Creating a stable and safe sidewalk is cheap and easy using a few sound pallets, a few boards, some exterior paint, and some concrete stepping stones.
Step 1: Walk Above the Water and Keep Your Feet Dry!
It never failed, I would be getting ready for work in the morning on a cold, wet day when all of a sudden a breaker would flip. I had to go check it out and I noticed that generally I would be standing in a puddle of water while I flipped breakers on my main breaker panel. That can't be safe so I decided to put my love of pallets to good use!
Materials you will need:
- A few pallets in good condition
- Decking boards or other pallet boards or whatever boards you like.
- Exterior Paint to protect your wood from rotting.
- Sawzall or other method for cutting pallets, drill or nail gun to secure your work. I also used wood glue but I am not sure that is necessary.
- Cement squares, stepping stone type, to keep your sidewalk level and secure. This step is optional.
Get ready to build your elevated pallet sidewalk!
Step 2: Cut Your Pallets and Put Pallet Sidewalk Sections Together
Make a plan for the best sidewalk width and length that will suit your needs. I wanted to go from my deck to the end of my house and around the corner. Your needs will probably be different. I decided to make my sidewalk approximately 20 inches wide. I thought that would give ample walking room. My sidewalk is not all one piece. My sidewalk is made up of three sections so that I can move it easily. Two sections are attached through the use of metal wood connector plates. When I mow the lawn I reach down and grab the front edge of the sidewalk and lift it up to lean against the brick wall. That way I can mow closer and I don't have to use my weedeater along that area. I have left it down and then used the weedeater but it seems easier to lift the sections up and just mow. I also could move the sidewalk sections if I wanted to move them to use in another part of my yard.
- Cut each pallet in approximately half.
- Use exterior paint to paint all surfaces of your pallet before you attach the top wood walking surface. The paint will help prevent rotting.
- Use decking boards, fence boards, pallet boards, etc... and cut them all to the same length to make the top walking surface of your sidewalk. Make sure they are all the same size and thickness so your sidewalk is level and safe.
- Nail or screw (screwing the boards together with a driver is the easier method for me) them down to the top of your pallet frames. I also used wood glue but it may not be necessary. Make sure you nail or screw the boards into the thickest part of the pallet wood so you make strong connections.
- If you use cement stepping stones or bricks make sure they are level when placed on the ground. If they are not take a few minutes to dig a little bit and make sure you set the stones or bricks level for the safety of your sidewalk. It should not move at all if it is level. When walking on the sidewalk it should feel very sound and strong and very solid. If you do not use cement stepping stones or bricks it will be a little harder to make sure your sidewalk is level but you will need it to be level either way to make it safer and more solid feeling when you walk on it.
Step 3: Enjoy Your Sidewalk
When you finish your sidewalk and enjoy walking on it you may want to think about protecting the surface wood. I used a clear deck protector so that my wood looked natural but it would be protected from the elements and I could enjoy it for a long time to come.
I love my sidewalk and so do my dogs. I notice they use it all the time when they go outside and especially if it rains.
I hope you make a pallet based sidewalk and post it so I can see your excellent design ideas.
Thank you for reading this instructable. I hope it was helpful to you. Happy Creating!