With a bit of care and some nice finishing touches, a deck made from pallets can be a good low-cost choice for a small patio area.
While a pallet deck won't last you nearly as long as a deck built from treated timber, you can at least hope to get a couple of years out of it and it will only cost you the price of a packet of screws.
Preparing the frame
For the deck frame, you're going to need a number of uniform pallets in good condition all over. Lay out your pallets in the shape of your deck and move them around until you are happy with the final position. Mark around the deck shape, remove the pallets and dig out the soil to allow for a layer of gravel beneath the framework for drainage. If the ground is not level, level it as you dig.
The site should be as level as possible after you have dug out.
Preparing the boards
Now you need to remove and de-nail the straps from all the pallets you have left. Choose only boards in good condition and discard any that have splits in them. This is a time-consuming and somewhat monotonous task so get someone to help you if you can.
Laying the boards.
Your top boards should run in the opposite direction to the boards on the pallets making up the frame.
Start in the middle of the deck making sure you lay your first board across two of the pallets that make up the frame to hold them together. Cut the boards so that they finish in the centre of a strap and stagger the boards as you go to hide any imperfections and give your deck a rustic feel.
Using more straps from pallets, edge off the faces of the deck so that the underlying framework is hidden.
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