Introduction: Pallet Shed

Picture of Pallet Shed

My wife and I moved into our new place a couple years ago knowing we would need to get a riding mower to keep up with the bigger yard. Between the riding mower and all the other stuff we discovered we'd need to keep up with the yard, we quickly lost half of the 2 car garage to yard equipment. We priced storage sheds, but ones that would be big enough to hold the mowers and be tall enough to keep me from cracking my head inside cost way too much; over $2300 for a 10'x10' shed at a local big box home improvement store.

We decided to build, but even low end building materials were going to add up quickly. We had been making shelves and small furniture pieces out of pallets for a couple months and started discussing using pallets as our building material. Then, one day, something really fortunate happened. There's a local printing company that occasionally sets their unwanted pallets out on the curb for who ever wants them. We happened to drive by and discovered about 5 of the biggest, stoutest pallets we'd ever seen. Each measured about 4 feet ab 6 feet. We had just found our shed. Well, most of it.

You can build one, too. These instructions show what we were able to cobble together based on what materials we had at hand. Using some of the techniques we learned, you can build your own

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Tools Needed:

Cordless drill/driver - drill holes / drive screws - Harbor Freight= $25

Phillips heads for screws

a 14" long 5/8" dill bit - for drilling all-thread bolt holes

Circular saw

Oscillating tool - used to cut the all-thread - Harbor Freight= $20

level (the bigger the better)

step ladder

2 pair of pliers

tape measure


Dozens of pallets

2 - 5 foot lengths of 5/8" all-thread

about a pound of nuts and washers to go with the all-thread

5 pounds of 1-1/2 in screws
2 pounds of 3 in screws

assorted door hardware as you like

6 - 12x2 ft roofing tin

1 - 4x8 sheet of chipboard

Step 2: Build Your Base

Picture of Build Your Base

We leveled out a 10' square area by means of digging into the ground and elevating with cement blocks. Start level and square to keep your building true and plumb later on. Once our site was prepped, I attached my first two 4'x6' pallets to ground contact rated 10' 2x4's using the 3" screws. These became he first corner of the building. The pallets walls were attached to each other by lining them up square, then drilling through with the long 5/8's drill bit. We then measured and cut a piece of allthread a couple inches longer than each hole needed. We bolted the pallets together top, bottom and center using the nuts and washes. It may have been overkill, but allthread is cheap and better safe than sorry!

Step 3: Working Your Way Around

Picture of Working Your Way Around

We added another pallet to the back using screws on the bottom and allthread bolts on the sides, then did the same on the right side

Step 4: Keep Working Around

Picture of Keep Working Around

We put up the back left corner side wall using screws on the bottom, but used some pallet top boards to attach this side piece to the back wall. These were the last of the 4'x6' pallets.

Step 5: Working Up the Sides

Picture of Working Up the Sides

We added smaller, regular sized (about 40"x48") pallets to complete the side walls. Again, we used screws to attach the pallets to the ground contact lumber, and allthread bolts to attach the pallets to each other side to side.

Step 6: Bring It Around the Front

Picture of Bring It Around the Front

We acquired some long, skinny pallets (about 3'x8') from a place a couple towns over that sold hot tubs. These weren't as stout as the 4'x6' we used for the back walls, so we used some 2x4 lumber that would frame the doorway to add structural integrity.

We then added three 12' 2x4's front to back to support a temporary plastic roof and framed in the doorway. Over night it looked like some kind of a weird greenhouse.

Step 7: Adding Doors & Roof

Picture of Adding Doors & Roof

In the garage, we built a couple doors out of chip board and pallet tops, then hung them in the door frames. We made them plenty wide to accommodate the riding lawn mower that would soon be living there.

At this point, the 10' wide x 10' deep frame of the shed is done!

The temporary plastic roof was replaced with 7 - 12' 2x4's and 6 - 12 foot long sheets of corrugated tin. The shed is about 8 feet tall in the front, and about 6 feet tall in the back, so there's plenty of slant for the rain to run off.
This tin was by far the biggest expense for the shed, coming in at about $120 for the tin and self tapping screws that made up the roof

(We found out a week or so later that an aunt had had an old barn blow down on her property. We could have recycled the tin from her old barn at no cost.)

Step 8: Windows & Skin

Picture of Windows & Skin

Now the fun part! We left some spots in the front blank so we could let some light in. We did not want all the birds nesting inside, so the window coverings are made from plastic florescent light covers. With a heavy hand, they'll cut with a box knife. We cut slightly smaller than the frame and caulked them in place.

The shed 'skin' is pallet tops. They are very uniform in width, so the look nice stacked on top of each other horizontally. When we would get the the end of a row, we would measure carefully, then cut the last piece to the exact length needed. The left over bit from that board would be used to start the next row, just like hardwood floors. The variety of wood species and colors just adds to the look of the finished product. We completed the skin on front first, then went to the back and sides

Step 9: DONE!

Picture of DONE!

Since the roof is angled to let the rain run off quickly, those side pieces needed a little more effort to cover and still look nice. Once the proper angle was measured, we were able the set it on the table saw and have a nice, uniform incline all the way up the roof line.

