Wood Pallet Backyard Deck

293,452

1,007

46

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!

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • CNC Contest 2020

      CNC Contest 2020
    • Secret Compartment Challenge

      Secret Compartment Challenge

    46 Discussions

    5
    64Anthonyp
    64Anthonyp

    5 years ago

    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.

    2014 7:17 am.jpg2014 7:17 am.jpg2014 7:17 am.jpg2014 7:17 am.jpg
    0
    afuasowusu
    afuasowusu

    Reply 18 days ago

    this is gorgeous! You have inspired me to create this exact setup, I have tree smack in the middle of my yard and I didn't think I could create a deck around it!

    0
    dls3016
    dls3016

    Reply 1 year ago

    Excellent!

    0
    Hb25486
    Hb25486

    Tip 4 months ago

    How many bricks are in a pallet?

    0
    pamala.leonard
    pamala.leonard

    Reply 4 months ago

    I stacked two 12"x12" concete pavers under each intersection of pallet corners. So, in the middle of the deck, the corner of four pallets shared the same pavers; on the edges, the corner of two pallets shared a stack of pavers.

    0
    nadineshields238
    nadineshields238

    Question 4 months ago on Introduction

    How many 50x 30 inch pallets would i need to make the same size deck as yours

    0
    pamala.leonard
    pamala.leonard

    Answer 4 months ago

    I used 12 pallets, but don't know what size they were.

    0
    larryladams1
    larryladams1

    Question 4 months ago on Step 2

    Hi, any idea how many 2x4x8 boards you used? Did you have any movement?

    0
    pamala.leonard
    pamala.leonard

    Answer 4 months ago

    I didn't keep count of the 2x4s, but I think it was somewhere between 60-80.

    0
    Damamabear3
    Damamabear3

    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    How many pallets are needed for a deck size of 12x15?

    0
    Pacoban71
    Pacoban71

    Answer 1 year ago

    12' x 15' = 180sq.ft.

    There are different sizes of pallets. Most common near me are 48" x 48" and 48" x 40".

    If you just use the square footage to calculate the total of pallets that would be needed for a 12' x 15' floating deck:

    48" x 48" = (11.25 pallets) round up to (12 pallets)

    48" x 40" = (13.5 pallets) round up to (14 pallets)

    Hope my math is right. And obviously, you are going to have to tweak some pallets to make it work for your space. But I hope that helps.

    And please be sure to use pallets, not skids. Big difference in strength between the two in structural integrity. I believe they rate one standard 48"x48" pallet can hold up to 4800lbs max. I don't know how correct that is, but basically they are strong.

    I'm actually in the middle of building one that is 14'x15'. And to find the skids, I went on Facebook marketplace, with search of pallets near me, and there were a few versions. Some had a cost, some with delivery and thankfully I had a brother in law with a work van, so I found the ones that were for free and we picked them up ourselves. We got 48x48 and I was told they weighed around 75lbs a pallet. So my back didn't thank me. But my wallet did.

    Best of luck.

    0
    Pacoban71
    Pacoban71

    Reply 1 year ago

    Sorry *find the pallets (not skids)

    0
    MichelleA166
    MichelleA166

    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    I was wanting to know how you would do that but with a floating deck, about pallet high off the ground

    2
    pamala.leonard
    pamala.leonard

    5 years ago on Step 4

    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!

    0
    dls3016
    dls3016

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm a 60 year old grandmother HAPPY to have come across your instructable. I'll be creating our own pallet wood deck this spring and I'll be using your suggestions.

    1
    sara.sangermano
    sara.sangermano

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 4

    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.

    0
    anoukaimee
    anoukaimee

    1 year ago

    Re concerns about ground contact: I read somewhere about someone doing this and painting the bottom of the pallets with asphalt. Wondering if anyone has tried that, or has any idea if that would work? I'm trying to do something like this on a budget (rent, broke, and needs to be totally removable).

    0
    AnnA115
    AnnA115

    1 year ago on Introduction

    Looks great to me. As a single mother I did things like that.
    Its a great idea.

    2
    Dre'aW
    Dre'aW

    Question 2 years ago on Step 3

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