Yesterday’s blog post on Pallet Houses described the pallet wall building method recommended by David Reed of Texas Natural Builders. The drawings above are a close approximation of David Reed’s pallet building system. For this blog post, we’re going to focus on interior walls, because they work perfectly with earthbag walls. Earthbags are not usually used for interior walls because they take up a lot of space. Pallet walls are thin, fairly fast and easy to build, require no special tools, are practical for running plumbing and electric, and the materials are virtually free.
From the exploded view drawings you can see how they go together. Most often there is a concrete slab floor, wood floor or earth floor. Attach the bottom plate where you want the wall to go. Add cleats (small wood blocks) to align with the pallets. Pre-drill and screw the first row of pallets to the cleats. Add a horizontal plate to tie the tops of the pallets together. Repeat the process for the top row of pallets. Secure pallet walls to earthbags with large nails such as logging spikes or ¼” rebar pins driven at different angles. Frame doors in the usual method. Now you can run any plumbing and electrical. Insulation is not required in interior walls unless you want soundproofing. The pallets can be plastered, sheetrocked, covered with facing stone, paneled with plywood or, as explained in one of the next blog posts, covered with recycled wood cladding.