Can You Make A Deck From Pallets? (And How To Do It)

The trend for upcycling has grown in recent years, especially in the garden. People are no longer willing to spend vast sums of money on landscapers and expensive materials when there’s the possibility of giving something old a new lease on life. 

Of all the possible materials that can be used for upcycling, it’s pallets that reign supreme. They are ideal for creating benches, raised beds, and even pergolas.

Can You Make A Deck From Pallets (And How To Do It)

But can you make a deck from pallets? The short answer to this question is, yes, you can. However, there are some things you need to consider before you start tearing apart some pallets and building the deck of your dreams!

Below, we’ll explore some of the things you need to keep in mind when using pallets to build a deck. We’ll also explain how to build a deck from pallets and make sure that it’s safe for you and your family to enjoy. 

Important Things To Look For When Building A Deck From Pallets

A good deck needs to be made from strong materials. While pallets are fairly easy to come by and are inexpensive, they can often have weak spots or cracks in them, which isn’t exactly ideal when you’re building something that needs to be able to support a good amount of weight. 

With this in mind, the first thing you need to look for when it comes to building a deck from pallets is the quality of the wood. Check that it’s strong and that it isn’t showing any signs of irreparable damage. If there are a couple of damaged planks on the entire pallet, discard them.

It’s also a good idea to choose pallets that are made from thick-cut wood. The thicker the wood is, the stronger it will be. 

You should also keep an eye out for water damage when you’re sourcing your pallets. Most pallets aren’t treated with a waterproof sealant, which means any water they come into contact with can cause them to bend and warp. In turn, this creates a weakness in the wood which, again, doesn’t make it the best choice for building a deck. 

How To Build A Deck From Pallets

Once you’ve sourced your pallets and you’re 100% confident that the wood you’ve chosen is strong enough to support the weight of your garden furniture, any potted plants, and the people sitting on the deck, you can start building!

Below, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to build a deck from pallets. It’s much easier than you might think, as well. All you need is the right tools and some elbow grease!


  • Decking Screws
  • Weed Membrane
  • Gravel
  • Handsaw
  • Hammer
  • Power Screwdriver
  • Spirit Measure
  • Crowbar
  • Belt Sander
  • Paint Brush
  • Wood Sealant

Preparing The Frame

The first thing you need to do is prepare the frame of your deck. You can save a lot of time by using the shape of the pallets themselves, moving them around until you’re happy with the final layout. 

Once you’re certain that the shape of your deck is exactly as you want it, mark around the pallets using some spray chalk or some string to create the outline. After that’s done, remove the pallets and dig out the soil. This will provide a space for the gravel, which will act as a layer of drainage underneath the deck.

Take your spirit measure and check that the ground is level as you dig. Once you’ve dug out the entire space, check that it’s level again. This is an essential step, so don’t be tempted to skip it!

Lay The Weed Membrane & Gravel

Once you’re confident that the area you’ve dug out is 100% level, lay the weed membrane inside, cutting to shape as necessary. Doing this will stop any weeds from being able to root in the underlying soil and growing up through your deck. 

After you’ve laid the weed membrane, cover it with your gravel and check that it’s level again. Then, place the pallets that make up the frame back in position, pushing them together and, again, checking that they are level as you do.

Preparing The Boards

The next thing you need to do is remove and de-nail the boards of wood you have from your remaining pallets. These will make up the boards of your deck. Only use the boards that look strong and in good condition. 

Once you’ve removed the boards, sort them into sizes and remove any split ends using your handsaw. 

Laying The Boards

You can now start laying the prepared boards, making sure that they run in the opposite direction to the boards on the pallets that make up the frame. The best way to do this is to start in the middle of your deck and lay your first board across two of the pallets that make up the frame. Secure this in place using your decking screws and power screwdriver.

Work outwards from this center-board, cutting your boards to size and securing them in place as you go. Continue until you have covered the frame and, all of a sudden, you’ll see a fully-formed deck appear right before your eyes!

Finishing Touches

Once the body of your deck is built, it’s a simple case of adding some finishing touches. Take any remaining boards you have and screw them to the front of the deck to edge it. This will hide the framework and give everything a neat finish. 

Finally, take your paintbrush and wood sealant and cover the entire deck with it. This will add strength to the wood and stop it from getting water damaged. Allow it to dry completely before heading out onto your deck and enjoying the sunshine!

Final Thoughts

Building a deck from pallets isn’t only possible, it’s really easy too! The main thing to remember is that you need to choose pallets that are made from strong wood that is in good condition. Discard any boards that are split or warped, and you’ll be left with the perfect materials that you can use to build a deck at a fraction of the cost.