Pallet House Floor Plan

Below is an idea for how this quickly built tiny house could house two people in an emergency situation. I’m assuming that there would be no water, electricity, and sewer available so these would need to be provided by jugs of water, batteries, generator, solar panels, camping toilet (or sawdust toilet), and 5 gallon buckets (for grey water). More elaborate living accomodations could be created in time and power and plumbing could be added if needed.

The last thing I’d do before moving in is paint the exterior and interior. On the inside use brighter colors to make the space feel bigger. It would also allow you to make the best use of all available light.

Done!

26 thoughts on “Pallet House Floor Plan

  1. I love your pallet house idea I’d LOVE to have one built.
    Can you tell me the finished hight,width and weight?

    • from my experience with a chicken coop of aprox 5′ long x 3 1/2′ wide x 4′ tall. it was pretty heavy..took 4 adults to move it..pallets are pretty heavy by themselves, and when you add several of them together….its a pretty solid heavy structure! I would say my coop of its measurements probably was over 300 lbs!!

  2. It is approximately 7.5-feet wide, 13.5-feet long, and 9.5-feet tall. Building with pallets makes a very heavy structure compared to a traditionally framed house. I’d guess the enclosed house would weight between 3000 and 4000 pounds.

  3. How could one go about water and electricity in building a free house? My family is discussing building, but with two kids, we need some kind of water/electric going through our house and a way to do it. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Many tiny houses on trailers are built similarly to RVs with utility grid hookups for water, power, water tanks (potable, grey/black). So that’s one way to go, but requires a grid connection.

      If you are willing to forgo high power use appliances (microwave, dryer, 110VAC fridge, etc) you might be best off setting up a PV (photovoltaic system). Watch out for scams online that show you how to build your own solar panels, but look for low cost panels. I saw some on craigslist in my area the other day in fact that were priced fairly. If you’re in a fixed location a small wind generator might also work.

      Off-grid water can be done with rain water collection off the roof, but for a family of 4 the roof would have to be pretty big unless you’re talking just for emergency use. Having some kind of water storage would be essential though.

      Another resource for cheap off-grid living is Simple Solar Homesteading which is run by a guy named Lamar. He’s got lots of good ideas for cheap power/water solutions. http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/

      Good luck! Let me know if you build… I’d love to post the story on my big blog… http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/

  4. Try a glass slider as a doorway – rather than the two adjacent windows.

    The bed also fits along the shorter wall.

    With less kitchen counter space, the bathroom and sink could fit along the remaining shorter wall.

    Then add another glass slider to the back of the building.

  5. I was thinking, move the toilet into a semi separate
    room, ie another standard pallet x pallet square, on the outside of the structure; and if the whole building was raised up under floor by half a pallet off the ground, then there would be room for a good size composting toilet; not to mention storage.

  6. This is awesome design, for sure. Reminds me of the San Francisco “earthquake homes” from the turn of the 20th century.

    Michael, how long did/does it take to build one of these? And how many pallets per home?

    Ultimately, I wonder how long it would take a community to put up a bunch of them in a crisis situation. Seems to me, with a few skilled carpenters and a handful of unskilled laborers, it wouldn’t take all that long to “mass produce” enough pallet houses for a small town.

  7. IF YOU KEEP THE ROOF PEAK,(FROM THE GROUND)AROUND 13 FEET 4 INCHES YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DRIVE UNDER ANY BRIDGE IN THE COUNTRY, THIS GIVES YOU A LOFT FOR SLEEPING AND EXTRA STORAGE, OR A VAULTED CEILING IN THE LIVING ROOM.KITCHEN COULD BE MADE BIGGER WITH SMALL REFRIDGE AND A SHOWER. MOST PEOPLE CAN BUILD YOUR HOME, WITH THAT SAID THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO PLUM AND WIRE IT WITH BASIC HOW TO BOOKS.

    • That is not true, in Chicago and New York and other places on the East Coast some bridge height’s are only just over 11 feet tall.
      I drive truck and have ran into lower bridges and you always need to be aware of these old school lower bridges.

  8. How would a pallet house like this do in extreme cold, like -40 windchill? I would like to build something like this for a hunting cabin, but it gets cold here in South Dakota.

    Thanks!

    Todd

    • I was thinking something like that for a full house in any part of the country. Do it reinforced on 2-3 sides with dirt and a person wouldn’t need as much insulation on those sides and it would allow you more money for heavier insulating on the opposing 1-2 walls. *I would recommend spray foam since it would make it air tight and give a nice r-value*

  9. Hi there! This is awesome! A few questions! I am looking to build a small home on my parent’s property! I am a single mom with one kid (teen). What would the feasability be of making 2 of these and joining them together? How many pallets would one of these take? Is there somewhere I can get a printable blueprint for one of these. Would setting it up on railroad ties (to prevent contact with the ground) work? Is this easy enough for us non-construction type people to do? Thank you

    • I like the idea of having 2 units aswell. I would put maybe 5-10 feet between them with a roof over the open space to create another simple area to use. you could then add a picnic table and outdoor grill for cooking. it would even be feasible to add some simple netting for bugs aswell or tarps for the winter to keep the area clear of snow. with places getting rid of bricks all the time, you could make a cheap patio floor of bricks. good luck!

  10. I love your ideas. It would be great to see some pictures. Of course, this is a survival shelter (I can see one of these for ice fishing). The fact that this is a Reusing/Recycling item is great.

  11. Have you thought of making the bed with a pallet base? 4 pallet stacked 2×2 provides a twin sized bed area plus a lot of extra storage inside the pallet slots. I think it would be easier to find the pallets than 2×4 in an emergency situation. Love this idea. I think it might help make my next shed. the one I have now is a piece meal hack job left over from the previous owner and really does not serve its purpose well. I do however believe it would be great for materials to create a new one. you have me thinking for sure thank you so much for sharing.

  12. Buying carriage bolts by the piece can get expensive, Farm Supply stores sell them by the pound so it is a better deal. I am thinking of building one of these as a shed / getaway down by the creek.

  13. I have lived in the country off of generators and such, and i gotta say that most of my creations were made of pallets..But when the chicken coop and shower shed was done they were the most sturdy and heaviest of all!! I was sad to see it all go when I purchased my home!! That year was the best summer The kids and I ever had!! Its great that you have shared your creation step by step!! I just wish I would have seen it that summer..I probably would have built me a two story mansion with a two car garage with your blue prints plus my imagination!! lol well gotta say you deserve a thumbs up x’s 2

  14. I have been following this for a couple years and how many of these are in the northern parts of the US? Also what about those building them in the southern area’s: Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas areas?
    My wife have discussed this option as a way to get off the grid and back to simpler times and peace. Those that have built in the above states have you ran into any building issues: ie permits etc.

  15. we are going to build a 30 by 30 pallet home on are land, but we dont really know how to the best kind of roof, could you help me out… thank you. we are doing it this spring 2013 cant waite

  16. Hi,

    This is great. Thank you so much for sharing the how-to!! I am thinking of building a 2.5 storey (.5 for the sleeping loft for the kids) cabin on my parents farm. How would you do multi-levels with pallets? Could you do it?

    Thanks!

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