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Why You Shouldn't Build With Pallets

Posted 10 December 2021 4:05 PM by Jase DeBoer

Pallets are easy to come by at typically little to no cost. Although they’re perfect for transporting large items, they may not be the best building material for that new set of outdoor chairs, table or anything else that requires structural integrity. We’re breaking down why you shouldn’t use pallets for your next project and, more importantly, what you should build with instead.

Pallets Are Typically Rough Sawn

If your project is any sort of furniture, you’ll likely be coming into direct contact with the wood at some point. Pallets aren’t constructed to be handled directly, but rather with machinery; pallet wood is rough sawn and jagged for cost savings. If you’re building with pallet materials, you’ll likely end up with slivers and splinters during the building process or shortly after.

Seating made with pallets
You can give your guests splinters and a place to sit with this furniture set. 

Heat Treatment Doesn’t Compare to Pressure-Treated Lumber

Since pallets aren’t meant to be used outdoors, they don’t have the necessary treatment to withstand any variant of weather and wear. If they do receive any treatment, it’s likely heat treatment. This removes any insects, but it won’t protect the wood in the long term.

Pressure-treated lumber protects against rot, decay and insects. Not only does this offer lifetime protection, but using PT lumber will help your project last far longer than any pallet would. There may be an additional cost upfront, but the time saved will be well worth it.

Compost box made of pallets
Pallets can work as a temporary solution, but this compost bin will be toast within a year.

What You Should Build With Instead
Sure, pallets are typically free, but whatever you end up building with it will quickly become yard junk that you’ll be tossing within months. Skip the hassle and save some time by building with treated lumber instead.

  • Putting together outdoor crafts or yard decor? Use ProWood Light Duty treated lumber. It’s a cost-friendly option for each of your small projects.
  • Building outdoor furniture for seating or an outdoor table? Try using ProWood Above Ground treated lumber. Suitable for placement on your deck or patio, this has just the right amount of treatment to withstand the elements, rot, decay and insects.
  • Creating a compost bin, garden box or planter? Use ProWood Ground Contact treated lumber. The treatment method is perfect for wet or ground contact applications.
  • If your project comes into contact with water or is submerged beneath the ground, build with ProWood Critical Structure. Pallets simply can’t withstand this type of use and will quickly deteriorate.

Storage box made of ProWood PT lumber
Build it right the first time around with ProWood lumber. Both this chicken run and storage box are made with ProWood pressure-treated lumber. 

Ready to get building? Ditch the pallets and check out our free project plans, all of which can be built with traditional lumber.

Free Project Plans For Download



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