DIY, recycled pallet house with IKEA-style assembly instructions

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Architects Suzan Wines and Azin Valy were trying to come up with the ideal building material for refugee housing in Kosovo. It should be recycled, recyclable, affordable, plentiful. They thought about bottles and tires. Then Wines tripped over a shipping pallet on the way home from work one night and something clicked. Using only shipping pallets, or skids, the I-Beam architects created a tiny, modular home design. They also created “IKEA-style assembly instructions” so anyone- even those without building experience- could build their own home, using only hand tools (hammer, nails, “a crowbar is helpful”). “We’ve also used zip ties to build entire structures,” adds Wines, “which is pretty quick, cheap and easy and doesn’t require any tools”. More info & original story:


SaevioCorta says:

It’s sound in theory – and would probably make a fine building material – but in practice, with recycled pallets? No. Bad idea.

SaevioCorta says:

I used to package statues for my father’s business, the idea of building with non-recycled pallets is sound, but let’s go onto recycled ones.

Most pallets could not be used in this kind of construction. They’ve been put under years of stress and most have pulled nails or broken boards. You’d need to completely dismantle the pallet and reassemble with new nails and probably a few new boards (which would raise the cost – labor). Only then would I feel comfortable calling it a building material.

saintearth says:

There’s a lot of perfectly good foreclosed on homes that are just rotting away.

ferret300 says:


1softkiss says:

I built two huge storage sheds with pallets and the sub frame and flooring for my 13 foot outdoor glass boa cage as well as the framing for my deck out front years ago and they are still just like they were thee day we built everything. Only problem was having to use railroad size spikes to bind the ends. Excellent building material.

0Raik says:

Indeed this man speaks the truth.

Rebeca G says:

agreed. people are hating so much on this but it’s clearly just a prototype.

Rebeca G says:

Stop the hating man!

velocity1979 says:

This is awesome! Great idea.

DarkMoonDroid says:

Women are going to fucking save the world!

starfinder79 says:

Instead of sitting there and bad mouthing those who are trying to help and be innovative and yes trying to make ends meet at the same time why don’t you figure something better out. Any of you that have simply flung insults and unrealistic criticisms at Kirsten or those in this vid are simply bitter and impotent people that need to apply themselves or keep your filthy mouths shut! I am sick of your foul language and despicable weakness of mind and heart.

starfinder79 says:

I am so sick of all of the trolls on this channel. This house is a concept and yes they used new pallets but this can be done with old as well. I am a picker and I have tons of exp with pallets that are simply tossed out in the back alleys of Chicago with the trash. with the plaaleets I collect out of the garbage going out twice a month I could build one of these houses. Yeas because there old pallets some creativity would be needed but that dose not make this house impossible or wrong.

dagdag8 says:

come on. dont be so pesimistic, thats architecture. it is more like an artwork. dont you think this people also want a nice house with great design instead of a chunky cube?

rosafire32 says:

Why is there so many negative comments, are you actually building any thing your self’s or just running your mouths. Come up with some designs yourself and a instruction video if you feel like your design would be so much more superior. There are people that see the need and try instead of complaining, is it perfect, no but what is?

edoyle7 says:

I guess it beats a mud hut but not by much.

mikebmix says:

family of 4 or 5 poeple,bullshit,do you live in one of these houses hell no you dont,you should stop now and burn that thing before you fuck someones life up by them building one of these and there county where they live jump there shit for a fucked up house,i hate it when rich poeple try and play on poor poeple like there trying to help,go help your self ,thats what you want to do so just adment it

Charleroifa says:

In what? A year? Ten years? In the US only? In the UK? See how shady this statement is?

The pallets are traded. Whoever said that 150 million of pallets go to landfills must simply not have known that pallets are reused to death. There’s a whole logistic cycle built on the pallet trade.

Rustaholic777 says:

Simply use a long blade in a saw-z-all to cut the nails then you can have all whole boards.
Sure,,, They have those at all refugee sites don’t they? 8>))

Also, shipping pallets have only a few sizes for the most part.

Sure there are some special ones built but I have been burning pallets to heat my Michigan house for over 30 years and most pallets are 42″ by 48″.

