An Inspiring Approach To Building Pallet Houses

In a disaster situation survival is the primary need, speed to build trumps all other requirements. These little houses are a wonderful example of how a little design and care can result in a very usable and aesthetic house while still being extremely quick to build with easily available materials. It’s much more than a box or shed. It’s a well thought out design and construction method. Kudos to the people behind this project!

I have considered building with unmodified pallets but a speedy build times are not a requirement for me. Quality of end result is far more important because I see tiny free homes like the one I’m building to be occupied permanently and not only used for disaster situations. I also want to show how a very livable home can be built with free materials. Breaking down pallets and rebuilding with the wood seems to be a valuable use of time since it should yield a stronger and longer lasting home.

What are your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “An Inspiring Approach To Building Pallet Houses

  1. I love the design and the speed at which they can get these homes built. And of course, using the recycled pallets is great. But, without any modification, how does this design protect the inside from rain? Maybe I missed something.

  2. I think they intend the builder/occupant to then somehow sheet the house with another material. The only other way to do it would be to break up pallets and add more boards like a baton board surface. Or in this case a board on board surface.

  3. Also keep in mind that you will be towing this – as in moving – on bumpy roads. You really have to be aware of shift and jiggle. By tearing apart the pallets and then using them as raw wood you are building a sounder structure to withstand that. Nothing would suck more than to start down the road and have it fall apart as you drive – doh!

  4. Thanks zippy. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this issue too. I should have a prototype wall designed and build soon. In a nutshell I’m thinking of building panels from the short pieces and bolting them together. Then surfacing with tongue and grooved pallet boards attached with screws and adhesive. I may also let in a few diagonals. My biggest concern with building this way is the walls will be heavy because there will be more wood for each linear foot than a normal wall. In fact this is the main reason I’m being careful to pick the right trailer.

  5. michael,
    having built a woodshed (simple) and a14x20 shed, i might
    suggest that you can build by just stacking each pallet
    and bolting together, as opposed to building large wall
    sized panels. either way requires 2×4 bracing at corners.
    using individual pallets in the 40×40 to 40×54 range allows
    one person to errect walls pretty much by themselves.
    i’ve saved your project so that i and others can follow
    your progress. hope you’ll keep everyone posted and
    best of luck, bob

  6. Thanks Bob… It would be much easier in some ways to build with pallets without breaking them down. I’ll try drawing that tonight. I’ve been thinking about diagonals but keep forgetting how important they are. Thanks!

  7. Hey,this is really inspiring! I have seen compost bins built this way. Anyone have any ideas on good techniques for insulating pallet built structures? I guess you could fill the interior of the pallet with insulating material. Don’t know the ease or rvalue of this technique though.

  8. I’m planning on insulating with scrap foam packing peanuts. Should be very slow and laborious. I bet spray foam would work best because it would fill every nook and cranny. Also… like any structure it will be the air tight seal that will add to the insulating value the most.

  9. I like it but what about building inspections and pallets are not treated wood so it will rot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>