Title:
Storage device for raised homes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A storage device for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home comprises a base and a shelf that slides along the base. The base is secured to the floor of the clearance space, and has rollers rotatably mounted on its upper surface. The shelf has a top surface for the article to be stored, and a lower surface that engages with the rollers on the base. The shelf can slide out of the clearance space into an extended position for access, and in to the clearance space into a retracted position for storage. Methods are provided to install and use the storage device.



Inventors:
Carter, Richard Scott (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/195173
Publication Date:
02/08/2007
Filing Date:
08/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/16; E04B1/346
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WHGC, PLC (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A storage device for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home, the clearance space having a floor, the storage device comprising: a base having a bottom surface adapted to engage with the floor so as to substantially secure the base in position, the base having an upper surface with a plurality of rollers rotatably mounted thereon; a shelf having a top surface adapted to engage with and support the article, the shelf having a lower surface that engages with the rollers of the base so that the shelf is in a slidable relationship with the base; whereby the shelf slides out over the base in one direction into an extended position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is outside of the clearance space, thereby allowing access to the article from outside the clearance space; and the shelf slides in over the base in the opposite direction into a retracted position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is inside of the clearance space, thereby storing the article in the clearance space.

2. The storage device of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of rollers comprises: a frame mounted to the upper surface of the base; an axle mounted in the frame; and a rotating member mounted around the axle so that the rotating member projects in a generally upward orientation from the base.

3. The storage device of claim 2, wherein the rotating member is a wheel.

4. The storage device of claim 1 wherein the shelf further comprises: a guide rail mounted on the lower surface of the shelf, the guide rail substantially in parallel to the direction of movement of the shelf when it slides over the base, the guide rail mounted alongside at least some of the portion of the lower surface of the shelf that engages with the rollers of the base; and whereby the guide rail guides at least some of the rollers so as to generally hinder lateral displacement of the shelf as the shelf slides across the base.

5. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the raised home further includes a patio surface adjacent to the clearance space, the storage device further comprising: a supporting roller mounted upon the lower surface of the shelf in a generally downward orientation, positioned upon the portion of the shelf that slides out of the clearance space; and whereby when the shelf is in the extended position, the supporting roller engages with the patio surface so as to support the shelf above the patio surface.

6. The storage device of claim 5, wherein the supporting roller is adjustable so that the distance to which the supporting roller extends out from the lower surface of the shelf can be changed so as to maintain the shelf in a generally horizontal position.

7. The storage device of claim 2, wherein the base further comprises: two parallel base rails forming outside edges; a strut connecting the two base rails, the strut retaining the base rails in their relative position and orientation to each other; and whereby the frames of the plurality of rollers are attached to the base rails so that the rotating members project in a generally upward orientation from the base.

8. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the shelf further comprises: a retaining rail mounted upon the top surface of the shelf, near the perimeter of the top surface of the shelf, and whereby the retaining rail is adapted to engage with the article so as to retain the article upon the top surface of the shelf.

9. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the shelf is of sufficient length that, in the retracted position, the shelf extends substantially the depth of the clearance space.

10. The storage device of claim 1, the clearance space having a ceiling and the clearance space near the ceiling being at least partially obstructed by an obstruction, wherein the shelf is sufficiently distant from the ceiling so that the article can pass under the obstruction.

11. The storage device of claim 1, wherein the shelf slides in over the base into a retracted position so that the entire shelf is inside of the clearance space.

12. A storage device for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home, the clearance space having a floor, the storage device comprising: a base having a bottom surface adapted to rest upon and engage with the floor so as to substantially secure the base in position; a shelf having a top surface adapted to engage with and support the article; means for engaging the base with the shelf in a slidable relationship; whereby the shelf slides out over the base in one direction into an extended position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is outside of the clearance space, thereby allowing access to the article from outside the clearance space; and the shelf slides in over the base in the opposite direction into a retracted position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is inside of the clearance space, thereby storing the article in the clearance space.

13. A method for installing a storage device for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home, the clearance space having a floor, the method comprising the steps of: providing a base having an upper surface with a plurality of rollers rotatably mounted thereon; substantially securing the base in position on the floor of the clearance space; providing a shelf having a lower surface that engages with the rollers of the base; placing the shelf upon the base so that the shelf is in a slidable relationship with the base; whereby the shelf is adapted to slide out over the base in one direction into an extended position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is outside of the clearance space, thereby allowing access to the article from outside the clearance space; and the shelf is further adapted to slide in over the base in the opposite direction into a retracted position so that a substantial portion of the shelf is inside of the clearance space, thereby storing the article in the clearance space.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the steps of: sliding the shelf into the extended position; placing the article upon the top surface of the shelf so that the shelf retains the article; and sliding the shelf into the retracted position, thereby storing the article in the clearance space.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein when the shelf is slid into the retracted position, the shelf is entirely within the clearance space.