Some are 48″ by 48″ but they are not as common.

2006kalipso says:

the problem i see here is that they are building with what seems to be brand new premium pallets. the pallets you can get from recycling centers or dumps are broken, rotten and just ready for the burn pile and not really much to salvage from them.

Obfuskate7 says:

I hear ya. Look, I’m for doing what we can around the world but it burns me to no end that the suffering over here gets overlooked or I hear people say, “Well it’s nothing like what’s going on over there. We’re lucky in America.” Uh huh. I know what poverty, hunger, no running water, no electricity, and no bread is. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. And it’s a travesty any Vet has to know what that is.

biggmoneyme says:

free those chickens!

biggmoneyme says:


biggmoneyme says:

wtf is wrong with u.

AxyGAMES says:

refugee isnt necessarily muslim. if your entire country had a devastating earthquake leaving 90% of the population homeless they would be considered refugees. the only refugee id be happy to put a nail through their head is you. ungratefull fucker

grangersmith says:

pallets can be treated with very toxic chemicals, I don’t know the details but would definitely check into this before living in or touching many of them for building/hobbies, the pallets may make you very ill.

yourchava says:

Cool idea! if u move u just need a forklift

gouinohana says:

you missed where it was staed that 150 million pallets end up in land fills.

wjb722 says:

wouldn’t work very well in high wind areas, locations that have tornadoes or hurricanes

carlsbadtuber says:

can you say Splinters  — lawsuit lol

Cheeky Saver says:

This is a fantastic idea… i am surprised it has not gone and spilled over into the little house movement. It is easily insulated and wired and plumbed with the spacing in a pallet… you can often find oak pallets for stronger structures as well… don’t complain about lack of plans people… pallets are big legos so you can make your own to suit your perposes very easily. Thanks so much for sharing the vids with us!

FireControlGroup says:

The material from billboards would be great to dry in the roof. We used them after hurricane charlie in 2004 to dry in hundreds of homes. They arent a permanent solution, but if you can find some for free snag them up!

mikebmix says:

faircompanies are the best,there are a few vids that i think there wasting time with[two small is to small you have to have a little room]but for the most part these are the best love them all

guachingman says:

haters gonna hate, but you are getting exactly 75 dollars worth of it…

xenagirl29 says:

1. Your wanting to help those in need, by charging them $75usd? Really? How un-benevolent of you! Total rip-off

2. You want to save the poor, by taking expensive pallets from the “evil” corporations who use them for shipping, how Robin Hood of you. By this, your only going to raise the cost of the goods that are shipped on those pallets, thus passing along the cost onto those your trying to save and not actually doing anything productive aside from lining your own pocket with $75 per download.

gritsonamission says:

MacGyverHubby says: The floors wont last long. … in other words: they need a foundation that will keep the floor boards dry.

ericambrosecoon says:

If you need plans to build something this simple you might also need a new brain.

guitmanjdj says:

exactly. not trying to downgrade and idea but there are plenty of resources that provide plans like this for free.

loubj33 says:

What about termites? Wouldn’t cob be a long term solution that’s “dirt” cheap? Labour heavy, but at least that would last generations. Cool concept you have here though. If pallet walls were inside a cob house….

jmquez says:

Cool $75 sounds affordable. Wait, WHAT? $75 can be a years wages to some. Not very “fair”. And loads of people use pallets to make furniture/tree houses and have their designs available for free.

Charleroifa says:

They don’t understand the pallet business. Pallets are re-used and traded. Taking them out of the circulation would be a disaster.

MaryKnowltonArt says:

but what keeps the rain and wind out?

RicTic66 says:

They have been doing this in the U.K for ages, they are called Barrett Homes ,, 🙂

Joking apart, what an awesome idea 🙂

angelgroover says:

absolutely bloody brilliant girls!!!

corpsman907 says:


cripplecog says:

I’ve built a shed out of pallets, and yes, it’s a pain in the ass breaking them down, but in the end it was worth the effort and it was free. Plus, the pallets I used were culls that had been damaged. My little shed looks pretty neat, kinda rustic.

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