You, too, can build your own shed!
Take your time, measure carefully, don't let mistakes get you down, and have fun!


MikeP318 (author)2017-12-05

mmoffat, what about vents or a window on each side of building to get air going through and shutting that opening in roof?? I have many squrrels and other animals around.. Cant leave anything open! Hope to hear from you about your thoughts and thanks for posting your shed!

mmoffat (author)MikeP3182017-12-14

You could put boards or staple screen material up in those gaps to keep
critters out. I left them open for ventilation, especially once I moved
the propane meat smoker in there! :)

AdamF143 (author)2017-03-16

Does it leak? Is it water tight?

mmoffat (author)AdamF1432017-03-16

The roof overlaps & overhangs enough that nothing gets rained on.
The siding pieces are tight enough that nothing blows in. I would say
that it's not water-proof, but it is water-tight. I built in some
venting at the top so the whole thing can 'breathe'. That came in real
handy when I put the smoker in there last Summer!

TimF112 (author)2017-02-28

great job ! I built mine from oak pallets .. its good to reuse these old pallets

tlucci (author)2017-02-25

awesome! been kicking around a similiar idea for awhile now...this is both inspirational and motivating! lovely job!

NutzDad made it! (author)2016-10-13

thank you . you inspired me to create my own pallet shed.

mmoffat (author)NutzDad2016-10-13

Awesome !

mdeloor (author)2016-07-19

great job! Just wondering if this required any kind of building permit?

mmoffat (author)mdeloor2016-10-13

In my area (Cole County, Missouri), no, as this is not viewed by the county as a permanent structure.

NutzDad (author)mdeloor2016-10-13

building permits usually are required if you create a foundation. however every city, borough or township has different requirements, so please check with your municipal before starting a project.

HungryTown (author)mdeloor2016-10-07

Not sure about where you are, but where I live in North Carolina, as long as no dimension is 12' or longer, you do not need a permit. Check your county website if you live in the US.

ShabbyHijabi (author)2015-07-17

if you have any used motor oil it can be used as a stain

mmoffat (author)ShabbyHijabi2015-10-28

Seems like that would cause a fire hazard.

Jeffmclerran (author)2015-09-30

What did you do for a floor?

mmoffat (author)Jeffmclerran2015-10-28

Nothing, really. Just left it dirt, pushed some up against the side to discourage critters from taking up residence.

exo5 (author)2015-10-27

How tall it the structure?

mmoffat (author)exo52015-10-28

About 8feet tall in front, about 6 feet tall in the back.

Maker man10 (author)2015-08-18

They are now cement blocks they stopped making cinder blocks 60 years ago but great project .

mpulliam1 (author)2015-07-23

I wish I had a neighbor like you. I have so many pallets, and access to an unlimited amount (in the construction biz). We have these pallets that are more industrial then the norm for carrying cement dust. Those would make an amazing floor. Landscaping pallets are great as they tend to be untreated/raw so you generally do not have to worry about any oil/diesel residue and they love to be sanded and stained. Great job!!

PeterO9 (author)2015-07-22

ronzorelli (author)2015-07-22

Great run down! Looks awesome.

Snidely70448 (author)2015-07-18

If you have access to a glass company, they often have to get rid of pallets that are as large as 13' x 4 1/2 feet, with boards as heavy as 2" x 12" x 13' long. The 1" material is sometimes as large as 1" x 6" x 13' long, as well as some 1" x 6" x 54". It's a lot of work taking them apart and you need a full sized pickup to move them, but the possibilities are endless.

pandemonium24 (author)2015-07-18

great job !!! Any idea on money spent ?

mmoffat (author)pandemonium242015-07-18

The whole thing was about $220-$225. There was some treated lumber for the ground contact base, a couple cinder blocks to level stuff out, 2x4's for the door frame and roof rafters, a sheet of chipboard for the doors, allthread, washers, nuts, screws (SO many screws!) and the tin for the roof itself. If we'd had known about the tin the awesome aunt had available, the total cost would've been a lot closer to $100.

aashik1 (author)2015-07-17

Awesome i love it ;)...i wish i could try once :(

mmoffat (author)aashik12015-07-17

You ca do it! Start small if you like; a doghouse!

sail4free (author)2015-07-17


If you're willing to add the purlins, you could also add a single board across both ends of your rafters. Laid out properly and screwed on, these boards will hold your rafters vertical and also make the roof frame look a lot more finished. I don't worry about trimming the rafter tails (downhill ends) vertical because a trim board angled in stays drier and it's easier to fit the roof edge trim metal (if any is used). I'm currently building a 12x16 storage shed and the ridge runs the short way . . . using 1-1/2" thick blue foam board (R7.5) between 2x4 purlins laid flat (sleeper style) on the top edge of the 2x6 rafters. I use a 3/4" bar clamp to pull the rafters into position as needed, but I first use the same clamp to pull the purlin down to where it needs to be. This puts a slight compression on the foam slabs to hold them in their place until I get the solid layer of 7/16" OSB stapled/nailed down over the purlins. I'll cover the OSB with 30# roofing felt and then screw my *used* roofing metal down over that. I like the solid deck under the metal as that lets me use the old original screw holes in the metal -- wherever they might be.