16. The method of claim 13, the raised home having a skirt that encloses at least a portion of the clearance space, the method further comprising the steps of: forming an aperture in the skirt, the skirt forming a side of the aperture; providing a panel, the panel having an edge; attaching a hinge to the edge of the panel; further attaching the hinge to the side of the aperture, the panel thereby forming a door capable of opening and closing; further positioning the base entirely within the clearance space so that the door can be opened and the shelf can be slid out through the aperture substantially out of the clearance space into the extended position; and further positioning the base so that the shelf can be slide in through the aperture entirely into the clearance space into the retracted position and the door can be closed.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the step of forming an aperture in the skirt is accomplished by removing a cut-out section from the skirt, and the step of providing a panel is accomplished by providing the cut-out section.

18. A method for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home, the clearance space having a floor, the method comprising: providing the storage device of claim 1; substantially securing the base in position on the floor of the clearance space; placing the shelf upon the base so that the shelf is in a slidable relationship with the base; sliding the shelf into the extended position; placing the article upon the top surface of the shelf so that the shelf retains the article; and sliding the shelf into the retracted position, thereby storing the article in the clearance space.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention pertains to the art of storage arrangements and more particularly to storage arrangements for raised homes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Raised homes are dwellings that include a clearance space beneath them. Raised homes can include mobile homes, modular homes, and manufactured homes, which are supported by jacks or other means to elevate the dwelling structure above the ground. Mobile homes generally require such a clearance space, to leave room for I-beams, wheels, transmissions, and other automotive structures that hang beneath the mobile home. Modular and manufactured homes are also often installed with such a clearance space beneath them, leaving room for such things as support beams, plumbing, electricity, and air conditioning.

These clearance spaces typically have a floor made of earth or plastic sheets. A skirt typically surrounds and encloses the clearance space beneath the raised home. Such skirts can be made of wood or metal, and render the clearance space relatively inaccessible. Even without the skirt, the height of the clearance space is typically no more than a few feet, which makes it difficult for people to access areas deep inside the clearance space. Raised homes typically have a patio next to the home and adjacent to the skirt, which often has a surface made of concrete.

The clearance space underneath the raised home could be used for storage. Extra storage space is especially valuable for owners of raised homes such as mobile homes, because mobile homes are generally limited in size, and the available lot size for mobile homes is also often constrained.

Existing structures for providing storage underneath raised homes include drawers that slide in and out of the clearance space. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,159,844 to Weiner, which identifies a drawer that hangs from its sides. Such drawers as identified in Weiner require that the structure be clamped to strong supporting structures, such as I-beams, or mounted in a concrete foundation, which may need to be created just for this purpose. These drawers are side mounted, and must include sides that hang from support rails, which are in turn clamped to I-beams that support the raised home. The sides of the drawers limit the available storage capacity to the area enclosed by the sides, so that bulky objects such as surfboards or Christmas trees can not be stored. Because these drawer units hang from rails supported by clamps, they can not easily store articles of great weight, because the weight of the article plus the weight of the drawer itself must hang from clamps, even when the drawer is extended. These drawer units also can not easily be made long enough to reach all the way into the available storage space of a double-wide mobile home. Double-wide mobile homes are typically twenty-four (24) feet wide, and a drawer-type device as disclosed in Weiner would tend to break or deform if a drawer carrying a substantial weight of storage were extended a great distance out of its cabinet.

Drawer units and other hanging storage units can only be installed in a limited number of places and positions underneath a raised home. Hanging units must generally be placed perpendicular to the sides of the raised home, so that support rails can clamp to I-beams underneath the raised home. Hanging units can generally not be placed diagonally, because the path would be blocked by obstacles hanging beneath the raised home. Even when perpendicular, hanging units can only be placed where there are no hanging obstacles to interfere.

Existing pallet trucks or creepers generally consist of a panel with wheels underneath. Such devices can be difficult to slide in and out of the clearance space beneath a raised home, because the wheels may dig into the floor of the clearance space, since the wheels bear all the weight of the creeper and article to be stored, or because the panel may not follow a straight path in and out without guidance. Also, if the patio is at a higher level than the floor of the clearance space, the panel will not remain level when it is moved between the clearance space and the patio, and it may be difficult to pull the wheels up onto the patio when the device is pulled out of the clearance space. Further, these devices can be difficult to operate because of their weight, since the entire storage device must be moved whenever access to the stored article is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a storage device for raised homes that is capable of storing bulky objects, such as surfboards and Christmas trees.

