Customer Reviews: SafeRacks - 4x8 Overhead Storage Rack Heavy Duty (24-45" Ceiling Drop) - White
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on September 28, 2013
This seems like a wonderful idea, but the first thing you should do is ask yourself is there any other way at roughly the same cost you could get approximately 64 cubic feet of storage (more or less depending on your proposed drop height). Would more shelving work for you? Amazon sells steel shelving of this capacity for the same price. There are a host of issues that you'll need to consider before this rack will work for you.

The first is that you will need to figure out where it's going to go in your garage and figure out the direction of the joists, because the supports that hold up the racks require being screwed into at least two joists for each corner. Another issue is lighting You'll need in some situations to light up all four sides because lighting on the ceiling will be blocked by items you store on the racks. There are some phases of the installation where it is really helpful to have two people, so that's another consideration.

I have put together a lot of furniture and am reasonably handy but this was the most difficult installation I've ever encountered with any product. Ask yourself if you are used to standing on a ladder or step stool drilling holes and screwing hardware into joists and metal parts on the ceiling. The lag bolts that go into the joists require quite a bit of force to screw in and you have to go very slowly. One of the things I would look into before starting this is to see if you can source some case hardened lag bolts instead of the ones they give you. The ones they give you break relatively easily and it is ugly when they break off in the joist. They really can't be removed and you have to figure out some other way to orient the supports if this happens. For example they give you 12 of these bolts even though you really only need eight and in the instructions caution you about not breaking them as you are screwing them into the Joists.

First of all they tell you to use a 3/16 inch hole for each bolt and that is ridiculous. If you hold up a drill bit of that size to each lag bolt you'll see the shank is larger than 3/16 inch bit. I was able to use a 13/64 inch bit for a few bolts, but I had much better success with a 7/32 bit. They suggest rubbing the lag bolts with bar soap, but I didn't find that helped much. I managed to break four of them, the first when I was turning it almost as far as it needed to go. The other three broke not when I was tightening, but as I was trying to back them out after it became too hard to screw them in. This illustrates just how fragile these bolts are. Apparently if you put too much stress on them as you tighten you are never gonna be able to get them out.

You are supposed to seat the frame around the rack into the vertical supports with a rubber mallet. Some seated easily and others required filing and scraping the slots to try and make things fit. Some never really seated completely no matter what I did.

Apparently there are companies that will install these things and they include a coupon in the packaging with a discount for this service. I would seriously consider this because quite frankly even if someone charges the cost of the racks as an installation charge it might be worth it. However, if you're unemployed and don't have anything else to do with your time it might make sense. It took me about two hours to plan exactly where the racks were going to go, read all the instructions and develop a plan for installing. It then took me another seven hours to put the racks, which of course included a lot of time dealing with broken bolts and trying to figure out how to work around the problems this caused.
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on July 14, 2014
I recently bought 4 of the 4x8 racks and had such a great experience that I felt it necessary to write a review.

I am not a contractor but I am fairly handy and have done constructions in the past. I work in an office all day as does my brother-in-law (the person that helped me).

I watched the video posted on SafeRacks' website and read the instruction manual. We were able to install all 4 of the racks in about 7 hours on a Saturday. They fit together easily and are very sturdy. I quickly filled the rack to capacity and parked my car underneath it. The longest portion of the install was getting off the ladder to find my diet coke and measuring for the initial holes.

A couple of things to consider before installing...

1) Reconciling the desired position of the rack with the reality of the ceiling joists. I wanted a rack to sit out from the wall 10", but the ceiling joists didn't allow for that. We had to be willing to adjust our plan to get the ceiling-mounted rail in the proper (and safe) location. I moved it out to 19" from the wall to accommodate the joists.

2) Measuring is the most tedious part of the install. Make sure you have a nice tape - not a floppy one.

3) Drill your pilot holes to the full depth recommended in the video.

4) You need a friend to help measure but the rest of it can be done pretty much with one person.

5) Measure twice. Drill once.

This is a great product. All the parts fit, it looks nice, and it will last a long time.
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on January 5, 2014
I purchased through another vendor. I took my time with the installation, but was able to perform 100% by myself. Things I learned:

Some garages have the closest ceiling joist to the wall directly over the wall, with virtually nothing to available to bolt into. My garage was this way, and I barely had 17 feet from wall to garage door (at full open) where I planned to span two 8X4 racks. I resorted to securing one end to wall studs instead of hanging it from the ceiling. (This wasn't difficult - just had to mount hanging end first and level off of that.) Keep this in mind if your plan requires you to go all the way to a wall edge.

The mallet idea sounds okay, but I found it marginally effective when up in the air. I found that a few seconds sanding down the paint immediately around the hanging holes (I used my Dremel), then using a dry lube on them (wax or similar option) made assembly far easier. I used a hammer and 2X4 when assembling the short end on the ground, then used c-clamps and small wood scraps to ensure perfect seating into the holes when up on the ladder.

To maximize my available space, I gapped my two 8X4 racks by a little under one foot. I used a little 1X3 poplar scrap to connect the racks (increased overall stiffness) and covered the gap with a spare, white wire shelving remnant.

My primary annoyances with this set: 1) unreasonably difficult to connect long braces without sanding / scraping paint at holes. 2) wire shelving cover leaves about 3 inches of gap over the 8 foot length 3) There is only one 4 foot cross brace in this set. The vendor's website doesn't list this as an available component on its own, but it would stiffen up the overall assembly to have three braces per 8X4 rack.
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on January 17, 2015
This was a fairly good product. The hardware supplied is for the most part decent, and install was straightforward. At the end of the day, you've got an additional 32 square feet of storage where there wasn't any before.

I got the white version (I believe they have this in matte black as well), which matches the tone of the garage well, and probably won't show dust as much.

