DIY Adjustable Shelving Units: How to Build Your Own

Adjustable Shelving Units

When the Furkids adoption center in Atlanta, GA needed adjustable shelving, for a new program for rehabilitating cats, they came to Simplified Building to help them come up with a design to fit their needs. The result, are the shelving units you see here today. The units are anchored to the wall, and the shelves themselves, can be adjusted in height. The shelving units can even be added onto, in the future, if need be.

In this article, we'll cover their project, any unique details, and even show you how you can build your own shelving units just like them. Follow along:

Project Details

Like I mentioned earlier, the Furkids were starting a new program for cats, that had previously been through some kind of trauma, that had caused them to be scared and not very social. The program, called Purrkids, is meant to rehabilitate the cats to socialize them more and hopefully, make them adoptable.

In creating the new program, Furkids created a new room specifically to house these cats. So they needed somewhere for the cats to make home. They decided to create a series of shelving units, with varying heights, where the cats could stay and play.

The shelving units are roughly 6' tall, 4' wide, and 16" deep. The shelf frame is built using Kee Klamp fittings and pipe, while the white shelves were taken from an Ikea unit the center had cut from a few years ago.

Here's what the organization had to say about the project

"We’ve finally finished setting up the shelving in our Purrkids room. The kitties in this room are all shy and/or scared due to trauma or under socialization which makes them more difficult to place in forever homes. About 2 1/2 years ago, the shelter started a program, called Purrkids, for these kitties and specially trained volunteers who work one-on-one with them to socialize them so they become more adoptable. The volunteers commit to work a minimum of 30 minutes each week with their selected cat. Although it doesn’t house all of our Purrkids cats, with the new shelving, we’ll be able to move more of them into this room. As you can see, several of our kitties have made themselves comfortable on the shelves.

I really enjoyed working with you on this project and hope to have the opportunity again. I also hope you decide to adopt a companion for your kitty if you haven’t done so already!"

So if you're looking for new companion, be sure to check out the Furkids website for more information on adopting a pet. In the meantime, let's move onto what you'll need to assemble the shelving units.

Adjustable Shelving Units

Fittings and Pipe Needed to Assemble the Shelving Units

In the Furkids' shelving units, size 5 pipe and fittings are used, but you can use any size you like. For instance, if you need the shelving units to support more weight, you may consider using a larger size.

Additionally, the height, width, depth, and number of shelving are all configurable based on what you order and would like to build. The Furkids' units are 6' high, 4' wide, and 16" deep.

Remember, that even after assembly, the height of the shelves can be adjusted by loosening the fittings that hold the shelves in place, adjusting the height, and retightening the fittings back down to secure the shelves in place,

For this tutorial, we'll be using the Furkids' shelving units as an example. So the number of fittings, and lengths of pipe, shown below are based on their units.

How to Assemble the Shelving Units

To assemble the shelving units, follow the diagram below and the proceeding steps. As with any project built with Kee Klamp fittings, exact order depends on how you would like to approach the assembly process. However, we have provided the recommend order and steps.

Adjustable Shelving Unit Plans

  1. We recommend building the shelving unit in sections. To do this, start by sliding the Single Socket Tee fittings onto the pipe meant for the vertical support (in this case, it's 6'). Set the height (this will mark the height of the shelves) and tighten down the set screw, on each fitting, to secure it in place. Do this for all four vertical supports, adding the appropriate number of Single Socket Tee fittings to each. Make sure the height of the fittings is the same on each support.
  2. You should now have four vertical supports, with Single Socket Tee fittings attached, as pictured in step two (or in other words, two pairs).
  3. From there, you will join the horizontal supports. Slide each length of pipe (in this case, they are 16") into an open socket on the Single Socket Tee and tighten down.
  4. Then, do the same thing on the other side, joining the other horizontal support.
  5. You should now have one complete side. Repeat the same process for the other side.
  6. Then, you should have two complete sections that make up the sides of the shelving unit.
  7. Since, this shelving unit is not free standing (it can be modified to be free standing, browse these ideas for inspiration or contact our projects team for help), it will need to be attached to the wall to hold it upright and keep it from falling over. To do this, we'll use the Sheeting Clip. Slide a Sheeting Clip over the pipe and mount it to the wall. There is a hole in the clip to allow hardware (such as a screw or nail) to go through. Do this for both sides of the frame as pictured in step 7.
  8. From there, you can slide the shelves onto the frame. This will slide right over the horizontal supports.
  9. That's it! You should now have complete shelving unit as pictured in step 9. Remember, the shelf height can always be adjusted.

If you have any trouble assembling the shelving unit, don't hesitate to reach out to our projects team ( Our team is experienced in working with Kee Klamp projects and can help you out with yours. We also offer free design assistance. Finally, we do offer a few shelving unit kits for a simpler approach, try browsing our selection to see if there is a fit for you.

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of Furkids' shelving units and be sure to sign up to our email newsletter to receive updates on future projects like this one.

Our Team is Here to Help

Simplified Building Team

Our experts will help you select the items you need to create your project.

Shopping Cart

Show Pricing

Option available in footer.