How To Choose a Shelving Unit

If you are in the market for a shelving unit, you may feel slightly overwhelmed at all of the options you have. Before you head off to your local building supply store, however, consider the following points.

  1. Budget-Shelving costs can run the gamut from a few to several hundred dollars, so before you begin choosing a shelving unit, you'll need to decide how much money you can afford to spend. Once you begin comparing prices, you'll probably notice a wide variety in costs. The differences typically vary based on the materials used in the shelving units, as well as the design.
  2. Size and Space-Before you can purchase the right shelving unit, you'll need to know the size of the space you want to fill with shelves. Be sure you get the specific dimensions of the space that will house the shelving unit. If you have limited floor space, choose taller units that will take up wall space instead. If you are planning on storing large, heavy items, you'll need shorter and wider shelving units for extra support.
  3. Styles-Once you've established how much money you can spend and the space you will need to fill, it's time to go shopping. Keep in mind that there are a lot of styles that can be chosen for shelving units. The most common shelving units are made of metal, wood, wire, and rubber. Before you choose a shelving unit, consider how and where the unit will be used. If you are looking for a shelving unit that will be used in a workshop or garage, a metal or rubber shelving unit might be the best choice simply because these materials will withstand drastic temperature changes. Metal storage units will also accommodate heavier items, such as power tools, etc.
  4. Construction and Number-Consider carefully what items you will be storing before you make a final decision on shelving units. Most shelving units list suggested weight capacity information, and you'll need to pay attention to these recommendations, especially if you are planning on storing heavy, bulky items. Pay attention to how the shelves are constructed. Are they put together with nuts and bolts, or are they built with connectors instead? Is the construction made of horizontal or vertical posts? How many shelves are used on the shelving unit? Do you have a choice as to how to space them? Can you move the shelves easily, or will they be permanently installed?
  5. Open or Closed Units-If you need to save money, then an open shelving unit is the way to go. For garage or workshop storage, open shelving units will allow for extra storage space. However, closed units are more popular and aesthetic for shelving purposes inside the home.
  6. Add-On Capabilities-Another economical way to begin choosing a shelving unit is to choose one that has add-on capabilities. You can begin with a starter unit and add on to it as your budget and your storage needs dictate.
  7. Decking-While some may overlook this option, you may want to consider the type of decking that will be used in a shelving unit. Solid decking will offer the most support for your items, but wire or metal shelving will eliminate excessive dust and dirt build-up.
  8. Accessories-Finally, there are also those shelving units which offer accessories, such as cloth, wooden, or metal bins or attachable doors to protect your items. For the more expensive shelving units, glass doors may also be an option, although these will typically be used strictly for decorative purposes.


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