I had a small project on my hands this weekend. It had to do with fixing an issue we’ve had with the house we currently reside in. Not a huge issue, but an issue nonetheless. And this particular issue has been the cause of me having all my junk spread across the living room and dining room floors.
The issue is a lack of closet or shelf space. Well, there are closets – about four of them. They aren’t huge, so that may be the cause of the “perceived” storage conundrum. As far as shelves go, up until now, we only had one unit and that’s the one I brought with us when we moved. Needless to say, I had to do something about getting my stuff organized in the garage and elsewhere.
I initially thought I would buy a bunch of those really cheap aluminum “L” brackets and some pre-cut plywood. I’d put together some ideas I’d conjured up in my head. But after the bread board debacle I caused back in college (tried to make my own bread board – ended up costing about $100), I decided against it. I figured it would be faster and cheaper if I went the pre-fab route.
I went over to Lowe’s yesterday and picked up eight 6’x1/2′ ClosetMaid wire shelve units and all the hardware that goes with it. It cost around $200. More than I thought, but probably much less than the grand I would’ve dropped for my “cheap” solution. I brought the stuff back and set up what I needed in the garage. After about four hours, I had one shelving unit installed. That’s twelve feet of shelf. I was half way done.
Now, here’s the kicker – to drill into the concrete block this house is made of, I used my regular old cordless drill with some concrete drill bits. I started small and then finished the hole with my 1/4″ bit. It worked, but it took a really long time and made me sweat profusely.
After I took a shower last night, I started thinking that there was surely a better way to do this project. I still had six of the eight shelving units to hang and at the rate I had gone yesterday, I’d be done by Christmas. Not to mention the blisters.
I started looking online for hammer drill reviews. I knew hammer drills were used to drill through concrete, but what I wanted to know was whether or not they really differed from ordinary drills.
Apparently they do. Everyone on earth (but me) knows this. If you need to drill through concrete, use a hammer drill. People out there in internet land told me that a hole that would take ten minutes to drill with a regular drill would take 20 seconds to drill with a hammer drill. Okay, point taken.
Today, I went back to Lowe’s a picked up a nice new DeWalt hammer drill, some bits and exchanged some of the brackets I bought yesterday for some shorter ones. With the new drill in hand, I wanted to challenge myself to rise to all the success stories I had read about yesterday. I began hanging the second row of shelves this afternoon.
Wouldn’t you know it – today’s project only took about a half hour. I had to drill 25 holes in the concrete and with the hammer drill, I swear those holes drilled like a hot knife through butter. What a difference. I started with smaller pilot holes of 5/32″ and then finished up with 1/4″ and 5/16″. Again, what a difference.
Now, all I have to do is to hang the four remaining shelving units in the Florida room. That will transform that room into a new plant room. Since we are going garden crazy down here, we decided that a nice plant room is in order. This way, we can get seeds growing inside before the season starts and also keep out Avocado plants from burning in the hot sun. They’ve been having a tough time with the location change. Actually, some didn’t make it, but we won’t talk about that.
Here are some pictures of my project. I screwed up on the top shelf support bracket holes and didn’t feel like re-drilling them, so I simply fixed my mistake with a few zip ties. See if you even notice.