How Do I Use Recycled Wood to Build a Shed?

Written by michelle brunet
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How Do I Use Recycled Wood to Build a Shed?
Recycle wooden pallets to construct your shed. (palette image by andreas from

In the United States, approximately 150 million wooden pallets end up in the landfill each year. You can build your own wood shed mostly out of recycled wood pallets and some of 2-by-4s. Visit local businesses to see if they have any to sell at a discount price. Some will be happy to get rid of them for free since they would otherwise have to pay for their disposal. You can even use partially damaged/rotten pallets for part of the building process. Look in your garage or ask neighbours for other non-rotten scraps of wood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wooden pallets
  • Bricks
  • 2-by-4 pieces of wood
  • 3-inch-by-1/4-inch bolts
  • Power drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Matching nuts and washers
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Roof felt
  • Hinges, with screws
  • Rope

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  1. 1

    Select a flat area to construct your shed. Clear the area of any surface debris and rocks. Decide how big the surface area of the shed needs to be. On his Summerville, Nova Scotia, web page, John MacDonald recommends a surface area of two by two pallets, where each pallet is 4 feet square. His shed easily houses a lawn/garden tractor.

  2. 2

    Lay bricks on the ground to use as footings for the perimeter of your shed. Place four (or however many pallets you decide) on the bricks. Temporarily tie the pallets together with rope to keep them solidly fixed together. Connect the pallets with bolts by drilling a hole with a drill bit of the same diameter as the bolt. Slam the bolt in the hole with a hammer and screw the nut and washer on the other end of the bolt; tighten with a wrench. Remove boards that are in good condition from pallets that are not fit to be used as a whole. Fill in the gaps of the pallet floor by nailing those boards over the openings.

  3. 3

    Construct a wall frame by connecting standing pallets all the way around the perimeter with the 3-inch bolts. Remember to leave a space for the door. Create a second level of pallets on top of the first-level frame, working from corner to corner. Hold the second-level pallets temporarily in place with a rope until they are securely fastened with bolts. Fill in the gaps with boards from other pallets or from scraps of wood in good condition.

  4. 4

    Create a slanted roof by placing 2-by-4s on top of the front wall of the shed. Connect the 2-by-4s with wood bolts. Construct the roof out of full pallets. Fill in the gaps in the roof and the slanted opening above the second level of wall pallets with boards from other pallets or scraps of wood. Attach roof felt to make the roof more weather-resistant.

  5. 5

    Trim a pallet to fit the size of the door. Fill in the gaps with scrap pallet wood. Attach the door with hinges and screws.

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