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Deck Demo & Rebuild

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Deck Demo & Rebuild

The condition and material of your deck, as well as your desired budget and timetable, all come into play when deciding which deck removal process you’re going to choose—do it yourself, hire a professional, or a combination of the two.
Assess your options, approach the job methodically, and make a plan.
With the help of this deck demo guide, you’ll be able to say goodbye to your deck without saying goodbye to all your hard-earned cash, time, or sanity.


Remove the Deck Yourself


Getting rid of your deck doesn’t mean you have to destroy its materials in the process.
The lumber used in decks is often valuable and can be reused for a wide range of projects.
Not to mention, deconstructing a deck is a job you can finish on your own with some elbow grease and a few basic tools.

Step 1: Remove Railings and Stairs

Start by removing all railings and stairs.
A majority of decks nowadays are built with screws, which are simple enough to remove with a drill or electric screwdriver.
If your deck was built with nails, simply pull out the nails using a claw hammer.

Step 2: Remove Deck Boards

Once railings and stairs are out of the way, you can then remove the deck boards.
Take care when doing this as to not hurt yourself or the wood. Railings, stairs, and deck boards are in high demand due to their versatility.
Weathered wood is perfect for all kinds of DIY projects. You can transform your old deck into a bench, a table, a frame, landscaping trim, or anything you can think of—or you can sell it to someone else via Facebook, Craigslist, etc.

Step 3: Remove Legs and Feet

From there, remove your deck’s legs and feet.
Most decks have concrete feet that are relatively easy to remove from the ground with a shovel and some muscle.
If your deck’s concrete footings are too difficult to remove by hand, utilize a Bobcat, backhoe, truck, quad, tractor, etc. to get the job done.
The safest way to go, in this case, is to hire a professional to handle this step.

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Hire a Professional to Remove Your Deck



Deck Removal 101

Outdoor decks undergo a great deal of exposure to the elements, from solar rays and heat to cold, precipitation, and wind, among others. Over time, the ends of deck boards can become splintered, soft, warped, and frayed.
But there’s more than one reason to get rid of a deck apart from age and rot.

Common Reasons to Demolish a Deck:
  • Improve its appearance with fresh lumber and modern materials
  • Add new design features to increase accessibility or safety (gates, ramps, etc.)
  • Replace it with something new, such as landscaping, a pool, shed, etc.

The Verdict About Deck Removal


Because demolition can be seriously tough work, we recommend leaving the work to professionals with the experience and the equipment.
Accurate and meticulous planning is required in order to avoid potentially dangerous scenarios and from damaging the surrounding home, landscaping, etc.
With that said, there are instances where a little DIY can go a long way.
For example, if you have a wood deck that still has some good pieces of wood left, use a prybar and hammer to pull out the nails and carefully pry up the plank—that wood could be used for a number of things!
Think: Antique frame or coffee table, or sell the planks on Craigslist or Facebook.
Not only will you have reusable lumber to use or sell, but you could potentially save money on the remaining deck removal project if you reduce the square footage of the deck.
You’d also be reducing the amount of waste going to the landfills by reusing or recycling the materials.
This process is called ‘deconstruction’ and is essentially deck construction in reverse order:

  • Pull off the top railings, removing the balusters and bottom rails first. To remove deck boards without damaging them, use a crowbar to pry them up if they are nailed together. If they are screwed together, use a drill to reverse the screws.
  • Remove the deck boards.
  • Take apart the steps.
  • Disassemble the joists, beams, and then the support posts.

As you go, place the screws/nails in a jar for recycling and stack like-sized planks and pieces of wood together for easy recycling or re-selling later.

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Get a permit if your area requires one.


Typically, local municipalities do not have regulations regarding the removal of decks.
However, if the deck is part of a property that has historical significance, then you may be required to secure a removal permit.
Oftentimes, the contractor you hire to remove the deck will pull the permits for you, but you should always discuss this with them to confirm who is responsible for this aspect of the project.

Be ready with post-demolition plans.

Regardless of what you plan on putting in your old deck’s location, you should have this plan in place before hiring your deck removal contractor.
If you plan to build a new deck or some other type of structure, you may be able to save some money by hiring one contractor to handle both jobs.
If the plan is to build a new structure, like a home addition or a shed, where your old deck once stood, the land may need to be filled and graded in the proper manner.
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Deck Demo & Rebuild





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