It is another object of the invention to provide a storage device for raised homes that can support a weight greater than that which is easily supported by drawer-type devices that hang from rails.

It is another object of the invention to provide a storage device for raised homes that can make use of the entire depth of clearance space available underneath the raised home. In the case of double-wide mobile homes, this depth can be nearly twenty-four (24) feet.

It is a another object of the invention to provide a storage device for raised homes that can be placed at non-perpendicular angles to the sides of the raised homes, to fully exploit the available clearance space.

It is another object of the invention to provide a storage device for raised homes that remains level, even when the clearance area is at a different level from the patio beside the clearance area.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a storage device for storing an article in a clearance space beneath a raised home comprises a base and a shelf that slides along the base. The base is secured to the floor of the clearance space, and has rollers rotatably mounted on its upper surface. The shelf has a top surface for the article to be stored, and a lower surface that engages with the rollers on the base. The shelf can slide out of the clearance space into an extended position for access, and in to the clearance space into a retracted position for storage. Methods are provided to install and use the storage device.

In accordance with other aspects of the invention, the shelf has guide rails to generally hinder lateral displacement, the shelf has an additional rollers pointing down so that the shelf will be level when it is pulled out onto the patio, and the shelf has a retaining rail to help retain the article in place. The rollers on the base are each made of a wheel on an axle attached to a frame, and the frames are attached to base rails that form the outside edges of the base. The base rails are connected to each other with struts. Methods are provided to install and use the storage device that include creating a door in the raised home's skirt.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is generally shown by way of reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a base, viewed from above;

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a roller;

FIG. 3 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf, viewed from below;

FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf engaging with rollers;

FIG. 5 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf, viewed from above;

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a storage device installed in the clearance space underneath a raised home, where the shelf is in a retracted position; and

FIG. 7 illustrates one embodiment of a storage device installed in the clearance space underneath a raised home, where the shelf is in an extended position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment and additional embodiments are described in detail with reference to the related drawings. Further embodiments, features and advantages will become apparent from the ensuing description or may be learned by practicing the invention. In the figures, which are not drawn to scale, like numerals refer to like features throughout the description. The following description of embodiments is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purposes of describing the general principles of the invention.

The invention includes a storage device for storing an article in the clearance space beneath a raised home, which comprises a base that sits on the floor of the clearance space and a shelf that slides along the base.

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a base, viewed from above. In one embodiment, base 10 includes two generally parallel base rails 12 forming outside edges. The bottom surfaces (not shown) of base rails 12 form the bottom surface of the storage device, which can rest upon the floor of the clearance space. Four (4) struts 14 connect base rails 12 together. Struts 14 retain base rails 12 in their relative position to each other, so that base 10 forms a structure that can be moved about and placed within the enclosed space.

The upper surfaces of base rails 12 and struts 14 form the upper surface of base 10, upon which sliding means for sliding a shelf are mounted. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, each base rail 12 has an upper surface, upon which five (5) rollers 16 are mounted, for a total of ten (10) rollers 16. Rollers 16 point up, in a generally upward orientation, so that when the shelf is installed, the shelf can sit upon rollers 16 and slide along them. The precise positioning and number of rollers 16 on base 10 are not critical, so long as rollers 16 can engage with and roll against shelf 30.

In one embodiment, base rails 12 and struts 14 are made of wood. Base rails 12 are 3.5 inches wide by 0.75 inches in height and 7 feet long. Struts 14 are 3.5 inches wide by 0.75 inches in height and 14.5 inches long. With these dimensions and assembled as depicted in FIG. 1, base 10 is 7 feet long by 14.5 inches wide. In other embodiments, base 10 is between 4 feet and 8 feet long, and up to 24 inches wide. In yet other embodiments, the length of base 10 is substantially the available depth of the clearance space, which is nearly twenty-four (24) feet for a double-wide mobile home, thereby allowing for exploitation of the entire available area for storage.

In other embodiments, base rails 12 and struts 14 are made of wood, fiberglass, metal, plastic, or combinations of these materials. In other embodiments, base 10 is a unitary pad or frame. In other embodiments, a single, wide strut 14 connects two base rails 12. In other embodiments, struts 14 are steel or aluminum C-channels. In yet other embodiments, different quantities of base rails 12, struts 14 and rollers 16 are used.

