My wife and I are building an 11'x11' shed ourselves out of pallets we got from the trash. They are all the same dimensions, and have plywood on the top. We will be building the floor and walls out of these pallets. We are trying to figure of the roof. We have access to a re-store that sells OSB for $5-$7 per sheet, so im not terribly worried about the support structure. I'm looking for a VERY inexpensive, DIY-able, and durable roofing material/system(preferably recycled and not retail). We may be moving from this home in the next 5 years or so, so preferably it would be something that traditional home buyers would not dislike. I have done some research regarding tire roofs, but everything DIY on the internet sends me to a site about using racing tires(because they do not have steel under the tread). I don't know where I would get old racing tires around here. I was also very interested in a post I found about pond liner and old carpet to make a living roof? Anyone know how to do that? Does anyone have an experience they can share about either of these methods, or any advice? or perhaps a method I have not discovered yet? The two key factors here are cheap and still relatively uniform looking.
P.S. If this helps any, we are in a mobile home park, and have gotten permission from management.
P.P.S. Should this topic be here or in Natural Building?
I put a living roof over my doghouse. Very cheap and very easy.
One thing to consider is that a living roof is a heavy roof. For my doghouse I used two layers of heavy poly plastic and horse manure. I had tall grass growing up top within a few weeks.
Since my doghouse doesn't actually tie in to a hillside I had to accept that at least one edge of the roof would have to be able to handle runoff. To facilitate this I used a dark western cedar board as the facia on the 'wet' end of the roof. Someday that cedar board is going to rot away, but I am at two years now and the board was less than $10 so I am doing pretty well there. No gutters, just a drippy edge at the back of the doghouse, so I made sure to build a large overhang at that end.
Cheapest, easiest roof ever.
edit: The roof is lightly sloped and has 2X6's around the perimeter which allows a dirt depth of 5.5 inches. This also means that on a rainy day, the low end is pretty swampy since there is no way for the 'bowl' to drain. So far this hasn't been a problem.
We just built a mini goat barn using pallets as the walls. It's about 10'x19' if I'm remembering correctly. We had the walls up for months before we decided on a roof. In the end we gave in and just bought some 2x4s for rafters and used metal roofing sheets (about $20ea at Lowes). Cost about $200, but not bad since the rest was free (except hardware). Finished about a month ago and already realized it's not water-tight so we are going to attempt to seal it.
We also built a chicken coop out of pallets, 4'x16'. Broke down a bunch of pallets to fill in the gaps in the pallets and painted it yellow. We used OSB (recovered from a construction site dumpster), covered with tar paper and shingles (both found at a yard sale) for the roof. That one's not entirely water-tight either but it only drips in a few places and it has a dirt floor so not a big deal. Been up since last summer so I figure we will get our money's worth. Ugly as hell though.
A lot of the stuff we use for our projects just comes from being patient and keeping our eyes open. I'm not afraid to stop and pick something useful up off the side of the road or ask a construction worker if I can haul of their junk either. Construction sites are incredibly wasteful and will throw away a perfectly good 2x4 because it has a knot in it or they are done for the day and figure they can just open a new package of nails the next time they come to work so they throw away the open one.
I would love to hear anybody else's ideas since we have an endless supply of pallets and we are always needing new shelters. The roof is always the most difficult...
How about if you buy/find/acquire some 2x8's or sturdy logs for roof beams. Set them on top of your pallet walls at a spacing equal to the width of your pallets. Then set and attach your pallets on top of the beams as the roof. Since the pallets have plywood on them already, you'd have your roof deck pretty much complete. It wouldn't be waterproof yet so you'd still need tar paper, EPDM, pond liner, plastic, etc on top.
Sloping the roof would be recommended. Maybe build one wall taller so the whole roof slopes 2-3 feet from one end to the other.
I've always been interested in using pallet wood as huge shingles. I'd think that if you can salvage enough of the thin pallet boards (not the beefy stringers) you could shingle a roof with them.
Mike Jay wrote:I've always been interested in using pallet wood as huge shingles. I'd think that if you can salvage enough of the thin pallet boards (not the beefy stringers) you could shingle a roof with them.
I don't think that the 4" width and 3/4" thickness would be very good for shingling. Plus every 24 inches or so you will get the nail holes dripping.
I agree Chad. By themselves, pallet board shingles would certainly be leaky. I'd only try them over a more waterproof (and likely uglier) substrate. So lay on the tar paper and then protect it with the pallet board shingles.
Since I haven't done it myself, this is all just speculation on my part...