How to Turn Pallets Into a Patio

Backyards need a place for dining, relaxing with a good book or just reminiscing about the day with a glass of wine. A cement patio requires forms, heavy lifting and some expertise. Stone patios need a stable base or the stones will crack. A patio built from wood pallets takes just a weekend, especially if you have a helper or two.

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Wood pallets can make a stable patio.

Step 1

Measure the area for the patio. It should be slightly bigger than the area covered by the number of pallets you plan on using. The most common size for a pallet in the United States is 48 by 40 inches. Four pallets would cover an area 8 feet by 6.6 feet.

Step 2

Dig out the area for the patio so it is 3 to 4 inches larger than the perimeter of the pallets and 4 inches deeper than the height of the pallets. For example, if the pallets are 4 inches high, dig out the ground to 8 inches.

Step 3

Place a 5 inch layer of gravel into the space for the patio. Smooth out the gravel with a rake so it's level. Tamp down the gravel with the flat back end of the rake or a heavy board. Tamping down the gravel prevents it from shifting and settling later. Check your work with a carpenter's level set on top of a straight board. If the gravel isn't level the pallets won't be level.

Step 4

Water the gravel so the soil underneath settles and recheck to make sure your surface is level.

Step 5

Put the pallets on top of the gravel. There should be a 3 to 4 inch gap around the perimeter. The pallets should be slightly above ground level. Fill in the perimeter gap with gravel. Use the end of a scrap piece of 2-by-4 wood to tamp down the gravel. There should be little or no gaps between the ends of the pallets and the ground.

Step 6

Check the top of the pallets for any protruding nails. Either remove them or pound them into the wood so they are flush or below the surface of the wood.