Building a pallet geese house: Part 1

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Look, Ma! No hands!

A house of their own — ’cause ours is getting too small!

As you may know by now, I have a couple of Sebastopol geese running around my backyard, Ethan and Gracie. Although they are tons of fun — they grow fast, so needed a house of their own.

The old Tupperware containers just weren’t cutting it any more. So trying to stay in the green realm, I searched and found a few DIY ideas that used recycled pallets to make structures like tables, book shelves, sheds and even low-cost housing.

It was the perfect housing solution for my new feathery kids. A geese house made out of pallets would provide protection and cut costs in building materials for us.

Pallets. Pallets. Who’s got the pallets?

After a few phone calls and a Craig’s List search, I discovered that pallets are fairly hard to come by in our area. Big commercial companies reuse their pallets or send them back to the pallet company for a fee. Some smaller companies had pallets for purchase from $1-$4 each.

Luckily, my hubby came through on this one — actually twice but we only used one source. He has two friends who are carpenters — carpenters who know businesses around town who are willing to give their pallets away for free. Cha-ching!

Jumping on the opportunity, we loaded our cars with as many pallets as possible. The shop owner seemed confused as to why we would want pallets of all things, but we did, and managed to score about 10 of varying sizes ranging from approximately 2×2 to 36×53. There were more, we just had no room, but you better believe we’ll return as they get pallets frequently.

The breakdown — the pallets and then me!

I tried miscpro’s YouTube tutorial for dismantling pallets, even got better tools to do so, but found it was impossible with the pallets we collected. I suspect with how yellow the wood of the pallet in the tutorial was, miscpro’s pallet was a little newer than the grayed out, rusted nail, hardwood versions we had. Definitely trying lighter woods next time.

With the tutorial a no-go, I cut up one of the pallets to see what kind of wood I could salvage from it (I fancied creating studs and layering other piece siding-style to create the walls), but soon realized that it wasn’t feasible. The pieces were too short.

Pallet cut with the Hitachi band saw.

A change in plans

I changed the design plan and decided to use the remaining large pallets for the walls rather than recreating walls with studs and the like.

To hold the pallets in place against one another I used wire, and then drilled screws (pre-drilling the holes) where the pallets touched to bind them together. To add more protection from the weather, I picked up some plywood, and for added stability, a few corner braces to apply to the outside, using more screws to keep them in place.

Three pallet wall sides in place with plywood starting to be applied.

Before construction was completed, we moved the house to the planned location by maneuvering it onto a tarp, and then dragging it in place. That sucker was heavy! I’m not the most exercise-crazed person in the world but I felt like those guys you see pushing the giant tires across fields, only I pulled while the hubby pushed (and my legs were worthless for a few minutes afterward).

The majority of the house was now done at this point. The next post will round out the steps I took for making the roof, predator security additions and the doors.

Do you have a construction project you’re working on?

If so, any suggestions or advice you’d like to share? I’m all ears!

Stay tuned for the second installment of the geese house adventures. I don’t know how many trips to Lowe’s I made to get at least the construction part done. But I’m anxious to start a new project. I’m thinking a raised-bed garden.

What do you think?

Cheers,
April


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