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a roller. In one embodiment, roller 16 includes frame 20, axle 22, and wheel 24. Frame 20 is mounted to the upper surface of base rail 12, which is part of base 10 (not shown in FIG. 2). Axle 22 is mounted in frame 20, and wheel 24 is mounted around axle 22 so that wheel 24 projects in a generally upward orientation from the base. When the shelf is installed upon the base, wheel 24 engages with the lower surface of the shelf so that the shelf can slide along the base.

Wheel 24 is free to rotate around the axis formed by axle 22. Either axle 22 is fixed in position relative to frame 20 and wheel 24 is rotatably mounted to axle 22, axle 22 is rotatably mounted to frame 20 and wheel 24 is fixed in position relative to axle 22, or both axle 22 and wheel 24 are rotatably mounted.

In one embodiment, wheel 24 is a disc 3 inches in diameter and 0.875 inches wide. In other embodiments, wheel 24 is a right circular cylinder, a tapered cylinder, or any other rotating member capable of rolling around the axis formed by axle 22. In other embodiments, roller 16 is a ball-type caster, with or without an axle, or any other caster capable of conveying the shelf as it slides along the base.

FIG. 3 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf, viewed from below. In one embodiment, shelf 30 includes shelf platform 32 with a top surface and a lower surface. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, shelf 30 also includes two guide rails 34 and two supporting rollers 36 attached to the lower surface.

The rollers on the base roll along the lower surface of shelf platform 32. The rollers can include wheels which roll along path 38, which is adjacent to guide rail 34 on the lower surface of shelf platform 32. In other embodiments, two guide rails 34 are provided as depicted in FIG. 3, and two columns of rollers follow two paths 38 in a track between guide rails 34. In yet other embodiments, two columns of rollers follow two paths 38 along the outside edges of guide rails 34.

Lateral displacement of shelf 30 can occur when shelf platform 32 does not slide straight out of the enclosure, either due to shifting from side to side or rotating out of alignment with base 10. Guide rail 34 underneath shelf 30 generally helps hinder this, by guiding wheels 24 to stay on path 38. Guide rail 34 does not necessarily prevent all displacement, but will provide an aligning force against rollers 16 when shelf 30 begins to deviate from its course.

Shelf 30 slides out over base 10 in one direction into an extended position so that a substantial portion of shelf 30 is outside of the clearance space beneath the raised home. This allows access to articles which are stored on shelf 30 from outside the clearance space. Shelf 30 also slides in over base 10 in the opposite direction into a retracted position so that a substantial portion of shelf 30 is inside of the clearance space. This stores the articles in the clearance space.

Typically, a raised home will have a patio next to the home, which is often made of concrete or earth. When shelf 30 is slid out into the extended position, one end of shelf 30 will extend out of the clearance space and over the patio. Supporting rollers 36 engage with and roll along the patio surface, so that the end of shelf 30 is supported and does not drag on the patio.

In other embodiments, shelf has a single guide rail 34, or more than two guide rails 34. In other embodiments, guide rail 34 is adapted to engage with and guide rollers 16, where rollers 16 are not wheels. In other embodiments, guide rail 34 is a steel or aluminum C-channel. In other embodiments, shelf 30 has a single supporting roller 36, or more than two supporting rollers 36.

In one embodiment, shelf platform 32 and guide rails 34 are made of wood, fiberglass, metal, plastic, or combinations of these materials. Shelf platform 32 is 2 feet wide by 0.375 inches in height and 8 feet long. Guide rails 34 are 1 inch wide by 1 inch in height and 7 feet long. Supporting roller 36 can have a similar structure to rollers 16 of base 10, or supporting roller 36 can be of a different type. In other embodiments, the distance to which supporting roller 36 extends out from the lower surface of shelf 30 can be adjusted.

FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf engaging with rollers. In one embodiment, shelf 30 has a lower surface, upon which guide rails 34 are mounted, and base 10 has an upper surface, upon which rollers 16 are mounted. Rollers 16 engage with shelf 30 so shelf 30 can slide over base 10. The sides of rollers 16 also engage with the sides of guide rails 34 when shelf 30 begins to deviate from its course.

In the embodiment of FIG. 4, two guide rails 34 form a track between them and rollers 16 tend to stay within this track, thereby hindering lateral displacement of shelf 30. In other embodiments, the rollers follow a path on the outsides of the guide rails, or four (4) guide rails are used to form two tracks for the rollers.

