Many years ago, my kids and I cleared out the storage container that my company had for many years. About 10 years earlier, one of our staff left the company and all of his boxes of documents were put in storage. 2x4s had been used to make rudimentary shelving for the boxes to sit on.
After we cleared the boxes out of the storage container and took them to the dump, we loaded up a huge pile of 2x4s into the rented truck. When we got home, we removed the nails and stacked the 2x4s in the back of my garage.
So, one day, I got this brilliant idea to build a deck in the back yard. The first step was to gather pallets. Then, the task at hand was to figure out how to take the random sized pallets we had collected and arrange them into a rectangle that would fit in the space we had available. This took way longer than it should have!
Step 1: The Platform
The deck was going to be located in a fairly level part of the back yard, so I didn't bother moving around any dirt.
Weed cloth was laid down, 1'x1' pavers were placed at each corner of the deck and at the junction of where pallet corners would land, then we arranged the pallets on top. Leftover drywall screws were used to fasten the pallets to each other and scrap lumber was used to fill in the gaps between pallets. We shored up the places where things weren't quite sitting level on the pavers using rocks and scrap bricks.
2x4s were used to made a frame around the platform to further tie the pallets together and make the edge look sort of finished. Since the 2x4s were 8' long, we had to piece together along the edges.
The resulting platform was roughly 8-1/2' by 12'.
Step 2: Adding the Deck Boards
Definitely time to bring in an easy-up canopy!
Then it was time to put 2x4s on top of the platform. We started at the front edge and placed the first boards so they hung over the front edge by about 1/4", and at each end by about 1"-2". Once again, drywall screws were used to fasten the 2x4s to the platform. As more boards were added, the seams where 2x4s butted together were placed so they landed on top of pallet wood and were staggared, using leftover pieces from previous rows to make sure the seams looked random. The ends of the boards ended up hanging over the edge of the deck by various amounts.
After all of the deck boards were fastened down, we trimmed the edges to within 1" of the frame underneath.
Step 4: Finishing the Deck
The final steps were to apply a generous coat of waterproofing and add deck chairs.
In the end, I spent less than $100 on the project: a second box of drywall screws, four or five 2x4s and a gallon of waterproofing.
And, as you can see, our next project was a Zen garden. Hope you enjoyed this Instructable!