Pallet Deck With Fire Pit

by Zee
7 Materials
6 Weeks
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 but the tiles gave me the idea to use pallets instead.

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.

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 icon myself and my wonderful 15 year old sonicon for over two hours took turns shovelling, filling and emptying, going back and forth icon we really kicked some gravel butt that day!.. what a workout!

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.
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..
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 icon
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
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.
we used more pallets to fill the gaps in the deck then painted it all twice with ducksback 5 yr protection
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 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 its tricky getting it to sit right when its on sloping ground..icon
This pic is before i attached the step. I still have a few gaps to fill on the back right hand sideicon 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 sayicon
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 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 zeeicon
(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 icon 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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3 of 9 questions
  • Deborah Boyd Deborah Boyd on Dec 19, 2018

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

  • Tess Tess on Feb 09, 2019

    Did you cut out the tarp under the firepit ?

  • Bia85664317 Bia85664317 on Jul 04, 2023

    Hello! You put in a lot of hard work to get this deck built and it looks great!

    I'm in the middle of building one myself and just getting the randomly acquired pallet good for use took days! And now I'm 2nd guessing myself because it feels like the boards won't sustain a lot of foot traffic before breaking.

    My question is, how is your deck holding up now that a few years has passed since you built it?

    Thank you in advance and great job on the updates too!

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3 of 147 comments
  • Yolanda Randle Yolanda Randle on Jan 20, 2019

    You did an excellent job on the deck, I admire you for you beautiful fireplace.

  • Zee Zee on Feb 10, 2019

    I have made a few upgrades since as you can see in the pics, using pallets again, ripped and re applied , secured to fence posts ,the fence posts are attached to the deck with clamp down post holders, bolted into the deck. Each fence panel is one and a half pallet lengths, fixed on the back with galvanised metal fixing plates. I made the panels first and then attached to the posts, then i ran a decking board along the top as a bit of added strength and so i could string some lights underneath. I wont give you the links for the lights as they are not working right now! but it is kinda my own fault, after being ill for some months i forgot about the lights and left them out in one of the worst winters! so will be replacing them this year, luckily these kinds of lights (solar) are not too expensive. I erected the fencing as it means i get a few more months use out of the year when it starts to get colder, we get a nasty wind coming round the right hand side from a main road and it tends to get into your bones a bit at my age so the fence is more of a shield for that than anything else, i have also backed them with thick tarp (not seen in pics) but i attached it at the top with staples and left it to just hang rather than attached all the way down so i can roll it up in summer when a draft is much needed. Still plenty more to do on the deck and can't wait for summer to get stuck in. Hope you like the upgrade

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    • Michelle Michelle on Nov 22, 2019

      Do you not have wasp and hornets try to build nest in the pallets that would be my worry since we live in the midwest.