DIY Recycled Pallet House With IKEA-Style Assembly Instructions. Photo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M2j5SIPC6U
Old shipping pallets, or “skids”, are enjoying a lot of press lately because they have become a popular resource for all kinds of creative upcycling ideas! The two architects that put this short video together are part of a elite group of people that have gone a step further by demonstrating that pallets can be used to build a house!
Pallets are commonly available in most countries – they are used in their millions for shipping goods all over the world. They are usually strong and durable but don’t always get reused so it’s easy to pick them up in good condition at a price well below the cost of new timber. They are ideal for building as each one can be seen as a ready-made, modular cavity wall section! Insulation and cladding can be added to the buildings form a more permanent structure if necessary. Adding pipes or cables through the gaps in the pallets is easy as they are very similar to a stud partition wall.
Why don’t we see more of these houses? Well, the planning and construction laws are pretty restrictive in most places and the idea is quite new – as the makers suggest, it could work best as emergency housing but with further design, pallets could be used to make a more permanent house.
Reclaiming and working with pallets needs to be done very carefully, especially when they are used in the home or garden – there are risks involved! Some of them will have been fumigated / treated with chemical timber preservatives and there may be contamination from chemical spillage, harmful bacteria or mould.
Be sure to check where they have come from and what they have been used to transport, use only heat treated timber (stamped with “HT”) and reject any that aren’t clean. Always wear gloves and a mask for cutting and dispose of the sawdust – please read further safety and dismantling advice in the resources below. It’s advisable to paint or oil them to seal the wood surface and to store them outdoors, away from children.
It has also been suggested that timber from pallets could be used a base layer for building your walls with cob (straw, clay and sand mix) that could be used to cover the timber, giving excellent insulation and weatherproofing properties; this would also prevent any contamination being released from the timber. Cob is a natural building material that has been used for many centuries. We just found this free book to download on how to build with cob! – it’s full of useful info here’s the link – http://www.weblife.org/cob/index.html
Pallet safety & dismantling:
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More Off-Grid And Survival Resources:
What REALLY Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Hint: It's A Bit Crazy...)
Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:
There's a general belief that if you bury a shipping container you can create an awesome root cellar / storm shelter / survival bunker.
But is a shipping container strong enough to handle the pressure?
Watch the video to see what happens:
What Really Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Click To Watch Video)