Our shed has similar roof pitch = 6' rising up to 8' over 8' of distance = 3 in 12 pitch -- pretty common minimum slope for composition shingle roofs (anything flatter voids the warranty) but metal roofs can be as low slope as 1 in 12 -- extremely low maintenance -- good choice for a roof.




Donc2 (author)2015-07-17

This is a neat idea...I really like the way it looks finished..thinking about giving it a try myself.

instructableskmy (author)2015-07-17

Rugged but love it. Great idea and great job building it.

LancasterPA (author)2015-07-17

I'm sure your neighbors are thrilled. Now all you need is vinyl siding and some real doors.

Tangski (author)2015-07-16

A way to solve the venting problem. Just fill in all the areas but one. On that space do a frame. On the inside of that frame put some screen door replacement screening. Frame over that so it will not tear in weather.

This way, snow will not drift into it in winter and birds will not nest in summer. Unless you put up a nice nest box in that great tree beside the shed! The vents at the top can also be slotted, like blinds, thus you get the air flow, and no weather inside. This method is used on resin cast sheds. Works perfect and you don't need all that air flow you have there now. Just a tip! Cheers, Vicki:) I love this idea as one then saves the environment, trees get a long term second use, and hey, stain this up and it will be grand for many years to come..don't forget a floor however...!! I know people who stain their sheds in all kinds of great colors too, not just brown, grey etc. LOL more pallets however:)

Tangski (author)Tangski2015-07-16

Oh I forgot to say, great job, love the project and have it on file for my own use!:)) cheers! Vicki

SeitzE made it! (author)2015-07-16

Non male, qualche miglioramenti si puo fare.... Una idea da migliorare....

mmoffat (author)SeitzE2015-07-16

Grazie. Si prega di tenere tutto quello che hai trovato in questo Instructable, innovare su di esso e fatelo vostro!

KarenS11 (author)2015-07-16

Did you stain it later on, or apply any polyurethane to seal/protect it??

mmoffat (author)KarenS112015-07-16

The plan is to let it weather for the Summer, then spray seal it with a good deck sealer that I got on sale for $3.00/gal at [big box store]. I intend to add just a bit of stain to the sealer to add a touch more richness to the color of the wood. I'll probably do some test swatches inside the shed before I commit to the final spay ingredients.

Peter1954Lamborn (author)2015-07-15

No concrete floor?

mmoffat (author)Peter1954Lamborn2015-07-15

None. I can pour gravel or concrete or lay pavers at a later date, but at this point I don't really see a need.

Mugsy Knuckles (author)2015-07-15

Have you left the open spaces on the front under the roof joists as a venting element, or is that for the birds to utilize the space as well? Are there similar airspaces on teh back of the roof as well?
Did you use bird's mouth notches on the final roof beams to index them to the front wall?
This looks great. In fact, it is visually attractive enough that I might be able to convince my wife to let me build one.
Mine will look crappier, but by the time she knows that it will be too late.

mmoffat (author)Mugsy Knuckles2015-07-15

The space is there for venting, as I was concerned about heat build up with the tin roof. I think it was a good choice because even on the sunniest days it's not much warmer in there than outside. We had some concern that birds might be an issue with those gaps, but no birds so far. If birds do show up, I have a plan to staple up some old minnow netting to cover the gaps but still allow airflow.

Marcy60 (author)2015-07-14

If I could build a this it would make it a get a way.

mmoffat (author)Marcy602015-07-15

There is talk of me spending considerable time there during football season. :)

analizsaita (author)2015-07-14

cheap, nice, fast: i love it please if you can make more photo for the process

mmoffat (author)analizsaita2015-07-14

Will do! It looks like I need to at least add a photo of some of the allthread bolt assemblies. That's what really makes this thing so stout, but easy to put together.

mmoffat (author)2015-07-14

If you like this Instructable, or if it inspires you to create something of your own, please vote for it in this months Instructables Contest:


bravoechonovember1 (author)2015-07-14

wow! that looks amazing!

is it movable?

I would think so. We built it using all reversible techniques; screws and bolts. The roof and 'skin' can be easily removed with a cordless drill. Once those are gone we can remove the doors and door frame, then unbolt the pallets from each other and haul it to a new location in pieces.. We could also put some 4x4 skids under it and drag it up onto a flat bed truck. It's 10 feet wide, so whatever 'Oversize Load' rules of the road would apply once it hit the street.

diy_bloke (author)2015-07-14

depending on the slant of your roof, and ofcourse the time you want to put in it, I have seen people use old cans in order to get a tin roof and I must admit, some of those did look good. It just requires a lot of work.
wonder if bitumen would have been easier.
but regardless, yr shed looks awesome

sweeppreferred (author)2015-07-14

This is an awesome and inexpensive way to make a shed! And it looks so great as well!

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