Constructing a Built-In Shelving Unit

Want a more finished look for your new shelves? Then consider taking the time to plan and construct a built-in shelf system. Tucked between two windows or between a wall and a window or door, it will take on the look of custom furniture, because you can plan it to fit exactly into your available space.

Measure the height and width of the area where you'll install your shelving. For easy installation, build the basic unit 1inch shorter than the height of your ceiling. Remove the baseboards. You'll cut them to fit around the shelving unit and reinstall them when everything is nailed in place.


Mark and cut the two side panels 1 inch shorter than your floor-to-ceiling measurement. Cut the shelving-unit top, bottom, and shelves 1 1/2 inches shorter than the unit's overall width. Measure and cut four 2x2 frame supports that also are 1 1/2 inches shorter than the unit's width.


Using scrap pegboard as a guide, drill pairs of 1/4-inch holes along the inside of each side panel. Space pairs of holes about 9 inches apart horizontally and every 2 inches vertically. Drill the holes 3/8 inches deep, and use a depth-stop bit attachment or a scrap block of wood as a guide to make sure you don't drill all the way through.


Paint or finish the wood as you like before you assemble the unit. Then attach the side panels to the ends of the frame supports. Drive 6d finish nails through the sides and into the end grain of the frame supports.


Tilt the unit into position flush against the wall. Using 3-inch wallboard screws and a screw gun, screw through the top rear frame support into the wall studs and through the bottom frame supports into the floor.


Attach the bottom and top pieces by driving 6d finish nails through the side panels into the end grain of the top and bottom. Replace the baseboards around the bottom of the shelving unit, cutting the pieces to size and mitering the ends as necessary. Similarly, cut and fit trim molding around the top of the unit. Use a nail set to recess all nail heads. Finally, install the shelf pins in the desired holes, and fit the shelves in place.





Installing a Closet-Organizer System


Building Utility Shelves


Building a Closet Organizer


Installing Stationary Brackets


Installing Adjustable Brackets


Do it Yourself Projects

Aligning the Bolt and Strike Plate

Adjusting an Out-of-Balance Door

Adding a Telephone Extension

Building a Multilevel Deck

Building a Ground-Level Deck

Building a Single-Level Raised Deck

Building a Low-Level Deck

Building a Closet Organizer

Building Utility Shelves

Constructing a Built-In Shelving Unit

Freeing a Sticking Door

Framing a Prehung Interior Door

Fixing Leaky Sink Strainers

Finishing Inside Corners

Finishing Outside Corners


Getting Ready to Paint

Hanging Borders

Installing Cabinet Drawer Fronts

Installing Cabinet Doors

Installing a Security Lock

Installing an Entry Door

Installing Split-Jamb Interior Doors

Installing a Cable TV Jack

Installing Coaxial TV Cable

Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a Ceiling Fan

Installing a Dimmer Switch

Installing a Three-Way Switch

Installing Specialty Switches

Installing Cement Backerboard

Installing Landscape Timber Edging

Installing Plastic Edging

Installing Metal Edging

Installing Wood Edging

Installing Sawtooth Brick Edging

Installing Flat Brick Edging

Installing Precast Concrete Edging

Installing Gutter Liners

Installing a New Flush Valve

Installing A Plunger-Valve Ballcock

Installing a Water Purifier

Installing A New Faucet

Installing a Toilet

Installing a Closet-Organizer System

Installing Stationary Brackets

Installing Adjustable Brackets

Installing Beaded-Board Wainscoting

Laying Out the Tiles

Laying Out Square Corners

Laying Out Arcs

Laying Out Straight Edges

Laying Out Free-form Curves

Maintaining Garage Door Openers

Making Minor Adjustments

Masking Wood Trim

Mitering Border Corners

Maintaining Your Storm Doors

Painting Flat Doors

Painting a Door (While Attached)

Painting a Door (Unattached)

Painting Trim

Painting Window Frames

Painting Exterior Windows

Painting Soffits and Fascia

Painting Jambs, Casings, and Trim

Patching Peeling Paint

Patching Large Holes in Wallboard

Patching Small Holes in Wallboard

Patching a Screen

Replacing Hinges

Replacing Door Pulls

Refinishing a Redwood or Cedar Deck

Renewing Your Deck

Refinishing a Pressure-Treated Deck

Replacing a Step

Repairing Decking and Joists

Replacing a Stair Railing

Replacing a Deck Railing

Roll-Up Door Maintenance Tips

Recessed Lighting

Replacing a Wall Switch

Removing Ceramic Tile

Removing Carpet

Removing Wood Flooring

Removing and Replacing Thresholds

Replacing a Threshold

Replacing Worn Valve Seats

Resurfacing Valve Seats

Repairing Leaky Downspout Joints

Repairing Leaky Metal Gutters

Replacing a Sink Sprayer

Removing Old Faucets

Removing a Toilet

Replacing Drain Traps

Removing Stains

Removing Mildew

Removing Wallpaper

Resetting Popped Nails

Replacing a Threshold

Replacing a Screen in a Wooden Frame

Replacing a Screen in a Metal Frame

Replacing a Screen in an Aluminum

Setting the Tiles

Stopping Squeaks

Troubleshooting Your Thermostat

Track Lighting

Testing a Light Socket

Testing a Receptacle for Power

Taping Joints

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Unclogging a Sink Drain Trap

Unclogging Toilet Drains

Unclogging Shower Drains

Using Chemical Strippers

Using a Heat Gun

Weatherproofing Your Entry Door

Weatherproofing Other Door Types

Weatherproofing Other Window Types

Weatherproofing Your Windows

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