Storage facilities usually have a junk of pallets in their backyard. Pallets are extremely important in the transportation and shipping industry because they reduce the technicalities of lifting and stacking heavy goods.
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However, once the goods are offloaded, the pallets remain as junk in the warehouse. This explains why there is always a pile of pallets in warehouse yards. The pallets can be a menace when they become too many and fill up space, yet more are being offloaded from the cargo daily.
Recently, craftsmen have come up with creative ways of making the pallet junk useful. The pallets are being put into creative use, one of which includes converting them to an affordable household furniture.
Pallets are mostly made from either wood or plastic. Wooden pallets are the most common because they are sturdier than plastic pallets which can break under too much pressure, or become weak when exposed to heat. Again, wooden pallets are easier to upcycle.
The pallet upcycling innovations are helpful both ways since the warehouse owners find a place to dispose of the junk, and even earn some little money, while the craftsmen find a more affordable substitute for planks of wood.
Some indoor furniture that is made using pallets includes seats, coffee tables, dining tables, beds, shelves, and drawers. Wood pallets can also be used to create beautiful pieces for outdoor spaces such as a vertical garden, planting boxes, gazebo, and outdoor seats. A circular saw was commonly used to make cutting much easier and quicker.
Besides all these, there is one area in the home where wood pallets can be put to good use. This is in the construction of a garage. A garage, as important as it is in the home, can be very costly to construct. It mostly comes as an extension to the main house or just a structure by itself.
When it is part of the house, then it is included in the cost of constructing the house. In cases where you need to construct a garage on the side however, you will need to explore techniques that will save you some resources and still give you a beautiful and durable structure.
The main function of a garage is to provide a shed for vehicles, instead of just parking them outside where they are exposed to all sorts of weather conditions. Some factors that you need to consider before building a garage, therefore, include:
- The number and size of cars to be accommodated.
- Any other machinery that you intend to store in the garage.
- The zoning laws in your residential area which will dictate, first whether you can add another structure in your compound and secondly where you can build the structure.
- The amount of ventilation required.
How to Build a Garage out of Pallets
Building a garage out of pallets can be a DIY project since it is very straight forward. You do not need any special skills. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about the construction.
1. Assemble the tools and materials
The first step is to bring together the tools and materials that you will need. These are as follows
Pallets – you can source from warehouses since they dispose them off at a very affordable cost. To get maximum benefits, you should visit the warehouse yourself and avoid middlemen who might increase the price exorbitantly.
A cordless drill, considering you will be working outdoors and chances are you will not have access to a power outlet. You should also consider getting a drill that will double up as a screwdriver.
Drilling bits and screw heads – consider purchasing them in sets to avoid going back to the stores every time you need a different size.
A saw for cutting the wood pallets to the right size
A level for ensuring the structure is well-balanced
A ladder – you will need this one when constructing the upper part of the garage
2. Measure the location and put up the frame
After collecting all the tools and materials that you will need for the project, the next step is to measure out the location. Here you will need to consider the factors we mentioned earlier. Use a tape measure to determine the area and mark using a thread.
If the ground is rugged or not well leveled, level it up by digging and then compact the loose soil. You should then construct a frame that is firm enough to handle the weight of the structure for the longest time.
3. Piece up the Pallets
With your frame well in place, start putting up the pallets. The first layer will be fastened on the frame all-round the structure. Then the second layer will follow on top of the first and so on until you achieve the appropriate height for your garage.
While putting the pallets together, some may not fit perfectly hence the need to size them up using a saw. Again, when screwing the pieces together, be sure to hold them tightly to prevent the structure from wobbling.
4. Put up the Roofing Trusses
This is the structure that supports the roof. Here you will need planks of wood that you will screw to the topmost pallet layer. The roofing structure will be determined by the type of roof you prefer to have.
A slanting roof is however more practical in this case because it is easier to construct. While putting up the trusses, make sure they are firm enough such that the roof will not be blown away by the wind.
5. Lay the Roof
Carefully lay the roofing tins on the trusses and screw them firmly. The roofing tins are joined by interlocking such that rainwater will not find its way into the garage.
In most cases, this will be the last step, unless you want a garage that is closed up. In this case, you will need to fill up the spaces on the pallets with planks of wood. Most people, however, prefer to leave the garage with the spaces for good ventilation.
You can also add shelves on the inside, to provide extra storage for stuff like oil containers, leftover paint, and such like things.
Benefits of Building a Garage out of Pallets
The first and most obvious benefit is the fact that using pallets to construct your garage is an eco-friendly way of upcycling the pallets. Warehouse owners are always glad to dispose of the pallets, other than having them fill up their spaces.
Secondly, pallets are cheaper than planks of wood. This is because transporting plain wood is costly and restricted in some places because of forest protection policies. Pallets are however exempted from such rules. This means that pallets can be made available at lower costs and without getting into trouble with authorities.
The other benefit is durability. Pallets are structured to handle immense pressure. Remember their main function is to support heavy machinery during transportation. This means that your garage structure will last longer if you follow the right procedure during construction.
Finally, using pallets to construct your garage is easy, hence the best method for DIY projects. Considering they are prefabricated, all you need to do is to piece them up together and fasten them firmly.
How to Check if Pallet Woods Are Safe to Use
MB stamp on wood pallets stands for methyl bromide that means the wood has been fumigated with a pesticide. But keep in mind that even if it’s already treated wood pallets are still not safe to have inside your house. Wood pallets that have HT (heat-treated), DB (debarked), or KN (kiln-dried) stamp codes are safe to use.
If you can see a discoloration, stain, or spill on wood pallets then this only means that it might possibly be contaminated by a spilled chemical. Remember that even if you can’t identify what stain came from we recommend that you pass over that pallet just to make sure it is safe.
3. Painted Pallets
Keep an eye on these kinds of wood pallets because they might belong to pallet rental companies and by using them on your home projects or DIY crafts you might face a legal charge of using them.
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