Size of the Spacers

Utilizing the dimensions provided in the cut list, proceed to cut the 1 x 2 front and side pieces to match the desired length. Ensure that the measurements are accurately adjusted.

3: Make the 1 x 2 Spacers for Installation

Now that the shelf piece has been cut to size, it’s time to construct the shelf box. Begin by assembling the 1 x 2 pieces. Use a drill to create two pilot holes in the longer piece, one in each shorter piece. Always ensure that they are securely joined together.

4: Apply Adhesive to the Designated Areas

Generously apply wood glue to the ends of the shorter 1 x 2 pieces to ensure a strong bond.

5: Lock the Spacers Securely in Place

To securely join the longer 1 x 2 pieces with the shorter ones, use 1¼-inch wood screws. Drive the screws through the longer pieces and into the ends of the shorter pieces. This will effectively hold all the pieces together.

6: Arrange the Components of the Shelf in their Desired Layout

Create a sandwich-like structure by positioning the assembled 1 x 2 pieces between the 1 x 8 top and bottom sections of the shelf.

7: Make Pilot Holes by Drilling & Apply the Glue

To securely fasten the layers together, begin by drilling pilot holes through the top and bottom pieces of the shelf, extending into the 1 x 2 sections. This will ensure a strong and durable connection. And boost the adherence between the layers by evenly applying a layer of wood glue.

8: Combine the Separate Components of the Shelf

Using a drill/driver, carefully drive 1¼-inch wood screws through the top and bottom sections of the shelf. Make sure that they go into the 1 x 2 pieces. This step will effectively secure the layers together, providing a sturdy and reliable hold.

9: Cut the Cleat Pieces & Prep it for Assembly

Finally, it’s time to create the cleat, which will be responsible for securely attaching the shelf to the wall. Cut the 2 x 2 pieces to the specified dimensions. Then, securely attach the 2 x 2 legs to the cleat by drilling two pilot holes through the cleat and into each leg. This will ensure a sturdy connection between the components.

10: Join the Cleat

To assemble the cleat, start by applying wood glue to the end of each leg. Then, firmly attach the legs by driving 2½-inch wood screws through the cleat and into each leg. This will ensure a secure and durable construction.

11: Install Cleat on Wall & Set the Shelf Box

To hang the shelf, start by marking the spot on the wall where you want it to be. If possible, attach the cleat to a wall stud for maximum stability (use a stud finder to locate it). If there is no stud available, you can use drywall anchors to provide extra support. Carefully position the cleat on the wall and use a small level to ensure it is straight. Finally, secure the cleat to the wall by driving 2½-inch screws through it and into the wall. Then place the shelf box onto the cleat by sliding it over. Use a screw or finish nail to firmly attach the shelf to the cleat. Always ensure it stays in place.

Enjoy the Sight of Your Newly Installed Wooden Floating Shelf!

How to Build a Bookshelf

Good news! Now you can easily add built-in bookcases to your home without being a carpentry expert or having an expensive workshop. With just sturdy veneer plywood and a circular saw, you can create the appearance of thick boards for your shelves. Attach shorter support pieces to a longer strip of wood and cover the plywood edges with solid-wood trim. This simple trick will give you beautiful built-in bookcases that will enhance your space.

1: Cut the Legs, Shelves, and Supports

Measure the height of the bookcase space and cut two legs accordingly. Measure the width in three places, subtract 1½ inches from the smallest measurement, and cut shelves to this length. Mark leg positions for adjustable shelf heights, aligning them with architectural details. Transfer shelf marks to the other leg using a framing square. Cut support pieces from the plywood, leaving the topmost supports ¾ inch short.

2: Attach the Supports to the Legs

For a kickplate under the bottom shelf, recess the lowest supports by ¾ inch using a circular saw. Attach supports to the legs by applying glue in an S-shape up to the first layout line, then secure them with nails. Repeat until the top supports are in place.

3: Assemble the Box

Attach a 2½-inch-wide plywood hanging strip between the top supports of the bookcase. Drill pilot holes into the leg support, and hanging strip, then secure the hanging strip to the legs with 2½-inch wooden screws. Place the bottom shelf for support, position the top, and attach it with screws.

 4: Level the Bookcase

Insert all the shelves into the frame, gently tapping them into place if needed, using a rubber mallet. Ensure the bookcase is level by placing a level on each shelf. If one side needs adjustment, use thin wood shims under the foot to raise it.


5: Plumb the Bookshelf

Check the bookcase for plumb using a level. Adjust with shims as needed. Secure the bookcase tightly by placing shims around any gaps against the wall. Locate and mark the wall studs beneath the hanging strip. Drill clearance and counterbore holes in the strip and fasten the bookcase to the wall using 2½-inch screws.

6: Fix the Kick Board

Cut a plywood piece to match the size of the lowest supports and use it as a nailer for the kick plate. Slide it under the center of the bottom shelf and secure it by nailing through the shelf into the top edge of the nailer. Measure the opening under the bottom shelf and fit a plywood kick plate tightly into the space. Attach it with 6d finish nails at the supports and center nailer.

