Pallet Palace Wins Shed of the Year
19 Apr 2017
Murray Lehndorf’s ‘Pallet Palace’ has been named as Shed of the Year in a contest run by paint manufacturer Resene. His converted double garage stands as a testament to what can be achieved with some used wooden pallets, a bit of imagination and plenty of hard work.
The conversion of the double garage in New Zealand started in 2015, and Lehndorf and his friends created the ‘Pallet Palace’. The building was lined and fitted out using old pallets, and it came complete with a bar made from second hand pallets, bar stools which were also made from used wooden pallets, a TV, stereo and a dartboard.
Lehndorf didn’t have to look at second hand wooden pallets for sale, however, as he got them for free. He piled his car high with old pallets and used the boards to sort out what he described as his ‘pretty shot’ double garage.
A Mammoth Undertaking
His grandchildren helped him, and the 60-year-old used pallet timbers to line the shed and make shelves and doors. The project took around eight months to complete and used around 1,000 boards from the second hand wooden pallets. His partner Tracy Thoman also estimates that the job involved pulling out around 7,000 nails from the used wooden pallets.
Lehndorf initially used it as his ‘man cave’ and personal entertainment venue – somewhere where he could meet with his male friends and enjoy ‘a few drinks’, as well as some DVDs, music and darts on a Friday night.
The shed became home to women-only gatherings on Thursday nights and was used for various parties and get-togethers, including at New Year and Christmas. It also played host to an engagement party and no fewer than two weddings.
Since then, the second hand wooden pallet shed has performed a range of functions. For a while, it was used as somewhere to sleep, and it is now a type of greenhouse, garden shed and garden display area.
Change of Use
Tracy is a trained horticulturist and Lehndorf enjoys growing vegetables, sparking the latest changes to the shed. A potting table has now replaced the pool table, and the bar has gone to make room for plants.
Lehndorf, a painter and decorator by trade, was given the title of The Pallet Man by workers in the stores where he sourced the pallets, and he turned his hand to making bench seats and outdoor tables from the boards of the pine pallets. He gave what he made away to friends and sometimes received some beer in return. He then went on to make gates and planter boxes and also created a shade house from wooden pallets to go over his large vegetable garden.
His prize-winning shed remains the star of the show, however, and what started out as a cost-cutting way of sorting out the ‘shot’ garage has gone on to bring about some pretty impressive financial and practical rewards. Lehndorf’s win in the Resene competition netted the New Zealander $1,000 worth of paint, a $2,000 shed and garden furniture and equipment.