Build Shelves Directly Into Your Walls For Extra Storage Space

Build Shelves Directly Into Your Walls For Extra Storage Space

Finding space for your stuff is hard without adding on to your home or moving into a new one. However, many of us have at least some extra space hiding inside our walls.

Assuming your home is suitable, Installing shelves in between studs in your wall isn’t as hard as it sounds. Home improvement blog The Family Handyman has step-by-step instructions on how to cut a hole in drywall and place a shelving frame in its place.

Built-In Shelves [The Family Handyman]


  • Not sure I would want to rip a big slot out of my wall for the sake of maybe four inches…!

  • Sounds like a great idea, until you get to this little gem: “Remember, your walls are full of pipes, wires and ducts, so you need to do a little detective work to find a good spot.”

    So, you cut a 2″ hole, use a little mirror to have a look around, find there’s an electrical wire, so you patch up the hole, repaint and move on.

    So, you cut a 2″ hole on the other side of the room, have a look around, measure the studs and start cutting. This time you find a water pipe halfway up the wall. You spend the next three days making up an intricate set of shelves including a hollow 2″ tall shelf at the halfway point to hide that pesky water pipe that was in the way.

    I think you’re better off turning a whole wall into a bookshelf by building the shelves onto the existing wall (edge-to-edge and floor to ceiling), then getting extra space by moving everything out of your existing 600mm x 2400mm bookshelves and onto your new mega-shelves and throwing away the old little bookshelves.

    But that’d be too easy.

  • I don’t know about you guys.. Or other people in australia, but all of my internal walls are brick.. My external walls are double-brick.. I’m not going to be gouging huge slots into my walls any time soon. I’m not sure if its more common in newer houses (and i know this is pretty common in America) but i don’t have any walls like that in my house.

    Surely you could only save a couple of inches. Why not just build shelves ONTO the wall, like those classic ones you bolt straight to the wall so you don’t waist space having a ‘back’ of the bookshelf, you just use the wall itself.

    • While there are a lot of double-brick houses around, it’s a building style that has fallen out of favour since the mid 1980s.

      Builders today prefer light timber frame construction with gyprock sheeting for the walls because it is much cheaper, both in materials and labour. Bricks are rarely used these days in structural applications, as evidenced by most houses having the bricks laid after the roof structure has been built.

      The downside to this shelving approach is the maximum width of the shelf is narrow, as it has to fit between the studs.

      • I’ll also add, a lot of internal walls are now framed in 70×35 pine. You will make the room even less sound proof (and if it has insulation the room won’t hold it’s heat the same either)

  • This is an excellent idea so you don’t have to worry about self storage units and mobile pods for a while! I always say that it’s important to work with the space you have before looking at other alternatives! Orderliness and organization is the key! And compartmentalisation too!

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