Dreaming of an island getaway in your own backyard? With a bit of DIY inspiration, you can build a tropical oasis and stylish lounge area around your pool without breaking the bank. Pallet pool decks are the hottest new trend for upgrading your backyard on a budget. Keep reading as we dive into the endless possibilities of poolside pallet designs!
Pallet decks allow you to expand and enhance your pool area for a fraction of the cost of traditional materials. These wooden wonders are popping up on Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards everywhere. Homeowners are finding innovative ways to construct stunning poolside relaxation spaces from simple recycled shipping pallets. From minimalist lounge platforms to multi-level party decks, the options are endless!
Pallet Pool Decks: A Hot DIY Trend
Over the past few years, pallet projects have become hugely popular across the spheres of home decor, furnishings, and outdoor living. Now, the pallet craze has officially hit the world of poolside design! Pallet pool decks are the biggest emerging DIY trend in stylish, budget-friendly pool areas.
So what’s behind this deck trend? For starters, wood pallets provide an extremely affordable building material. They can often be sourced for free or cheap from local stores and warehouses. Compared to conventional deck boards which can cost $30-$50 each, using recycled pallets saves a ton on materials. This cost savings allows you to construct an entire custom lounge area at a fraction of the price. Plus, pallets have an innate rustic-chic vibe that looks trendy and inviting around pools.
Pallet decks also provide extra space for fun additions like seating nooks, dining areas, sunbathing spots and more. You can protect the perimeter of your pool with a simple perimeter deck, or design multi-level entertaining spaces – the options are endless! Here are some of the most popular pallet pool deck features homeowners are incorporating:
- Lounge platforms for chairs and umbrellas
- Multi-level decks and access points
- Detached decks for above-ground pools
- Privacy screens or fenced enclosures
- Shaded porches and pergolas
- Prep bars, buffets, and dining spaces
- Built-in benches, tables, and seating
- Planters, vines, and greenery
- In-deck hot tubs
Plan Your Dream Pallet Oasis
Pallet projects allow you to flex your creative muscles and build a fully custom pool deck tailored to your space. Before you start constructing, think through your design plan to make the most of your pallet paradise!
First, assess the footprint of your pool and any existing concrete patios or walkways around it. Measure the total square footage you have available for deck space. An 8×8 or 12×12 foot deck is typical for small pools, while larger designs can span 16×20 feet or more. Make sure to conform to any HOA rules or municipal codes for pool deck dimensions in your neighborhood.
Sketch Deck Layout Options
Next, grab a paper and pencil to sketch some different deck shape and layout options. Simple square or rectangular pallet decks are easiest, but you can get creative with curved, rounded, or freeform designs too. Play around with different access points and levels to find a layout you love.
Consider Design Factors
When deciding on your deck plan, here are some useful considerations:
- Which parts of your yard get the most sun vs. shade?
- Do you need privacy screening from neighbors?
- Where is the ideal entrance/exit point from your home?
- What views do you want to highlight or conceal?
- How much space do you want for entertaining vs. lounging?
Incorporate Fun Extras
The beauty of pallet decks is you can customize them to match your vision! As you plan, think about fun additions like:
- Movable curtains for adjustable sun blocking
- Flower boxes, vines, and greenery
- Accent lighting, lanterns, or candles
- Privacy screens or decorative fence panels
- A connected pergola, gazebo, or covered porch
- Built-in benches, coffee tables, or ottomans
- A hot tub, surrounded by decking
Let your imagination run wild! Pallet decks are a blank canvas for your poolside oasis.
Choose Your Materials: All About Pallets
At the heart of your new deck will be stacks of sturdy, affordable pallets. But not all pallets are created equal. Learn what to look for when sourcing these recycled gems.
Select Hardwood Pallets
For longevity outdoors, you’ll want heat-treated pallets made from hardwoods like oak, hickory, or maple rather than softwoods like pine or fir. Hardwoods have natural weather-resistance and won’t deteriorate as quickly.
