Zena
Zena
  • Tutorial Team
  • United Kingdom

Pallet Deck With Fire Pit

7 Materials
$120
6 Weeks
Advanced

I am totally exhausted so apologies for not posting sooner. The weather is wet and freezing here which has also held things up..
Its now 1am so forgive me if this is lacking any info , any questions and il try my best to reply asap.
I wanted something in my garden to sit my pallet bench on cos it kept getting full of crawlies!, that's how this started..
I could not afford proper decking boards or decking tiles
halfway through digging .still lots to do..
halfway through digging .still lots to do..
First I laid the pallets out to get an idea of what size deck i wanted, i decided on 3x4 pallets, this works out to aprx 10x11ft. I marked it out with string and then started to dig, the ground is sloping and i didn't want the deck so high i'd be literally peering down at my neighbours.. once the ground was dug i placed the pallets in again to check the level.
I had also used ducksback 5 yr protection (forest oak) on all the pallets to give a bit longer protection.


pallet deck with fire pit
Once it was dug and level i laid tarp ,pierced a few holes for drainage and the the long job of getting the gravel (1 ton!) from the front garden ,down the alleyway to the back garden  myself and my wonderful 15 year old son for over two hours took turns shovelling, filling and emptying, going back and forth  we really kicked some gravel butt that day!.. what a workout!


pallet deck with fire pit
When it was time to lay the pallets i soon realised it would be easier if i didn't have to lay them one at a time, so i bought 6 lengths of deck boards and I ran the boards along both sides of 4 pallets, attaching them all together with deck screws. I definitely think this helped give it added strength.
pallet deck with fire pit
I did the same with the next 2 rows but left the middle of the deck to last.. i had a little extra plan for this..
pallet deck with fire pit
I had to use blocks to sit one end on, no big issue as i intended to put a step on this end which would cover any messy looking bits.. maybe a bit of a bodge job but i checked google all the way through this project and google said it was fine.. blame google
I also used some old bricks and broken pavers under some of the framework wherever support was needed. we had found a lot of the bricks during digging!
We laid it all except the very middle two pallets
pallet deck with fire pit
I cut a pallet in half n laid them either side of the hole in the middle, that left me with one pallet-sized hole right in the centre of the deck.
I had also been lucky enough to have a neighbour close-by that was tearing down their brick shed!.. they let me have as many house bricks as i needed, i had well over 500 by the end! I used some of these to build the fire pit in the middle of the deck, we laid them two deep so there would be plenty insulation from the fire to the outside of the pit.
pallet deck with fire pit
we used more pallets to fill the gaps in the deck then painted it all twice with ducksback 5 yr protection
pallet deck with fire pit
After painting the deck we built up the rest of the pit just by stacking the bricks carefully, everything i had read said it was good to have gaps so the fire gets enough oxygen but not so embers can escape..
i know the steps wonky n needs sorting..
i know the steps wonky n needs sorting..
i attached a step by ordering 3 more deck boards. i attached thick blocks of wood to the underside of the deck (screwing into the blocks on the pallets) a blcok on the corner of each pallet and one in the middle, then just screwed the deck boards to these and then painted. The step on the left side is wonky.. i know but i dont have the energy..lol.. its tricky getting it to sit right when its on sloping ground..
pallet deck with fire pit
This pic is before i attached the step. I still have a few gaps to fill on the back right hand side but i am soo pleased with how its turned out , we actually have already used it (i thought i'd have to wait until next summer after all that! lol) but we tested it out on firework night and if i say so myself it was great! the fire pit works im pleased to say
I know i probably as usual have not put enough detail.. im hoping the pics explain the most part. I am hoping to get a pic of the deck and garden all tidy and finished as soon as the weather clears up. For now, its late..im soo tired and tomorrow i am re-decorating a feature wall in my living room!.. Hope you like the project il check back in soon as i have a moment for any question you might have.
Thanks zee
(i think i have now edited out any mistakes about 'creosote but just to be clear i used ducksback 5 year protection in forest oak, i have previously used creosote (SUBSTITUTE) on projects  it was 2am when i finished writing this post originally hence the odd mistake sorry all hope this is ok now)
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Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • Mcc24758194
    on Nov 16, 2017

    how do you clean it out?

    • Lynne Webb
      on Nov 16, 2017

      If there was nothing put in the bottom of that pit, or maybe some gravel, it will self clean. Ashes will continually soak into the soil below. If larger logs are left, they can be dried out and burned again.

    • Zena
      on Nov 16, 2017

      Hi theres a good layer of gravel in the bottom, hope this helps, we will see next spring..

  • Jba31648947
    on Nov 16, 2017

    Besides the fact that creosote is highly toxic, do you have any idea how flammable creosote soaked pallets are?

    • Amanda Jane Woods
      on Nov 16, 2017

      I was wondering about this. Later in the comments she mentions it was not actually creosote that she used. But then there are chinks left in the brick to allow sparks to escape straight to the pallets? I don't really understand that part. Doesn't the fire get enough oxygen from being open at the top?