Installation requires a power drill and a 3/16 bit (you'll want a smaller pilot bit as well), and you should probably have a 5/16 and 7/16 box and socket wrench handy, as well as a slotted screwdriver. My only gripe is that the lag bolts are fairly low quality. I ended up using two higher-grade lag bolts (leftover from a TV mount installation) after snapping a couple of the supplied lag bolts. If you're the overly cautious type, spend the $5 or so for higher-grade hardware. It's to the manufacturer's credit that there are no drywall anchors or toggle bolts supplied; they're (hopefully) concerned about customer safety. I cringe when I see that type of hardware included with heavy-duty TV mounts or shelving -- it's dangerous.

I got a good deal on this, about $130 for the 8 x 4 set. I don't know that I'd pay more than $175, but I feel it was a good value at the price I paid. For those wondering why the mounting brackets run in two different directions in my install, that's because my joists converge on an angular support, and as such run in two different directions in that corner.
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on August 5, 2015
Best investment I've ever definitely upgraded our garage and now we plan on buying two more addition Safe Racks to the one I already put up. I love it!..
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on June 2, 2013
Well, I took a chance on this un-reviewed product, and it paid off. It is SOLID. Of note, there was a Costco sticker on the box - so it apparently is sold by Costco, so you know i'ts quality. Instructions don't come with it... but they are online (you'll see the website on a flyer in the box). It took me 4 hours to install, but is well worth it. Very high quality, and easy to install. Make sure you have a stud finder so you can attach it to the ceiling. I ordered the 4x8 one, and it's great. The actual rack(s) just "sits" on the installed horizontal beams, but they stay in place. 4 racks for a 4x8 unit. 4x8 unit is one big long shelf with 4 corners/4vertical beams hanging it. It came in two boxes. Very happy.
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on July 28, 2015
I like this thing. My garage is "space challenged" and this has helped a lot.

But I don't think I'd buy the same one again.

Unless you have stuff that you'll never need to get to (in which case you should probably throw it away), I wish I would have bought (2) of the 4'x4' units and hung them with a two foot gap between them. This would still give you the ability to put longer items (skis) across the back of the two racks, but it would give you access to the items in back. With this 4'x8' unit, the items in the back can be a challenge to get to.

The product is excellent. I just thought I'd post this thought with my 20-20 hindsight.
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on August 31, 2013
I bought a 4x8 rack, shipped directly from the manufacturer. Ordered on Monday; arrived on Friday, which is faster than I expected. I'm doing what they call a "perpendicular" installation, i.e., the length of the rack will run at right angles to the ceiling joists (or, in this case, trusses). The trusses are exposed, which makes the installation much easier, but the wood is pretty hard. Following instructions I drilled 3/16" holes 3" (and a bit more) into the trusses and began mounting the brackets with the provided 4" lag screws (first lubricating the threads with a bar of soap). I am starting the screws with an electric drill, but finishing them with a socket wrench so as not to over tighten. Unfortunately, I have only mounted 3 of the 4 brackets and the heads have snapped off two of the lag bolts. In this mounting configuration there are no alternate holes to use. Since there's no way I can remove the remains of the broken lag screws, I am now "engineering" an alternate way to suspend the bracket from the truss. I have also replaced the remaining lag screws with much harder screws from the hardware store. If you buy one of these units, I suggest you also replace the lags screws. If you can find one, you may also want a 3/16" drill bit that allows you to drill 4" deep, rather than 3" as specified in the instructions. A project that should have taken a couple of hours is now going to occupy an entire day and require at least one more trip to the hardware store :-( This is a $300 purchase and the manufacturer could have invested a few pennies more in better lag screws!

Incidentally, before you buy this unit I suggest you download the instruction manual from the manufacturer's web site and study it thoroughly. Installation should not be difficult for a homeowner experienced with a stud finder, an electric drill, and a tape measure, but having someone to assist will make it a lot easier. Having a 3-way laser level to accurately square the ceiling brackets is a big plus if you are doing a perpendicular installation.
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on September 24, 2014
This is a great product--I liked the first one so much I bought 2 more. My garage has a very high ceiling (>10'), so these offer me a large storage volume when hung at maximum length from the ceiling. Even at this leg length, when assembled correctly, they are very solid--capacity is listed as 600#, and there's no detectable movement when loading / unloading. I have a boat in my garage, and these end up at a great height and size for storing boat gear like tubes, skis, life vests, etc--can lift in and out with ease while standing in the boat. I also use one for storing camping gear, tools, and other things that are used infrequently, but better left in the garage than attic.

I didn't have problems with lag bolts as others mentioned. I agree that these lag bolts aren't the best quality, but I drilled deep 3/16" pilot holes per the instructions and didn't crack or break a single one (total of 12 bolts installed). I even used an air ratchet to drive the last set of 4--no problems. I recommend against using a larger drill size than 3/16"--this risks not getting good engagement of the lag screws with the studs. Yes, you need a stud finder to install, and need to be comfortable working on a ladder. It's best done with at least one helper, but can be done by yourself with the right work platform and some care and skill. Even with a stud finder, I missed studs a couple of times with the drill, but just drilled another hole nearby to hit it--it's easy to lay things out so the ceiling brackets cover those mistakes (and a little caulk doesn't hurt). If you're not comfortable with all that, just hire someone. But it's a solid, useful product, and I think it adds value to the house in the long term.
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on December 4, 2014
This rack was very easy to install but came with missing bolts and nuts, I had to go to Lowes and pick up some extra ones. By looking at the picture, it seems like there would be hooks that could be used to hand items from or bikes, but there are not any in the box. I modified a couple of hooks that i picked up and hung some items from them. Overall, the rack is nice and does hold quite a lot of storage items. I bought some bungee cords to keep items secured and from falling off the sides.
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