I have what I've heard referred to as a "shelf basement", where there are large concrete enclosed "shelves" that jut into the interior space of the basement area. My understanding is that these shelves were a way of cheating a bit on digging a full depth foundation. I'm going to try to upload a rudimentary drawing and upload it or link it here. These "shelves" are about chest height and 48" to 60" deep.
Regardless of the reason for these things being there, I want to leverage this space for storage. Right now we just throw a bunch of stuff up there and it's a cluttered mess. And forget trying to get to the stuff that gets pushed to the back.
What I want to do is build some slide out drawers or trays that large items (think empty suitcases, infrequently used small kitchen appliances, boxes of blankets, etc.) can be placed on/into, and the drawers will slide in and out to access the stored items.
What I'm looking for is the most economical way to build some sturdy large sliding trays or drawers that we will actually be able to use after they're built. Here are my thoughts so far.
- Each drawer will be the full depth of the concrete shelf (so nothing can be shoved in and off the end of the drawer) and 48" wide.
- I want short sides on the two sides and back of the drawers so things don't fall off and get lost off the end of the drawer.
- I think wheels are out as a way to roll/move the drawers, because the wheels would roll off the edge of the shelf when the drawer is pulled out.
- To the extent possible, I'd like to have these things be modular, so I can put them in place wherever it's logical (there are windows and other obstructions in various places).
- Also, the horizontal concrete surface is far from plumb/square/level.
I'm wondering if anyone out there has done something like this before, and what you might have done to solve this problem. Or even if you haven't done it before, and you like a good storage design challenge, what are your thoughts for the best way to solve this problem?