    • Lynne Webb
      on Nov 16, 2017

      I am almost confident creosote today is not the creosote of yesterday. The EPA has seen to that. Possibly still flammable but don't worry about the toxicity. It's used at horse farms and horses are notorious for chewing on wood.

    • B_b18636569
      on Nov 16, 2017

      I was gonna say same about flamable but it is pretty. Be proud

    • Zena
      on Nov 16, 2017

      Hi Amanda Bowman force of habit and laziness keep me using the 'LOL laugh out loud' thing.. sorry
      Hi jbaggi If you read the post you will see i edited. i used to use creosote substitute a few years ago and this is why i mistakenly used the word in the summary (which i corrected), as far as i know creosote was banned many years ago, i assumed people knew this ,sorry.. I used ducksback 5 year protection in forest oak.
      Hi amanda jane woods according to a lot of research a good fire needs oxygen at the bottom so as to stop it dying out and help it stay well lit, the bricks are laid two-deep so air can get in but i doubt any ember could find its way out through two layers of brick , i did it this way purposely. Hope this helps
      Lynne Webb yes thats what i thought they changed creosote to creosote substitute years back, Thanks for verifying hun
      Finally, B_brogan Thank you for the lovely comment  i am pretty proud and it isnt often i say that about myself but this one was extremely hard work. Thanks again all for ur comments hope i have set things straight and goodd luck with any projects you take on

    • Dot
      on Nov 16, 2017

      You are amazing and the deck is gorgeous. Could the ashes from the wood be useful on flowering shrubs and plants like "potash"?

    • Zena
      on Nov 17, 2017

      Excellent idea Dot ,and thank you

    • D
      on Nov 17, 2017

      Yes Dot, potash is a good for fertilizer ONLY IF YOU USE **REAL** WOOD only in your fire pit. Otherwise, DO NOT use in around flowers and shrubs. We burn real wood only, however, a friend of ours uses wax to start her fires. She also uses chemically treated "fire logs" (like the ones you can get to burn for 3 hours only. Since I use my real wood potash she was going to do the same, only to kill some of her shrubs. So, beware of any unnatural byproducts that you use in your fireplace or fire pit BEFORE using around flowers and shrubs.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Dec 15, 2018

      As long as you use any wood without any additives - including lighter fluid, etc. - you can use the wood charcoal directly in your garden. It increases the available surface area of soil so more micronutrients and flora can feed your veggies and flowers! They will especially appreciate added compost when you mix in the wood charcoal.

      ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐ŸŒบ ๐Ÿ… ๐ŸŒผ ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿฆ‹ ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    • Robyn Garner
      on Dec 15, 2018

      As long as you use any wood without any additives - including lighter fluid, etc. - you can use the wood charcoal directly in your garden. It increases the available surface area of soil so more micronutrients and flora can feed your veggies and flowers! They will especially appreciate added compost when you mix in the wood charcoal.

      ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐ŸŒบ ๐Ÿ… ๐ŸŒผ ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿฆ‹ ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  • Amanda Bowman
    on Nov 16, 2017

    LOL, Bonnie.......What's the word???????? heh

  • Shojdik
    on Nov 16, 2017

    Looks nice but, shouldn't there be some space between the wood and the bricks? Say a crushed stone border maybe? Just thinking that maybe a spark might land on those pallets and alot of them have chemicals on them.

    • 16999903
      on Nov 16, 2017

      My thought too....fire hazard.

    • Patty
      on Nov 17, 2017

      I just knew there would be a comment about that. Look how deep the fire pit is and the way the brick is stacked, I doubt seriously that they would be foolish enough to build a fire that would be so big it would be a hazard.

    • Zena
      on Nov 20, 2017

      Thanks Patty x

    • Vicky Corey
      on Jan 12, 2018

      There is always that one or two who just have to make a negative comment. Zena it looks great!!

    • Carrie Dubrock
      on Jan 21, 2018

      It looks amazing! Kudos for all the hard work! Vicky i donโ€™t think the comments above are negative, they are legit comments for safety reasons.

    • Patty
      on Dec 12, 2018

      Good ole American inginuity and teaching the next generation too!! LOVE THAT! Many a memory to be made by a fire pit, some of my kids first memories they have.

    • Vivian
      on Dec 12, 2018

      At first I thought โ€œa fire pit on a pallet deck?โ€ Mmm? Then I saw how thick the wall was with the double wall construction and as noted how deep the pit was I didnโ€™t see any problem. Great job!

    • Ken Hoover
      on Dec 12, 2018

      I think Zena is smart enough to not build a huge fire in the pit.  Anyway, she could always buy some clear-coat flame retarding paint and cover the wood several feet out from the fire pit. That way any sparks landing on the wood would be contained to a small section.

    • Jackie brown
      on Dec 12, 2018

      This really looks great Zee. I am thinking of doing this myself as a platform (step down from my already standing deck). As for the comments, about safety, everyone watching/ following your adventure should have enough sense to apply safety features where and when they want them for their own deck. This is yours and I will apply what I want on mine when I build it. Lets just pray for the haters. Keep up the good work. .


