The better half and I where looking at options to expand the patio area on the rear of our house without breaking the bank. There are so different ways to build a deck or use stones to keep the patio at ground level. Both options were a bit out of what we were looking to spend and would take a large amount of time to complete. While scanning the web for idea I stumbled upon a guy with pallets for just four bucks a pop. This got me thinking about ways to quickly and easily use pallets to not only get the patio expanded, but have a happy significant other in the process.
I began the process by measuring the two areas, which were 12'x20' and 12'x12'. A regular pallet is 40"x48" in size, making is prefect on the 12' out from the house. The length ran behind the house was adjusted so no pallets had to be cut and fabricated to fit. After putting the math together I ordered 35 pallets. The real number needed was 33, but I figured at that price a couple extra wouldn't hurt just in case we needed to do some repairs.
I started by laying three pallets from the house, parallel to the existing patio, outwards. This allowed me to level the pallets with the patio and keep that level the same throughout the entire pallet deck. Once all three were level, I connected them with to each other with a 3" screw at both ends of each pallet. I used a combination of treated wood blocks and concrete blocks. I did not attach the rows of three pallets to the next row, the weight of the sections holds them in place just fine.
Now that the pallet sections are in place and leveled, I still had the issue of gaps in between the slats of the pallets. originally, I was just going to take some boards off, buy more pallets and cut to size. I was taking measurements for this and I discovered an interesting revelation about the number. 3.5" or there about was what I was working with. This is the same as a 1"x4"x8' from any lumber yard. The boards only ran $3.75 a pop. I did have to do a little cutting to fit on the pallets, but nothing extreme.
I attached the 1x4's with 1.5" screws, one at each stud on the pallet. I centered the boards on the each section on pallet to give move strength in holding weight and together. This left a 2 foot space on each end. I cut extra 1x4's up to fill these out.
The deck was structurally complete. I now just had to stain and finish it. I went to Lowes and had the conversation with experts there. I really had to clue about this subject, but they were very helpful in educating and directing me in the direction I needed to go. I went with a stain and protector. This ran about $85 for 5 gallons. 4 gallons covered the deck easily, but the added expense was for a longer lasting cover. This will prevent needing an application every year and prevent wood rot over the winter.