As I fell asleep last night after posting the plan that just used pallets in their original form I realized a simple way to do the pitched roof. I think this looks much better and suspect it is as strong or stronger than the one I did a few hours ago. I’m also estimating about 45 pallets. If you wanted to have a flat bottom, without wheel wells, you might need two more pallets.
What do you think?
Update: Thanks Dave for the quick feedback. You’re right I did put the horizontal weakness back in. Here is an updated plan. If you look closely you’ll see I staggered the joints in the walls. This should be fairly easy to do by just cutting a few pallets in half.
Update: Added the wheel wells in the elevation plan. Also drew a dotted line showing where the siding might be cut around the wheels.
OK you’re right… God had nothing to do with pallets… in fact if God made the trees and someone with a really arduous job made the pallets. But I digress already…
A few people have suggested that I just use the pallets without breaking them down. I discarded the idea at first because I didn’t think the house would be strong enough and that the pallets wouldn’t fit the trailer I’m using.
Then as I started to draw the pictures you see below and you’ll see how wrong I was. For the structure I’m going to try using the pallets and simply cut away the parts I don’t need. I can also add more screws and bolts to strengthen the pallets as I go. Plywood sheeting would also strengthen the whole thing.
The drawing is a bit complex so I’m going to show it to you one piece at a time. I started by drawing the outline of the trailer and the width and maximum height the house would have to fit into.
Then I added the floors. Notice that the pallets in the plan view on the trailer have been cut to match the trailer width, length, and wheel wells. Not pictured is the framing that would enclose the wheel wells.
Then I added the walls and cut the pallets off where the roof line would be. I may decide to stagger the pallets but that would require more cutting. I may just try it like it’s drawn here and see how strong it is after being bolted together.
Then I add the roof. Today I’m thinking a weird pitch like this might work better than a normal pitch due to the size of the pallets and added loft head room benefits. But I may go back to a pitched roof as I build if I can find a good way to do it.
Then I pop in the windows and door by cutting out holes and inserting window and door bucks.
Here’s the final drawing.
The entire thing would then get some kind of interior and exterior sheeting. I’m still considering using the lap jointed pallet boards I’ve made. I like they way they look. What do you think?
I think I’ve settled on a roof design. After playing with several more complex ideas, like some with dormers, perpendicular pitches, shed roofs, and so one, I decided that keeping it simple made the most sense. The only draw back is that the loft will overhang the main room 20″ more than if I turned the loft mattress 90 degrees. Queen mattresses are 60″ by 80″. Turn it one way and the loft has to be 80″ deep. Turn it the other way and 60″ is all that’s needed. The main thing to worry about is headroom so with a pitch like this one I really have to have it 80″ deep… hence the 20 extra inches.
Anyway there are a lot of other benefits with simple framing being the first. I’ll have no complicated hips or valleys to frame and I think the house will still be pretty cute. Dormers would add a lot so I may decided to add them later but for now I’ll just plan on sticking to the simple single 12:12 pitch. I’ll need a few more longer 2x4s, there are over-sized pallets out there, I just need to find them. Here’s a drawing of what I think the front of the house will look like with this roof pitch.