Build a Giant Woodshed from Pallets and Trash!

I wanted to make a quick post about a super easy and super cheap woodshed we built back in the Fall of 2011.  Using mostly materials we salvaged from the trash or re-used, we threw up this shed in a little more than a weekend.  It has a capacity of around 8 cords, but we use it for much more than just wood storage, and it now keeps our tractor out of the elements, provides storage for straw bales, and houses miscellaneous items that needed a home.  Think of it as an open-air barn.

Woodshed in progress, with a big load of wood waiting for a home. Danila's taking a break from attaching pallet rafters and rejoicing that this shed only cost $50 in materials!

The secret to this king of woodsheds are pallets, which make up the trusses, rafters and purlins on the North and South side.  Most pallets are around 4 foot X 4 foot, but we were lucky to find extra long pallets behind a fitness store.  Apparently, that’s what treadmills come on, and we checked with the store and learned that these puppies were bound for the trash, and hence free for the taking!   Instead of 4’X4′, these are just over 2′ wide, and over 7′ long. If you took one apart, you’d essentially have two seven foot 2X4s, which is pretty damn nice.

The pallets are attached with rafter ties, aka hurricane straps (aside from fasteners and the cement piers, the only thing we purchased new), to 16 foot pressure treated 2X10s, which came off a deck that was being dismantled, and showed up at our local re-used building material center – Finger Lakes Reuse.


Joe and Tammie leveling the beams. Tammie's holding a tamp to level out the ground beneath the concrete piers.

The long beams rest on 4X4 posts, which we pulled from the trash of a local children’s museum.  I believe they were once part of a community playground, which was being updated with synthetic posts.  To make leveling of the tallest 2X10 easy, we attached the top board with lag bolts into the 4×4.  It was a bit tricky, but believe it or not, attaching the 2X10s was a one-person job.

The 4X4s were placed on cement piers, leveled, and cross-supported with additional pallet-stripped 2X4s.  We added cross-braces and bracket supports where the overhangs seemed too long, and finally threw on the metal roof, which consists of various pieces we’d accumulated over the years.  Some of the pieces had been used before, and already had holes in them.  Because the pallets have boards running across them, it wasn’t too difficult to line up the holes with wood, or add an extra board where there was empty space below.

The woodshed is ready to go, just waiting for the wood to get stacked.

Before you know it, voila!  You have yourself an enormous pallet wood shed!  The last thing we did was a bit of painting (for cuteness and longevity), and adding a small loft at the back of the shed.  For the loft, we added an extra board between the middle posts, and used (you guessed it), cut down pallets for the platform.

Our tractor finally had a home!  And our firewood had a spacious, open-air space to dry, with plenty of sun and wind to accelerate the seasoning process.  A year and a half later, the shed is standing strong, and serving its purpose well!

Here we see the woodshed at work in the snow, keeping our tractor dry and holding 3 cords or so.

*One tip-> this shed is quite top-heavy, and we were worried that a strong wind might knock it over.  To keep it grounded, we attached some (wait for it..) pallets at the bottoms of the posts, and stacked our firewood on top of them.  This way, our wood is off the ground, and the shed has a few tons of cordage keeping it locked in place.