Wood Pallet Backyard Deck





Introduction: Wood Pallet Backyard Deck

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 3:

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!



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    38 Discussions

    Hello I have questions about filling in the pallets. Where did you get the wood to fill in the spaces? Ty

    Why don't you take your snarky remarks someplace else? Regardless of what you perceive to be shoddy craftsmanship, this project was indeed a DIY project, and i think it came out pretty good.

    nope, no participation awards today... And for all of you correcting my spelling it was an o to an i not two tt to dd. But I wasn't trying to cuss on a DIY forum. Shotty work is shotty work.

    Because not all of us can be craftsman? I think this is awesome and you should learn "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all."

    This is why you are you and he/she is who they are!! I think it looks nice! MAYBE bgraham7 has enough money to pay for the "contractor to do this for him or he is just "lazy" ;)

    Definition of SHODDY

    a: a reclaimed wool from materials that are not felted that is of better quality and longer staple than mungo b: a fabric often of inferior quality manufactured wholly or partly from reclaimed wool


    a: inferior, imitative, or pretentious articles or matter b: pretentious vulgarity


    1 year ago

    I love it

    Awesome! Going to have to try this.

    I have made something similar but put cinder blocks under each corner of each pallet. This will help with any rotting.

    OK, this deck will not last forever, but it looks and works great. And anyway, what do you expect from a 57 year old grandmother? Seriously, though, I really enjoy using what is at hand when I create things. It makes it much more challenging and fun. Keep creating!

    1 reply

    I like it!!! I plan to do something similar and was searching for others who had done the same to get some tips. No, it wont last forever, but it will last a good long while and you can't beat the price. I wish I could afford "craftsmanship" but I can't and I'm not interested enough to become a craftsman at something just to build an item I am using for functionality. :) ... Again, I think you did a great job.

    Beautiful work. Wonderful way to upcycle.

    You inspired me so much...I went and built one myself. 10 pallets in an ugly part of the back yard in front of an old grey tin shed and around a nectarine tree. Mine is not as well finished as yours. I filled the gaps in the pallet timbers. Before during and after shots attached. The waterproof outdoor cushions made from recycled cushions is my next instruct able. Photo taken on a rare rainy day in Perth Western Australia.

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    1 reply

    great idea. now that i've read some feedback about the wood rotting, i have a question. i live in ohio. i would like to have a deck but dont want to bother with the foundation. if i use treated lumber instead of pallets, can i use this same idea to build a small deck outside off my concrete porch? would it last? could i possible put a hottub on it? ( i would use 4x4s for frame and maybe 2x6s for planks and the paver stones not only on corners but on joist intersections as well?) thanks.

    2 replies

    If you are going to go through that much effort just dig the holes, use some concrete to make footers and do it proper. Putting wood on the ground is never going to last long or be level or not settle into the dirt and move all over the place.

    Hah, I only think I am handy. I have no actual proof. :p

    I am not a restaurant chef, I'm a home cook. Check me out here in all the glory of my 6 posts. http://columbuscook.com/