There are a number of things to consider when buying shelving systems for your home or business. The primary points that need to be addressed are what do you need to store and how much space do you have available.
There are many ready-made storage solutions available in stores for household storage from stackable plastic containers to wire-frame baskets to garage and pantry shelving and even custom closet solutions. Office supply stores and home improvement stores will be useful as well. Look for expandable, scalable systems that will continue to meet your needs in the future. Click here to read more on shelving systems.
When you are considering shelving systems for your business, you will need to pinpoint your needs. Consider what kind of accessibility you will need, whether storing archival records or retail stock that has frequent turnover. How frequently is the storage area accessed and by whom? Will access be open, restricted or secured? Will it be located off-site or near the point of need, indoor or outdoor?
The storage environment will influence the use of shelving materials. For example, galvanized steel products are ideally suited for use in commercial shelving wherever delivery bays, entry doors, or other openings are left open, leaving items exposed to environmental stress such as heat, humidity, rain, freezing cold, and rain. Galvanized products are impervious to damage from moisture, mold, rust or other causes.
It can be critical to make the best use of space while evaluating other business needs. Are there competing space needs for personnel, display, sales, or working areas?
Some other things to consider are safety issues. Local safety regulations, Uniform Building Codes and OSHA regulations all weigh in so that it is unlikely that shelving based on wood, glass or plastic would pass fire regulations. High strength galvanized steel shelving, on the other hand, is likely to meet all state, federal building and safety codes. Custom shelving solutions should be certified as being fabricated of high tensile steel coils that conform to industrial standards for quality and durability.
Ease of assembly is a significant consideration. Boltless systems that assemble uniformly with elbow grease and a sturdy rubber mallet eliminate the need to keep track of nuts, bolts, washers, and screwdrivers of various sizes when installing a shelving system and significantly streamline the installation process.
Size and mobility are factors to consider when selecting a shelving system. Is the shelving unit to be assembled in its ultimate location, and if it is, will it need to be moved at on a later occasion? Questions then arise as to whether the unit can be moved intact, whether it will pass through doorways, whether it is light enough to be moved in its entirety or needs to be disassembled and reassembled in the new location.
Are there further accessories needed to store items of different types and sizes, such as file boxes, books, DVDs or small parts? Is the shelving customizable to accommodate different shelf heights and horizontal partitions? Consider modular interchangeable systems that support easy customization.
What about weight capacity? Household storage generally encompasses seasonal items, yard equipment, small appliances and hand tools which don’t impose inordinate weight considerations and are met with light duty systems. Business storage, however, can encompass broad ranges of items to be stored, requiring heavy-duty storage systems that will support the entire load weight without risk of collapsing. At the heaviest extreme, pallet storage systems can support hefty weights stored horizontally and accessed by a forklift. These can include machinery, tools, heavy vehicle parts and accessories.
When storage space is at a premium because of cost or because other parts of the business have competing needs for space, creating a more compact storage space is a powerful technique. If the business is located in a building with high 20 ft ceilings, mezzanine solutions can be developed that create a second level of storage racks, accessed by stairs. Storage racks can be spaced three ft apart rather than five ft to further reduce space needs. Mezzanine storage usefully creates twice the storage capacity given the same ground footprint.
A final strategy when space is at a premium is to employ mobile storage racks that essentially eliminate the space between rows of storage racks except for the one being accessed. Multiple storage racks are mounted face-to-face on flat parallel tracks and moved backwards and forwards along the tracks to push the racks together that are not being accessed. This configuration can also serve to keep out some dust.
These are some of the things that need to be considered when buying shelving systems for your home or business. By taking the time to think things through carefully, you’ll make a better-informed purchase that better serves your needs. For major projects, it would be wise to consult shelving experts with years of experience devising optimal storage solutions that answer your storage needs.
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