An Inexpensive Solution to the Saggy Bookshelf

A few years ago, my wife and I were debating what to do about a bookshelf.  We had already seen how our prefabricated store bookshelves and entertainment center would sag with time, and we didn’t want to go through that again.  I spoke to an amazing cabinet maker who could make for me the perfect bookshelf, but such quality costs money.  We needed a solution that would meet our needs, but wouldn’t break the bank and here is what we came up with.

I remember becoming frustrated in the big box hardware store seeing how cheaply made the shelf boards had become.  I began wandering the store thinking a more expensive oak board would help, but the cost of oak floored me.  Walking through the lumber department I saw all these 2″ by 12″ boards, and I thought to myself those would never warp.  They are designed to hold up homes above garage doors and then it hit me.  Why not use these boards for the bookshelf.  My first challenge was convincing my wife to accept building lumber as shelves.  I warned her that I had another crazy idea and that I just wanted a fair hearing before a flat-out no.  However, my paranoia was unjustified.  My wife loved the idea and really loved the ability to stain the wood any color she chose, and she also could choose a fresh, colored, coat of paint on the exposed wall behind the books.  She has an amazing eye for such things, and she did a beautiful job.

We have had this bookshelf for almost 7 years now.  I discovered after making the video, we built the shelves in January of 2014.  The shelves have never warped, and they have done a marvelous job holding the books we stuff in them.  The bookshelf is possibly my favorite feature of our home.  I must admit if I had an extra $3,000 at the time, I would most likely had the custom bookshelf made.  However, I am glad I didn’t because I have loved these shelves since the day we built them.

As far as spring cleaning, my wife and I spent an entire week cleaning and organizing the home.  We have never done this to such an extent and the house really needed it.  We moved furniture dusted and vacuumed under the couch, under the beds, etc.  It was a chore, but I think we will make this an annual event each June.