FIG. 5 illustrates one embodiment of a shelf, viewed from above. In one embodiment, shelf 30 has a top surface 40. Retaining rail 42 is mounted upon shelf 30 near the perimeter. Retaining rail 42 engages with the article being stored so as to retain the article upon top surface 40 of shelf 30.

In one embodiment, retaining rail 42 is made of wood, fiberglass, metal, or plastic. Retaining rail 42 is attached to shelf 30 using nails, adhesive, or other fastening devices. Retaining rail 42 may be made from four (4) pieces of material, which are attached to shelf 30 during manufacture. Retaining rail 42 is 2.5 inches wide by 0.375 inches thick.

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a storage device installed in the clearance space underneath a raised home, where the shelf is in a retracted position. In one embodiment, raised home 50 has clearance space 52 underneath. Skirt 54 surrounds and encloses clearance space 52, and a portion of skirt 54 has been cut out or left out to form aperture 56. Clearance space 52 has floor 58, which is at a certain level, and raised home 50 has a patio surface 60 adjacent to skirt 54. Patio surface 60 is at a level that is a slightly higher than the level of floor 58.

Storage device 62 sits on floor 58 inside of clearance space 52. Article 64 is a Christmas tree in FIG. 6, which is stored upon the top surface of shelf 30, within clearance space 52. Clearance space 52 has ceiling 66, and obstruction 68 partially obstructs clearance space 52 near ceiling 66. Ceiling 66 could be the underside of raised home 50, and obstruction 68 could be air conditioning vents installed beneath raised home 50. Retaining rail 42 engages with article 64 to help keep it in place, but retaining rail 42 does not extend so far up that obstruction 68 interferes with the operation of storage device 62. In FIG. 6, the sides of the Christmas tree could rest against the sides of retaining rail 42, thereby hindering the tree from rolling off, and ornaments or needles that fall from the tree would also tend to be retained on the top surface of shelf 30 by retaining rail 42.

Base 10 is substantially secured in position to floor 58. If base 10 is made of wood or heavier materials, this can be achieved by placing base 10 on floor 58, since the force of gravity will keep base 10 in place. If base 10 is made of especially light materials, then base 10 can be secured to floor 58 with nails, adhesives, by digging a channel, or other methods of attachment. It is not necessary that base 10 be absolutely or permanently fixed in position, so long as base 10 generally stays in place when shelf 30 slides in or out.

As depicted in FIG. 6, shelf 30 is in the retracted position. All or at least a substantial portion of shelf 30 is inside clearance space 52, so that article 64 is stored within clearance space 52. Since storage device 62 sits on floor 58, shelf 30 is sufficiently distant from ceiling 66 so that article 64 can pass under obstruction 68.

In other embodiments, a door (not shown in FIG. 6) is provided to open and close over aperture 56. Locks may be provided so that when shelf 30 is in the retracted position, the door can be closed and locked.

Because storage device 62 does not depend on having walls, storage device 62 can store bulky objects, such as surfboards and Christmas trees, that could not fit within a drawer-type storage device. Because storage device 62 does not hang from support rails, storage device 62 can store heavier objects and be made longer than drawers that hang from rails. Because storage device 62 is relatively low to the ground, storage device 62 is relatively distant from ceiling 66, so that storage device 62 and article 64 can pass beneath obstructions and storage device 62 can be placed at non-perpendicular angles to the sides of raised home 50.

FIG. 7 illustrates one embodiment of a storage device installed in the clearance space underneath a raised home, where the shelf is in an extended position. FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 6, except that shelf 30 has been slid into the extended position. A substantial portion of shelf 30 is outside clearance space 52, so that article 64 is accessible from outside clearance space 52.

As depicted in FIG. 7, patio surface 60 is at a different level from floor 58. In one embodiment, supporting roller 36 is adjustable so that the distance to which supporting roller 36 extends out from the lower surface of shelf 30 can be changed. In order to maintain shelf 30 in a generally horizontal position, the level of floor 58 plus the height of base 10 plus the distance to which rollers 16 extend up from base 10 must be substantially equal to the level of patio surface 60 plus the distance to which the adjusted supporting roller 36 extends down from the lower surface of shelf 30. This can be achieved by adjusting roller 36. Adjustments can be made by inserting spacers or washers between supporting roller 36 and shelf 30, by replacing supporting roller 36 with another roller of different dimensions, or by using a roller with features for changing its height.

