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Thread: Building a shed/office from pallets: Part 1

  1. #1

    Building a shed/office from pallets: Part 1

    A few months ago I asked here about building garden sheds/offices. We have a unusually sized and unused bit of garden that I wanted to build on and I had a company come around and was quoted 3k for a basic office (no concrete base, insulation or electrics included in that). I had also looked at various log cabin kits but ruled them out on cost. I looked for a cheaper, alternative approach. One idea that I found out about online was building a shed using pallets.

    So, after a load of planning and then collecting various bits of pallets (and assorted other materials) I'm pleased to say that with the help of my skilful father-in-law a garden shed/office made of pallets have been constructed! Here's a quick summary of what we did for anyone who wants to try something similar.

    Firstly, I collected a load of pallets (for free) from a local company. They were various sizes, but included pallets that were pre-boarded (ideal for floor) and also some rectangular ones (212cm high) which were ideal for walls. We started by levelling the ground, laying concrete slabs, putting down a damp-proof membrane and the first floor pallets:



    Following the completion of the floor, wall pallets were bolted onto the brick wall and we built around the outside of the shed, leaving the front until last. Wall pallets were bolted together using threaded rods:



    As you can see, we used basic rockwool insulation for the floor (and did the same for the walls and ceiling).

    At this point, we left the front (the tricky bit) and decided to put the roof on. We used 6x2 joist at the front and 4x2 rafters going from front to back with just a slight incline to encourage the rain to run down to the back of the shed. It was then covered in 12mm exterior plywood. At this point, as you'll see, my friend (a professional electrician) had done some wiring for sockets etc:



    At this point, thankfully, it didn't rain, so the next day we tacked the front. This involved installing a used UVPC window (20 from eBay) and a door (made from another pallet). We framed both with the remainder of the 6x2 wood that we had and this seemed to work well. Everything was nice and solid! This took a bit longer than expected but we were pleased with the result:



    There was quite a bit of boxing up on the front to complete the next morning, we also completed the installation of the green water vapour membrane, insulated throughout and continued to put the facia around the whole of the outside of the building (12mm ply). Here's a picture of the front boarded up:



    In terms of the inside, we used interior 12mm ply (having toyed with plasterboard and other finishes). This has proved a bit of a pain to paint but at least it helped the structural rigidity of the building. We put wiring in the ceiling for down lighters and boarded that up too with 12mm ply.

    Here's a picture of the right hand side wall unfinished:



    I explored loads of options for the roof, including rubber membranes, but in the end we went for the basic felting option which should keep things dry for a while. Guttering was installed and this seems to be all working fine.

    By the end of the week (when my father-in-law had to return home to Suffolk), we had a complete building, but no decoration done. So, where is this up to now?
    Last edited by jpjsavage; 26th November 2012 at 11:30.

  2. #2
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    I have worked in recycling for 12 years and think this is a great project, well done.


    Mart

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by taffytoon View Post
    I have worked in recycling for 12 years and think this is a great project, well done.


    Mart
    Thanks Mart. Once you start looking, it is amazing what people make from pallets! I was lucky to find pretty much brand new pallets which meant that there was no vertical stacking for the walls. The wood was amazing quality and I only had to disassemble a couple of them for the door and other bits and pieces. All I did was phone the guy at the local pallet company and he said I could have whatever I wanted!

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    Did you weather proof them buddy or were they already done?

  5. #5
    Master Chris W's Avatar
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    Re: Building a shed/office from pallets: Part 1

    What a great idea.

  6. #6
    Journeyman naggge's Avatar
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    Great to see people thinking outside the box.

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    Craftsman Zephyr's Avatar
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    What an excellent idea looks fantastic, well done mate keep us posted with your progress.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by taffytoon View Post
    Did you weather proof them buddy or were they already done?
    I didn't weatherproof the pallets themselves. I covered them with exterior plywood which has been treated with a few coats of Sandolin wood paint.

  9. #9
    Craftsman ledgie's Avatar
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    Building a shed/office from pallets: Part 1

    Great project, I would like to do something similar. Looking forward to part 2.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ledgie View Post
    Great project, I would like to do something similar. Looking forward to part 2.
    Part Two is already out!

  11. #11
    Craftsman ledgie's Avatar
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    Building a shed/office from pallets: Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by jpjsavage View Post
    Part Two is already out!
    Found it, thanks! :)

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