Avoid Chemically Treated Wood
Many pallets are chemically fumigated or pressure-treated during transport overseas. These are unsafe for prolonged human contact. Look for markers of chemical treatment like MB (methyl bromide) or IPPC stamps. Also avoid pallets with a strong chemical smell.
Find Affordable Local Suppliers
Check with warehouses, hardware stores, garden centers, and other local businesses to source quality pallets for cheap or free. You’ll likely need 10-30+ pallets depending on your design.
Calculate Pallet Numbers
Measure the square footage of your planned deck and divide by 32 (the size of a standard pallet). This estimates how many pallets you’ll need. Add 10% more for a safety buffer.
Buy Complementary Lumber
In addition to pallets, you’ll need posts, beams, joists, slats, and screws. Cedar, redwood, or treated pine are ideal complement woods.
Build Your Pallet Paradise
You’ve designed the deck and gathered materials. Now it’s time for the fun part – bring your pallet oasis to life! We’ll outline the key steps for safe, sturdy assembly.
Arrange and Level Pallets
Unfold pallets and arrange them in your planned layout on leveled ground. Use a mallet to pound down uneven pallet boards.
Fill Gaps with Slats
Pallets will have gaps between them. Cut thin wood slats to size and pound them into gaps to create a flat surface.
Anchor Deck Securely
Using corner posts for support, anchor the assembled pallet deck firmly into the ground with beams and joists. This prevents pooling water or shifting.
Waterproof and Seal Pallet Wood
Staining pallets with water-sealing wood finish will protect them from weathering and prevent mold, mildew, and rot over time.
Add Railings, Stairs, and Access Points
Use matching wood to build any needed railings, stairs, or ramps. This allows safe entry and exit from all levels.
Incorporate Fun Extras
Now’s the time to add any built-in benches, planters, screens, pergolas or other special features you designed!
Stylish Ideas to Customize Your Oasis
With your pallet foundation in place, the fun decorating can begin! Here are some easy ways to make your new hangout uniquely you.
Stain or Paint Pallets
Personalize your space by staining pallets in hues like light blue, sage green, or crisp white. Or go bright with bold pallet paint colors like coral, yellow, or navy.
Add Privacy Features
Screens made from overlapping pallets, bamboo fencing, or curtains give you seclusion when desired. Try movable screens to control privacy.
Plants instantly boost the tropical flair. Add potted palm trees, vining succulents, and vibrant flowers in built-in planters.
Use Sun Shades
Retractable awnings, canvas umbrellas, or easy DIY shade sails moderate harsh sunlight on hot days.
Light it Up
String lights, tiki torches, and candles or lanterns create a festive ambiance for nighttime use. Go solar-powered for ease.
Furnish with Style
Complete your space with weatherproof couches, chairs, rugs, and coffee tables. Don’t forget the mini bar cart and cooler!
Enjoy Lounging in Your Budget Backyard Paradise!
After all your hard work, it’s time to kick back and relish your brand new pallet deck creation! Having an outdoor oasis steps from your pool will quickly become your favorite place to relax, soak up the sun, and entertain friends and family.
You’ll love being able to lounge poolside in chic style without breaking the bank. No jet-setting required for a tropical paradise – escape to your own cabana right at home. Plus, your Instagrammable new space will be the envy of the neighborhood!
We hope these ideas have inspired you to think outside the box – or rather, outside the traditional deck box – for upgrading your poolscape. Pallet projects lend themselves to truly one-of-a-kind designs. Build an oasis that’s uniquely you and enjoy summer afternoons lounging poolside in budget-friendly luxury.
Pallet deck designs offer endless options for crafting a custom poolside oasis on a budget. Following the tips above will help you plan and construct a gorgeous new pallet lounge zone tailored to your space. Don’t forget to have fun adding decorative details and furnishings that reflect your personal style. We can’t wait to see the beautiful backyard paradises you create using recycled pallets and a bit of imagination. Your warm-weather weekends will never be the same! For more inspiration on refreshing your home and outdoor living spaces, explore the rest of our blog.