This drawing approximates Rex’s pallet house method.

This drawing approximates Rex’s pallet house method.


So where is Rex? How did his pallet house turn out? I’d sure like to know. When people send us owner-builder home projects that cost $4/square foot then obviously tons of people will be interested. Most likely Rex’s house is finished and he’s moved on to other things. If Rex happens to see this, please please email me an update of your house.

Here’s the last info that I got from Rex about 2 -1/2 years ago: Update on Rex’s Pallet House in Texas.
His previous report is here: Rex’s House Update
And the one before that is here: Another Update from Rex

Here’s how the story began:
A while back I got an email from Rex, a reader who’s planning an ultra-low cost home in Texas. We exchanged a few emails and each time he would ask if it’s possible to further reduce the cost. He said “Owen, I have pallets, cedar poles from my land and dirt.” His persistence in lowering costs had me racking my brain for cost cutting ideas. Rex’s original plan was to build an earth lodge. Now he’s planning a rectangular design that he thinks will be simpler and easier to build. The latest cost estimate for his 800 sq. ft. earth-bermed house design is around $1,600. That’s only $2/sq. ft.! Time will tell if he can actually build at that cost.

Very few people are able to build nice, decent sized homes at $2-$4/square foot. Viable solutions could help countless thousands of people. For these reasons Rex’s house naturally attracted lots of attention and comments, and inspired me to write related stories like this one on rot resistant juniper and cedar poles for construction.

So Rex – or anyone who knows how to contact him – please send us an update with photos! If he doesn’t respond for some reason, maybe another reader can build something similar and publicly document their project so these ideas get utilized by more people.


Comments

Whatever Happened to Rex’s Pallet House? — 3 Comments

  1. I knew a guy who was building a pallet house. He said that it was a nightmare. He said that the main problem is that each pallet is a different size and that getting it all to line up was a headache. I use pallets for many things but building a house may be kind of a challenging use.

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