A system of rain gutters is essential for protecting your home from the elements, but they can also have another purpose that may surprise you. They’re also great for putting together sturdy bookshelves or for storing various other items. Attached to a wall, rain gutter bookshelves are secure and low-profile, making them better than a lot of the cheap flat-pack furniture that’s available these days. If, for example, you’re planning to upgrade your gutters to a seamless system, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put the old ones to good use. You’ll need the following tools and materials:
- Vinyl rain gutters and mounting brackets
- End caps (optional)
- Screws and wall plugs
- Vinyl cement (optional)
- Vinyl paint (optional)
- Measuring tape
- Stud finder
- Spirit level
Vinyl rain gutters usually come in ten-foot sections, but if you’re buying them new, the store might be willing to cut them down to your required size. If not, you can easily cut them yourself using a suitable hacksaw. You can also use corner sections to make corner bookshelves. Make sure to get some help, since mounting the bookshelves is typically a two-man job.
Lay the sections out on the wall, preferably using a pencil to draw an outline of where they’re going to be. Make sure you use a stud finder to pick out optimal places for attaching the mounting brackets. For best results, and to ensure that the structure is strong enough, use a mounting bracket every two feet. Simply drilling into the plaster alone will make the structure very weak. Mark the locations where you’re going to put the wall plugs, and use a power drill to make the first hole.
Using a spirit level, make sure the shelves are perfectly level before you attach them to the wall. Once you’ve drilled all the necessary holes, you’ll be almost ready to mount the shelves. Before you begin, however, be sure to insert suitably sized wall plugs into the holes in the wall. Ideally, you should buy the screws and wall plugs together, since they’ll fit perfectly. With the wall plugs in place, attach the gutter mounting brackets to the wall, and place the gutters into them.
For best results, consider connecting end caps to the ends of each bookshelf, although this is entirely optional. You can use vinyl cement to keep them in place. Additionally, you can paint the gutters any color you want using a suitable vinyl paint.