Step 4: Add Windows and a Door

Once the walls are up get out the reciprocating saw and cut out spaces for the windows and door. Use new 2×4′s or some from dismantled pallets to frame rough openings for your windows and doors. It’s best to build the window and door bucks from your best and longest wood since most doors and windows require strait and plumb surfaces.

Once your window and door holes are cut, slide the 2×4 window and door bucks into place. You’ll probably need to build them into place instead of prefabricating them. The other important thing to do is square up the bucks before fastening a lot of screws. I would put one or two screws in first, square it up, and then fasten a small piece of plywood to the surface of the buck to hold it square while you work. Later these temporary braces can be removed. They are added only to help you keep the window and door openings square while working.

Next: Building the Walls and Roof…

22 thoughts on “Step 4: Add Windows and a Door

  1. I live in Nassau Bahamas. I am a senior citerson tired of paying rent, would you be kind enough to send your people over here to help me build my tiny home I have lots of pallets. I need your help
    Please let me know if you are coming. Thanking you in advance.

    • Hi Jaqueta. Building with pallets is a bit of an extreme building method not really suited for plans. In other words you have to build in an ad-hoc cobble-it-togther fashion. The plans I’ve posted here show how a small structure would go up ideally (with standard pallets) but often the condition and size of the available pallets requires a lot of experimentation and clever carpentry.

      For low cost alternative housing ideas be sure to visit http://www.tinyhousedesign.com and http://www.tinyhouseliving.com

  2. I am the sales manager for a pallet company in Stockton Ca. also we have yard in Modesto Ca. I am looking at ideas for further use of our pallets this is a very interesting idea. We are goin to start making outdoor furniture. But this little house caught my eye. If you could send me more information I would appreciate it.

  3. I’ve seen lots of variations of this idea: Trying to build a house out of cheap or free material. Pallets. Shipping containers. Mud. Rammed Earth. Old tires.

    The problem is that walls are the cheapest part of a house. You can build truly first class walls with 6 inches of insulation, plywood sheathing, siding, and drywall for under $100 a foot.

    The expense is in kitchens, bathrooms, roofing, windows, doors, etc.

    I built a 20×20 garage a few years ago, insulated and drywalled for $3600 and much of that cost was roofing.

    The extra labor of working with old pallets exceeds the value of the materials.

    • “The extra labor of working with old pallets exceeds the value of the materials.”

      I would mostly agree with this. Pallets are hard to work with.

      But lets say you didn’t have the money, and a bunch of free pallets, and a lot of time. You could build shelter.

      If you have access to standard sized lumber (used or new) than I highly recommend using that instead. The construction of your tiny house will go much faster.

  4. I would truely like to get directions for this pallet building my grandkids want a playhouse this would be ideal for them

  5. I see so many of these ideas for alternate housing and energy etc. but almost never are there adequate plans or instructions to actually build the things. The few videos you see are totally amateurish and inadequate. Damn, people, get your shit together. If you’re going to share something do it right. Shit or get off the pot.
    It’s just so sad and ridiculous.

  6. you can buy an old 53′ truck trailer for about $700 that is destined for the scrap yard and put it anywhere – the pallet idea would be good for theporcj decking and stairways

    • I looked into the 53 foot (18 wheeler) cargo trailers and the cheapest I found was about $5K and that didnt include delivery. Living rurally has it’s drawbacks. Wish I could find one for $700!!!

  7. In 2001 I built a chicken house 10 by 20 feet complete with a feed room and roosting area and nest boxes all from recycled palettes except for the roof. Then I went on to build a very nice out house the same way. Both are still in excellent condition. For exterior siding I ripped apart the shipping palettes that Propane cylinders are shipped in and recovered the various width solid hardwood boards that are aprox. rough cut 1x4x8 feet long. They made wonderful siding and also I used the rest of the propane pallet boards for 3.5x 8 foot by 2 foot tall raised garden beds. All are still in great shape and have not rotted through. Pallets are great hard wood for all sorts of uses. We used shipping pallets to fence our pasture as well.

  8. My husband & I built a post & beam & when someone posted the tiny pallet house I just had to look it up. I am very impressed w/the little tiny house. As a matter a fact we do have a chicken coop & my husband just finished a turkey coop. I would love to build the tiny house for my husband grandchildren. I do have a friend’s daughter that also built a 2 tier pallet movie sofa, wicked cool right. The nice thing about the pallets is the frame’s r already done for u!! Thx for getting ur pic out there for PPL like me to see. Mrs. David Vlahos

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