Wood pallets – which can be found almost anywhere – offer up a wealth of free solid wood… if you’re willing to put in a little effort to take them apart.
I usually find mine behind big box stores or grocery stores, and most stores are more than happy that someone wants to take them away. I collect them, take them apart using a pallet buster, remove the nails (saving any straight ones for reuse), clean and sand the pieces, after which I am left with a pile of good wood I didn’t have to pay a dime for. Plus, no new trees were cut down in the process.
From my last batch of collected pallets, I constructed a cat house for one of the cats. Using just the pallets, a sheet of aluminum, nails, and some wood glue, I was able to assemble this solidly-built house that she can hang out in when it gets cold, windy, or rainy, while also having a safe space to escape anything bigger than she is coming after her. She even has her own porch on the front to hang out on. Take a look:
The house didn’t take that long to assemble and she is already loving having a space of her own. If you have pets, it’s a simple way to build them a house without spending any cash. Next up, I will have to collect enough pallets to build myself a man cave out back. That should only require a few thousand of them; I better get busy.