As depicted in FIG. 7, shelf 30 may be pulled out so far that the lower surface of shelf 30 slides off the last roller 16 on base 10, so that shelf 30 and base 10 are no longer slidably engaged together. In other embodiments (not shown), retaining elements are attached to shelf 30, base 10, or both, which hinder shelf 30 from sliding off the last roller 16 on base 10, thereby keeping shelf 30 and base 10 in a slidable relationship. In yet other embodiments, the lower surface of shelf 30 includes secondary supporting rollers near both ends so that shelf 30 is further adapted to remain level and roll along patio surface 60 after disengaging with base 10. Such secondary rollers could be the same type of roller as supporting roller 36, or could be swivel-type casters or omnidirectional ball-type rollers to facilitate steering the movement of shelf 30 after it disengages with base 10.

The invention includes methods for installing and using a storage device in the clearance space underneath a raised home. One embodiment includes a method of installing the storage device, an alternate method of installing the storage device with a door, and a method of using the storage device. The methods of installing a storage device and creating a door are performed by the persons who prepare the storage device for use. The method of using the storage device is performed by persons who use the device to store articles after it is installed.

A method of installing a storage device on the floor of the clearance space includes the following steps. First, a base is provided having an upper surface with a plurality of rollers rotatably mounted thereon. This could be base 10 as depicted in FIG. 1, with rollers 16 as depicted in FIG. 2. Next, the base is substantially secured on the floor of the clearance space. The base need not be permanently, absolutely fixed in place, but it should be secure enough that it will not move when in use. If the base is heavy, the base can simply be sat on the floor, and the force of gravity will hold it in place. Next, a shelf is provided having a lower surface that engages with the rollers of the base. This could be shelf 30 as depicted in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. Finally, the shelf is placed upon the base so that the shelf is in a slidable relationship with the base. This could consist of setting the shelf on the base in the appropriate orientation.

An alternate method of installing a storage device and further creating a door for a raised home that has a skirt that encloses at least one side of the clearance space includes the following steps. First, an aperture is formed in the skirt. The skirt forms at least one side of the aperture, where the door will be hung. If the skirt is already in place, a section of the skirt could be cut out. A template could be provided and used to identify the places to cut. If a new skirt is being added to a raised home, a section of the skirt could simply be left out. Next, a panel is provided to be used as the door. If a section of the skirt was cut out to form the aperture, this cut-out section could be used as the panel. If a section of new skirt was left out to form the aperture, this left-out section could be used as a panel. Otherwise, other material could be acquired and used as a panel. Next, a hinge is provided and attached to the panel. Next, the hinge is further attached to the side of the aperture, so that the panel forms a door capable of opening and closing over the aperture. A lock and keys could be provided, and the lock could be installed on the door or skirt or both. Next, a base is provided, as in the previously described method. Next, the base is positioned entirely within the clearance space so that the door can be opened and the shelf can be slid out through the aperture substantially out of the clearance space into the extended position. Next, the base is further positioned so that the shelf can be slide in through the aperture entirely into the clearance space into the retracted position and the door can be closed. The base is thus positioned near the door, so that the storage device can be accessed from outside the clearance space. Finally, the base is substantially secured on the floor of the clearance space, a shelf is provided, and the shelf is placed upon the base, as in the previously described method.

A method of using a storage device in the clearance space underneath a raised home, to be performed after the storage device has been installed using one of the previously described methods, includes the following steps. First, the shelf is slid into the extended position. Next, the article to be stored is placed upon the top surface of the shelf so that the shelf retains the article, as depicted in FIG. 7. Finally, the shelf is slid into the retracted position. In the retracted position, the shelf may be entirely within the clearance space. This will store the article in the clearance space, as depicted in FIG. 6. The article can be retrieved by sliding the shelf back into the extended position. To slide the shelf out, a person could pull on the shelf or attach ropes to the shelf and pull on the ropes. To slide the shelf in, a person could push on the shelf.

A person skilled in the art would undoubtedly recognize that other components and/or configurations may be utilized in the above-described embodiments. Moreover, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. While the invention has been described in detail with regards to several embodiments, it should be appreciated that various modifications and/or variations may be made in the invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. In this regard it is important to note that practicing the invention is not limited to the applications described hereinabove. Many other applications and/or alterations may be utilized provided that such other applications and/or alterations do not depart from the intended purpose of the invention. Also, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used in another embodiment to provide yet another embodiment such that the features are not limited to the embodiments described hereinabove. Thus, it is intended that the invention cover all such embodiments and variations as long as such embodiments and variations come within the scope of the claims and their equivalents.