It’s pretty common to see pallets on Craigslist or sitting out in the back of hardware and lumber stores. Pallets are surprisingly versatile and can be very useful around your home.
You can usually get them for free — or at least for a very low price for pallets in excellent shape.
Let’s take a look at how you can repurpose pallets for your off-grid property and/or homestead, all while saving lots of money:
1. Flooring: People literally pay hundreds of dollars for custom reclaimed barn wood flooring. Disassembled pallets can replicate that same warm, worn wood feeling for a fraction of the cost. Pallets are generally far easier to find than actual old barn siding and require less effort on your part. Loading pallets into your truck or trailer is less intensive than pulling siding from an old barn. Click here for a tutorial.
2. Sheds: Needing to build a new shed? Pallets can be used to construct sturdy, long-lasting sheds at a serious discount compared to buying lumber. Another benefit of sheds built with pallets is that, depending on how you build them and whether you disassemble them, the gaps in the pallets allow you to add insulation fairly easily. Click here for a guide on building a basic shed. Don’t forget that one of these sheds can easily be tweaked to function as a greenhouse, chicken coop, woodshed, etc.
3. Fencing: Fencing is a necessity, especially if you live in the country and plan to add livestock. Even if you just need a way to keep your dog at home or keep your chickens out of your garden, pallets can be used to build fencing. Like most of these projects, a pallet fence can be super basic (t-posts with a whole pallet slip over them) or more advanced (disassembled pallets used to build a replica picket fence). Jump here if you’re interested in a basic pallet fence or here for a more advanced option.
4. Cabin: Yes, you can build a cabin with pallets for guests, hunting or just a cute little retreat on your back 40. Out of all the projects on this post, this one will require the most skill. Even though this isn’t necessarily difficult, you will need prior experience with building before taking this one on. Although a full-size cabin could be built with pallets, it would require more knowledge than I can include here. Instead of a large cabin, I would recommend trying out a small cabin that functions as the increasingly popular “tiny home.” Though this page links only to a company, it does give a very good look into how a pallet tiny home could look.
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5. Raised Garden Beds: Pallets are awesome to use for raised garden beds or even just as a small fence around portions of your garden. Raised garden beds have so many benefits. They allow you to grow in areas without fertile soil, prevent pests like gophers from eating your produce, make weed control easier and offer higher productivity/yields. Pallet garden beds are so simple to make. You can easily knock out a few in one day. Either place the beds right on the dirt in your garden or line them with plastic before adding your soil mix. Get instructions here and here.
6. Deck or Patio: One project I really like: pallet decks or patios. I find that they look really attractive and will hold up just like regular lumber when built properly. A deck can be built right onto your house or you can build a patio on your yard or in your garden as a nice area to entertain or relax.
Read here for instructions on building an attractive deck. They did buy pallets in that tutorial but you can very likely find high quality free pallets if you’re patient. Bonus: Speaking of entertaining people, here is a tutorial on building a pallet bench. This same bench can be built right onto your patio/deck or used in a garden, your home, around a fire pit, etc.
7. Household Furniture: Bookshelves, coffee tables, bed frames, shoe racks and porch swings. These are just a few examples of how pallets can be used in your home. Pallets can safely be used in your home, but I recommend using only very clean pallets that have been treated properly to get rid of potential bugs, fungus and/or chemicals from its original use. There are thousands of different ideas on the Internet for household pallet furniture. Browse this Pinterest board for over 100 ideas.
Most of these projects require you to disassemble pallets prior to building. You will need a saw (Sawzall or hand tool) to do this.
The above projects are literally just a small peek into the world of building with repurposed pallets. There are numerous sites and boards on Pinterest dedicated to DIY building with pallets. If you have something specific in mind you want to build or just want to browse, I recommend doing a Google search or look through Google images.
Have you ever built pallet buildings or furniture? Please share your builds or project you wish to build in the section below: