Pallet Talk

by Cait

Please tell me if this is a crazy idea.

We want a deck like the one below, but we don’t want to spend that much money on the wood to build it (since we also need stain, protectant, and Robert said something about wanting a new nailgun).

from desire to inspire

What we do have, however, is this:

And there’s more where that came from. Any ideas where this is going? Anyone? Bueller?

Ok, maybe I am crazy. I’m thinking we could possibly lay out some pallets as the frame since they’re about the right heigh, and then either use more pallet wood to make the deck surface or cough up the dough to buy that part.  Then I want to add the lights below-left around the edge and below-right on the eaves of the porch. Or I might just ask for Ryan’s help with LEDs around the edge of the deck. Something so that people don’t trip, die, and sue me. (You didn’t know people could sue from beyond the grave? TV says they can. Also, look Lisa, I’m thinking about liabilities!)

both from Lowe’s; left here, right here

So what do you think. Will it work? Am I insane? Discuss!

16 Responses to “Pallet Talk”

  1. I would say it’s worth a shot! Except removing the top wood. Did you see YHL’s post yesterday about that?

    • Thanks Sara!

      Yeah, I saw that post. When we tried to remove some top boards a while back we ended up going with the method Katie&Jeremy used when making the wall for Will’s nursery: sawzall. It worked ok, but I think Jeremy probably used a corded one that was more powerful. We used a combination of a really large prybar and an 18v sawzall, haha.

  2. I think it’s a great idea! It’d be neat in a sort of checkerboard pattern with each palet running the opposite way.
    You’ll have to make sure you level the ground where they will sit really, really well, and cover it with gravel for drainage. You don’t want your deck rotting or sinking into the ground before you have the chance to enjoy it.

  3. good luck! Since you surely saw the recent YHL post I’m sure you have some awesome ideas!

  4. Dude(ette), that idea is most excellent!

  5. You know – the greatest discoveries often come from the craziest ideas!

    I think you should definitely give it a try! It might turn out just wonderful.

    Just check that they are they treated in some way so that they will not get rotten withing one year (they probably are, but if not, because of the contact with the ground, then might get bad fast).

    Also, I totally know how you feel about not wanting to buy all that wood, but I have to say from experience (because I am just the same) that it is often worth a little bit of “investment” in those places where you will be spending a lot of time. So, using the pallets as a ground and adding wood on top will probably be the best idea… and if you look for good prices it isn’t that expensive, considering what you get for it.

    I really look forward to see the result!

    • Thanks Ever! I think that they are treated, but we would probably treat them just in case. I may try to use the planning tool Emily (from Merrypad) suggested to see how much it would be to build a deck. Hopefully we’ll have some results to share soon!

  6. This could work. I have been on vacation and having fun getting caught up on your post. We are hoping to do a patio in the very near future but I like the wood idea as well. Ahh more things to discuss I guess. Happy Spring!

  7. I’ve just started following your blog and like this idea- it’s very green. I agree with Robbyn that you should set the pallets on gravel to keep them away from direct contact with the ground – 4″ or so – but I think you should maintain a slight slope away from the house so that water doesn’t pool underneath of them. You can shim underneath the pallets to level them. I am a little worried about how the pallets will hold up even if they are treated, and I think they may shift and settle over time. I would keep the top decking attached individually to each pallet so that you can easily repair and replace them if necessary. Also, check out this house – – they’ve taken the whole pallet thing to another level! Good luck and keep us posted…

    • Thanks Jessica! We will be sloping the ground away from the house for sure, and probably graveling under the deck as well. We still aren’t sure if we’re going to use pallets or not, but we’ll keep y’all posted on what we decide. And I’ll definitely check that link out!


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