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Plan carefully before buying
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.