    • Em
      on Dec 12, 2018

      The pallets are not treated with chemicals. They are scrap wood that is used to transport cargo from distributors. There is not need to treat them with anything. A spark would not be able to catch a thick piece of wood on fire. Pallets are made from hardwood not soft wood like pine. They must carry heavy loads and withstand forklifts. When my 1800's home was built the only thing between the fireplace and the wooden floor was mud. They added a layer of mud only a brick width wide around the chimney and the flooring.

      Also I think adults know to never leave a fire unattended.

    • Debbie Nottingham
      on Dec 13, 2018

      Ditto. ๐ŸŽ„โ˜ƒ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ

    • Patti Nicholas
      on Dec 19, 2018

      Actually Em, pallets are not made with scrap wood, they are just not โ€œfinishedโ€ and many pallets are in fact, treated with chemicals such as formaldehyde which itโ€™s why itโ€™s so important to check the type of pallets you use for projects. Ideally you want to use pallets marked with an HT for heat treated. Also many times pallets are used for transporting dangerous chemicals which in certain circumstances can leach into the wood.

  • Jmh28979738
    on Dec 1, 2017

    Great idea, Zena! I was looking at the fence in the background - did you also make it out off pallets? I need to build a fence around my huge backyard to protect my small dog from Colorado mt predators but the cost is prohibitive. Do you think pallets would be good to use for that?

    • Zena
      on Dec 1, 2017

      i think pallets would be perfect for it Jmhargis! . yes i put up the fence too and as its pallets the cost is minimal, i used a combination of stakes hammered down inside the pallets into the ground and also garden wire to tie to the chain-link fence running behind the pallets. my project is on here somewhere, i think i named it "pallet fence" it shows the steps i used to erect it. good luck with your fence and thanks for the lovely comment

    • Maude LaFountain
      on Dec 12, 2018

      Great job !!! Just reading this gave me a backache ...LOL.....but you and your son did an awesome job on the deck /fire pit ....I love it !!!!


    • Zena
      on Dec 13, 2018

      Thanks Maude, thanks to my son I was able to complete it, I'd nevr have managed it without him as I suffer back problems

    • Dustin Fowler
      on Dec 19, 2018

      Yes. Look it up on pinterest

    • Jennifer Dunn
      on Dec 19, 2018

      Ive used pallets before to male a fence on a rental propert so it wasnt perm. We used tposts and drilled big enough holes in the pallets and slid them on. And then filled in the gaps. It wrked perfectly

    • Rebecca Court
      on Dec 19, 2018

      Did you make sure you have fire proof bricks do you dont catch your deck on fire .

    • Marcia
      on Feb 7, 2019

      I've seen fences made out of pallets, they can be made to look awesome, but a word of caution.....pets should never be farther away from you than you can reach...especially in predator known areas. There are videos circulating of coyote, mountain lions and bears scaling 6- 10 foot walls....

  • Jaime Darr McClead
    on Dec 19, 2018

    looks amazing, I was wondering in most pallets isn't there larger span between each board? Did you fill those in with other boards or how did you do that? Would have looked completely amazing with a small gold fish or koi pond in the center.. but the fire pit looks awesome as well.....๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Zena
      on Dec 25, 2018

      Hi Jaime, I stripped the pallets to bare minimum and then re-laid the planks so there were as little gaps as i could, i did trim some here and there but over all wasn't too much extra work and Thanks

    • Lisa
      on Jan 7, 2019

      I think she said she used planks from other pallets to fill the gaps

  • Deborah Boyd
    on Dec 19, 2018

    Did you use fire bri CV k or regular brick on the fire pit?

    • Zena
      on Dec 25, 2018

      Hi Deborah, I used regular brick, i was given them free by some builders taking down a brick shed in my next door neighbours garden. I did ask what they thought about using them for a fire pit, and the safety aspect but both guys said they had brick fire pits in their gardens and had never had an issue using regular house bricks so i went with it. No issue's in the year or so i have been using mine. sorry for the late reply. hope this helps you

    • Lisa
      on Jan 7, 2019

      She is Brick from The Neighbors garage. So I believe they were just regular house bricks double-stacked

  • Tess
    on Feb 9, 2019

    Did you cut out the tarp under the firepit ?

    • Zena
      on Feb 10, 2019

      come to think of it i don't think i did Tess!.. but there is a good foot of gravel in the bottom and it's been in use for nearly a year now i think (memory is not what it used to be and it feels so much longer has passed than actually has) still no probs with it and it's probably the most useful project i'v ever done. Can't wait for summer again so i can get out and add more to it.

Join the conversation

2 of 148 comments
  • Zena
    on Feb 10, 2019

    little bit more.. put some pallet sides on the deck to shield from wind in the cooler months


  • Zena
    on Feb 10, 2019

    slowly adding.. still in good repair, panels are also from pallets ripped up and replaced so as not so many gaps, attached to fence posts, posts attached to deck with clamp down post holders, and a deck board run along the top (both sides) to lock it all together and enable stringing lights underneath.

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