Build the plug-in shelf yourself - is it worth it?


Plug shelves are a popular storage option for basements and storage rooms and occasionally for the garage. The high load-bearing capacity, especially of metal shelves and the adjustable shelves makes them versatile. Whether it is worthwhile to build a plug-in shelf yourself, and what you need for it, read here.

Price advantage in self-construction

If you look around in DIY stores - or in Swedish furniture stores - you will find plug-in shelves in many different versions for a very reasonable price. In most cases you will be more expensive when building your own, if you do not need special dimensions. We did a little cost comparison.

cost comparison

reference pointSteel shelf 1 (hardware store)Steel shelf DIYPlug-in rack solid wood (furniture store)
Dimensions180 x 180 x 40 cm200 x 180 x 40 made of 1.5 mm galvanized sheet steel, cut to size without creasing171 x 154 x 31
Capacityabout 50 kg per floor 50 kgabout 35 kg per floor
priceabout 60 EUR64 EUR for angle steel, 8 x 36 EUR for steel sheet cut to size by the manufacturer, or around 40 EUR per m² for self-cutting, fixing material for floors around 10 EURabout 45 EUR

Even the very approximate cost comparison shows that you have to pay for the finished variants in addition to the time-consuming work (cutting, deburring, edges, attachments) even a higher price.

DIY made of wood

If you were to realize the shelf construction with squared timbers and boards made of inexpensive but stable spruce wood, you would - depending on the price of wood - be around 40 - 70 euros, which is a bit more expensive than the furniture building price. But then you have the fun of the work and an individual, if necessary, also completely custom-made shelf. Do not forget the wood protection, depending on the use and abrasion of the shelf.

Tips & Tricks

Wood is always a much easier material to process than metal, moreover, it is usually cheaper and with the right construction and strength for almost all purposes (in racking) as strong.


Video Board: DIY Mid-Century Modern Plywood Bookcase / Shelf. FREE PLANS