There is seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to re-purposing wooden pallets. They have been used to make vertical planters, greenhouses, furniture and bigger structures, such as a studio! In this second installment of “The Wonderful World of Pallets – Building a Pallet Studio” Bonnie Grant walks us through the process of location prep and flooring!
Part One: Getting Started
Part Two: Location Prep and Flooring
Tamp It Out
Your location for the building should be as flat and firm as possible. Use a large level as you prepare the site. Remove any rocks, roots or other impediments and rake the area even. Then use a 6-foot level across each axis and again at an angle to make sure the area is as flat as you can get it manually.
Next, use a soil tamper, drive your pickup truck across the construction zone or use whatever method works for you to pack down the soil (more use of the level will be required). Once you are satisfied the area is even, it is time to start the foundation.
We lined the footprint of the studio with thick black plastic. You may also choose to use weed barrier fabric or any other color of plastic. The basic idea is to keep mud splatter from the underside of the pallets, prevent weeds and keep the area under the building tidy and out of the soil.
Next, we laid out our pavers for the foundation. You may have cinder blocks, bricks or other items which should be placed no more than 2 feet apart for a sturdy base. You may also choose to pour a cement slab. Here is where you use the level again (and again). An even, flat base is crucial to the rest of the construction.
Real construction is about to begin. Place the 2 large 4 x 10 foot pallets on top of the pavers. Adjust them to fit the footprint and create the 10 x 8 foot base of the building. Alternatively, you could use the smaller sized pallets, which are easier to find, and lay out any size you wish for the base. Just make sure you have adequate footings in place to hold up each 2-foot area of the floor base.
Next, we used 1-inch thick full sheets of plywood over the top and screwed that onto the base pallets. You can cut the ply, use full sheets, or any other suitable material, such as cement board, to make your sub-floor in the size you desire. Using full sheets will give a sturdier outcome than smaller pieces.
Use 2- to 3-inch wood screws at all the edges and in the interior of the floor for good adhesion and a strong base. One suggestion is to get self-driving screws to minimize the need for pilot holes and make the process much easier. Use the level again and make any adjustments needed to ensure a flush, even floor.