I thought the story was over. The shelves were built and I walked off slowly into the sunset.
However, sometimes you can’t predict the future. There was an unfortunate incident that caused both garage doors to need to be replaced.
One of the garage doors came in contact with a minivan. We may never know who moved first, but suffice it to say, mistakes were made and the garage door paid the ultimate price.
I thought at first I had the technology to rebuild it. But instead all I was able to do was board up the door for the impending zombie apocalypse. And even then, the trash bags covering the windows wouldn’t have kept them out for long.
It turns out (as with many things today) that it is cheaper to replace than to repair.
I found someone to replace the doors. After initial pleasantries, he said, “You’re going to have to take down those shelves so we can work.”
I was initially frustrated at having to spend the time to take the shelves off the ceiling. But I realized that other than being bulky, the effort to take them down was small; only a few bolts per shelf.
Then I became concerned that the new doors would require more clearance and I’d lose space. There would be nothing I could do about that, but it was a concern.
When I realized I might have to change the height of the shelves, I wondered if I might make the right side shelves a little bigger.
If you recall, the right side shelves were about one inch shorter than the left. The doors on that side required more clearance. Because the supports are modular, it was easy to modify the shelves during the install to make them shorter.
Modular Design Wins Again
It took me about an hour to take all the shelves off of the ceiling. As I removed each piece, I labeled it with a permanent marker to ensure that the pieces stayed together.
After the new doors were in place, I measured how much clearance the right side doors needed. As it turns out, the right side shelf could be made taller to match the left side shelves.
I quickly re-hung the left side shelves, testing for clearance all along the way. I then adjusted the height of the right side shelves and rehung them.
All told, it took about an hour and a half to get the shelves back on the ceiling.
When I first started this project, I had to decide if I was going to build the shelves using a flexible design or if I was simply going to decide the dimensions and build something permanent.
Permanent would have been cheaper in materials, at least in the beginning (for example building shelves out of wood). But had I gone in that direction, I may have ended up destroying the shelves when the garage doors needed to be replaced.
Modularity was an unexpected insurance policy against the future.
That’s it. I feel I’ve learned all I can from this project. And I do hope I never again have a need to write about these shelves.
As always, thanks for reading.