7: Scribe the Trim to Fit

Finish the bookcase with ½ trim on the sides and top, allowing it to hang over or be flush with the inside edge. Align the trim tightly against the wall by a bookcase leg, adjust with a level, and secure it with 6d nails. Use a scribe to trace the wall’s contours onto the trim, then cut along the line with a jigsaw. Attach the edge to the legs using glue and nails. Repeat for the other leg. Cut and attach trim along the top.

 8: Apply Nosing to Shelf Faces

Create a finished edge on the shelves using 1x trim. Align the trim against the front of the shelves, marking where it meets the sides. Cut the trim accordingly. Apply glue to the shelf front and secure the nosing with 6d finish nails. Fill holes and finish the bookcase as desired.

How to Build Built In Bookshelves

Built-in shelves offer several advantages over simple bookcases. Firstly, they provide a seamless and customized look that perfectly fits the space. They maximize storage capacity by utilizing every inch of available wall space. Additionally, built-in shelves can increase the value of a home and offer greater stability compared to freestanding bookcases. Let’s explore how to make one.

1: Measure the Space

Measure the width, height, and depth of the wall where you want to install the built-in bookshelves. Take note of any obstacles like windows, doors, or electrical outlets.

2: Design & Plan

Design the layout of your bookshelves while determining the number of shelves and their sizes. Plan for additional features such as cabinets or drawers. Consider the spacing between shelves and the overall aesthetic.

 3: Gather Materials

Collect the necessary materials, including plywood or MDF for shelves, solid wood for frames and trim, screws, nails, wood glue, and finishes. Calculate the quantities based on your measurements.

4: Cut the Materials

Using a circular saw or table saw, cut the plywood or MDF to the desired shelf dimensions. Cut the solid wood into pieces for side panels, face frames, and trim, according to your design and measurements.

5: Assemble the Side Panels

Attach the side panels to the wall, ensuring they are level and plumb. Use screws or brackets to secure them, focusing on wall studs for stability. Make sure the panels are properly aligned and spaced.

6: Install the Shelves

Place the pre-cut shelves onto adjustable shelf supports or attach them to the side panels using screws or shelf pins. Double-check for levelness and adjust as needed. Ensure the spacing between shelves is consistent.

7: Add Face Frames & Trim

Attach the face frames to the front of the side panels using wood glue and finish nails. Align them carefully with the edges of the side panels. Install decorative trim along the edges for a polished appearance.

 8: Finishing Touches

Fill any nail holes or gaps with wood filler, then sand the bookshelves to achieve a smooth surface. Apply your chosen finish, such as paint, stain, or varnish, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow sufficient drying time.

Average Cost to Add Wall Shelves in Your House

The cost of a built-in shelving unit can range from $2,500 to $5,000, with high-end options reaching up to $6,250 and budget-friendly choices around $800. Material selection and size play a significant role in determining the final price. Some homeowners prefer to build a simple design themselves, while others hire professional carpenters for larger and more complex projects.

According to Brooklyn Based, homeowners may have unrealistic pricing expectations when seeking custom-built shelving units. Professionals typically charge between $850 and $1,100 per linear foot. Variations in pricing can arise from the skill level of the carpenter and the desired quality of materials, with premium options like all-walnut shelves costing more than standard lumber and plywood. Additionally, it is better to hire a professional estimator for construction estimating services and successful completion of wall shelves building projects.

How to Hire Professional Estimators for Building Wall Shelves

To ensure a successful project, it’s essential to find the right professionals for building your wall shelves. Begin by conducting thorough research on reputable contractors or carpentry services in your area. Request quotes from multiple providers, clearly outlining your project details and material preferences. Assess their experience, skills, and customer feedback. Finally, compare the estimates received to make an informed decision and choose the best professionals for the job.

Final Thoughts

The price of built-in shelving units can vary based on factors like size and materials, typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 or higher. Customization and professional help can decrease building costs. When constructing wall shelves, it’s important to consider various types, such as floating shelves, fixed-bracket shelves, and adjustable slotted shelves, each with its own advantages. Hiring professional estimators or contractors can ensure a successful project.


The cost of building a tree house depends on its simplicity and complexity. If you target a classic treehouse with a floor, walls, and a simple roof, its cost will be around $3,500. However, if you need something lavishing, its construction budget can reach up to $225,000.

Buying a wall shelf is quick and easy, but building one allows you to be creative and proud of your work. If you like making things yourself and want something unique, building a wall shelf is a great choice. However, if you prefer convenience and saving time, buying one is a simpler option.

The cost difference between ready-made shelves and customized built-in shelves can vary significantly. Ready-made shelves are generally more affordable and readily available, while customized built-in shelves can be more expensive due to materials, customization options, and potential labor costs. The specific price difference depends on the design, size, and materials chosen for the custom-built shelves.

A professional estimator stands out through their experience and knowledge in the field. They possess a keen eye for detail, exhibit excellent organizational skills, and have a deep understanding of construction methods and materials. They are adept at interpreting project specifications, conducting thorough assessments, and providing accurate cost estimates.