How to build a deck for FREE!*

*Free except the cost of tools and screws, sorry to be misleading.  Let’s get started!


 The first step was to remove each “floor board” from the pallets.  My husband did that part, depending on his mood, with either a crow bar and rubber mallet or with a sawzall.  If he used a sawzall he would have to pry the boards from the center support on each pallet, simply because there was no feasible angle at which to place the saw and cut straight.

The next step was for me to remove each nail from the boards.  Some had 6 total, some had about 30.  I removed them using a hammer, then sanded the top and edges of each board which this fist photo shows:

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After sanding each board I would stand them up almost as if they were a part of an assembly line waiting to be used.  Since we made our deck 4 pallets wide I would match 4 floor boards up by width to be in the same row.  Every other row had 1 floor board cut in half to give the “brick” pattern necessary for strength and appearance.

The following photo shows the deck in the very beginning stages of being assembled.  We screwed the pallets together and put supplemental support “beams” in between each that was still attached.  These supplemental ones were not screwed into or attached in any way to the substructure shown in the photo or to the floor boards, they are strictly for support and to prevent boards from caving in under foot.

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Here you can see the floor boards being laid down, but the supplemental supports have not been inserted yet; we typically waited until the row of pallets was about halfway covered in floor boards to shove the extra “beams” into place.  That way we could ensure they wouldn’t be a nuisance and move around on us while we were working.

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This next photo you can see how it comes together.  Unfortunately with a free deck not all the boards are going to be the best, so there are some significant gaps like in the center right of the photo.  However those are rare and overall the deck is still purposeful. 😉

However, this photo just barely shows in the top left corner the supplemental support boards and how they aren’t attached to anything, just hanging out being helpful.

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Onto row 2 of 3!  When we got to the “seam” of pallets we would begin lining up rows to ensure that we would be able to attach them to each other using floor boards.  In this photo you can see the second to last row (nearest the camera) is a bit wider than a lot of the other rows of boards.  That is on purpose, and that allowed us to have one solid row straddling the seam between the two pallet rows.

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This next photo is the second to last row on the entire deck! Yay celebration time! After the rows were all screwed down we used one last row of boards to create a skirt along the open edge, which you can see in the final photo.  With that being said, we didn’t worry about the small openings in the sides of the deck.20160517_124345 - Copy

Here is our final set up! (Update on this later)…  Here you can see Charlie the crazy girl strutting her stuff across her cool new deck.

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This photo shows the spacing between the boards, none of them are touching each other regardless of how they definitely look like they are in the photo.  I actually love the variation in the boards and some even have really pretty woodgrain!20160522_162539 - Copy

Here is the final product!  Our deck in all its glory sitting pretty before a wind or rain storm came to cover it with bark, spiky pine cones, pine straw, gum balls and leaves! ❤

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Author: Katrina

My name is Katrina and I’m married to the love of my life, William, who is a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Together we have the most precious little girls, Elizabeth Lorraine and Alodia Claire. I'm so glad you're here!

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