Woman transforms rotting decking using wooden pallets – and it cost only £15

Since the start of lockdown we’ve seen numerous DIY projects, some better than others.

From impressive home improvements to shocking haircut fails, we’ve pretty much seen it all.

But the latest transformation to wow fellow diyers is one completed by 31-year-old Lizzy Tucker.

Lizzy and her partner Sam purchased their first home in Berkshire just over a year ago, with plans to renovate it room by room on a budget.

One of the biggest areas to improve was the garden, which was once filled with overgrown potted plants.

Now it has been given a new lease of life with newly painted fences and laid turf.

But one of the last jobs on their list to tackle was their rotten decking.

Lizzy explained: “I’ve been furloughed since March so needed a project to keep busy and as we’ve had amazing weather I wanted to sort the garden – like everyone else.”

But instead of paying £450 for proper decking they decided to do it themselves for a fraction of the price – and it definitely paid off.

She added: “I’ve seen a few people’s pallet decking with normal decking planks on top but wanted something a bit different.

“I love herringbone effect floor so just thought I’d give it a go.”

The first thing they needed to do was demolish the old decking, which they did using a crow bar and hammer.

Once Lizzy dissembled the rotten wood she discovered patio slabs, and whilst the pair considered buying more of these instead, pallet decking still worked out cheaper.

After levelling the dirt underneath it, she laid membrane down to stop any weeds growing through and placed the old patio slabs at each corner of where the pallet would sit to keep it level.

Lizzy said that it took quite a while to get all 15 of the pallets they needed since they were sourcing them for free from Facebook sellers, builders and farm shops.

And because some of the pallets were different heights, they had to use some of the remaining patio slabs and old wood to level them out.

Each pallet was fixed together with a metal joiner which they then screwed into the wood.

For the top of the decking Lizzy prised the slats off of the pallets using a crowbar and hammer and measured 50cm length pieces before cutting them to size using an electric saw.

Explaining this she said: “Omg this was the bane of my life.”

To create the herringbone pattern, you need to place rectangle shaped pieces of wood in a broken zigzag pattern.

She said: “Started in the top middle of the deck to make sure it was straight all the way down.

“Make sure that all the edge end at the same place on the base so it doesn’t start going wonky.”

And to fix them in place Lizzy used a pack of 40mm long Decking screws from B&Q for £15 – the only cost of the project.

When it got to the edge of the decking she used the electric saw to cut off the excess pieces and make a straight line.

She also left a gap under the tap so that area wouldn’t get soaking wet and rot much quicker.

Then to cover the front edge of the decking she used old scaffold board and screwed them in place.

Before sealing the decking using the Screwfix no nonsense clear decking oil she hoovered between the gaps of the slats to remove any dirt.

She added: “I’ve never done anything like this before but thought if it goes wrong it’s not costing us anything so nothing wasted really, we’ll just redo with proper decking – but it’s turned out really well.

“Also thought about doing it with pallets as it saved us money – anything I can do on the cheap.”