How to Remove an Old Deck?
Removing an old deck can be a challenging and time-consuming task. But it’s a necessary step if you want to replace it with a new deck. The process involves removing and disposing of the structure and materials of the old deck, which may include everything from wooden boards to metal nails and screws.
Before you begin, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools and equipment for the job, as well as a plan for how you will safely remove and dispose of the debris. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps of how to remove your old deck so you can get started on your new project.
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Things to consider before tearing down an old deck
Planning ahead helps a lot. First, decide if you want to hire someone to do the job or do it yourself. In either case, make sure you protect your landscape and clear a path for the trash to be taken away. Plan out how you will replace your outdoor deck. You should consider how much it will cost to replace your deck and how much value it will add to your home.
How much it costs to remove an outdoor deck
Contractors will look at the size, style, and condition of the deck to figure out how much it will cost to tear it down. The cost of tearing down a large raised deck may be higher than tearing down a small deck on the ground. The cost to build a small deck at ground level can range from $600 to $1,000. For the do-it-yourselfer, there are two costs: the cost of renting a trailer or dumpster and the cost of dumping the trash.
Make a post-dismantling plan for your outdoor deck
What will replace your deck? It could be another deck, a shed, or a garden. You may want to tear down your wooden deck and replace it with a concrete or paver stone patio. If you want to rebuild your outdoor deck, you should consider all your options and composite decking is a good choice. It lasts much longer than wood deck boards and requires less maintenance, among other benefits.
Hiring a contractor to tear down the old deck and build a new deck is the best way to go. This reduces the amount of time it takes to tear down the old deck and put up the new one. For demolition work, the contractor may also charge less.
When making plans, don’t forget to plan for landscaping, lighting, and extras such as an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, or fire pit.
Will removing the deck make the home less valuable?
What you put in its place will determine whether removing the deck will reduce the value of the home. In most cases, if you don’t replace the removed deck with a similar one, the value of your home will go down. This is especially true if most of the homes in your neighborhood have outdoor decks. Because of this, it’s important to plan for the replacement.
Should you remove the deck yourself, or hire a professional?
When deciding whether to hire a contractor or do it yourself, you should consider the pros and cons of each option. You should consider how much it would cost to hire a professional, but if you take some safety precautions, you may be able to remove your deck yourself and save about half the cost.
Are you prepared? Think about what you know, how good you are at it, and how much time you have. If you plan to hire a contractor to build a new outdoor deck, it might make sense to have them tear down and haul away the old one as well.
How to take down an old deck
The best way to remove a deck is to start at the top and work your way down. Move each section or part out of the way as you take it down. Wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and gloves to protect your eyes and ears. Always work in a stable, comfortable place, and don’t try to do too much.
Materials and tools needed
When decks are taken apart, they leave more junk behind than you might think. Find a suitable trailer or dumpster for this job. Here’s what you’ll need to take down your deck
- A pry bar or wrecking bar
- Ratchet and socket set
- Drill/driver and bits
- Circular saws
- Saw and rotary saw blades
- Old wood chips
- Hand gloves
- Eye and ear protection
Step 1: Look for safety hazards on the deck
Open up different levels and enclosed decks. Check electrical connections, and call an electrician if needed. Next, look for weak wood, missing or broken fasteners, and posts that have moved around. Animals and wasps often nest under and around old decks. Make sure everything is secure. Avoid going around them.
Step 2: Remove the deck railing
Start at the railing. Use a reciprocating saw to cut through the bottom railing near the posts, taking care to avoid brackets and fasteners. Do the same for the top railing, but do not move it. Once the railing is cut, let the whole thing fall off in a safe manner. Or, have someone hold the piece of railing for you while you cut it. Take the whole piece of railing to the trash all at once. If it’s too big, cut it in half.
Step 3: Take down the deck and cut the support beams
This depends on how you take down the trim. If you can back out the screws or pry up the deck boards that are nailed to it, you won’t have to do as much work, but the job will take a little longer. To be safe, you can use a piece of plywood that spans at least three joist frames as a temporary deck. Bend the nails down before taking the boards off the deck.
Another method is to remove the two boards closest to the house and the last two boards at the other end. Cut the deck boards between the joists and saw them toward the house. You can use a wrecking bar or reciprocating saw to cut the screws holding the boards being cut. You can also just cut the joists and leave the boards in place. When you cut the joists, do it in small pieces.
Step 4: Remove the steps from the deck
Remove the stair railings in the same way you removed the other railings and balusters. Next, remove the stair treads by unscrewing or cutting them off. Use a circular saw or a saw that moves back and forth to cut the stringers off the deck.
Step 5: Remove the ledger boards
Once the lag bolts holding the ledger board to the house are unscrewed, it is easy to remove. When removing the last bolt, stay away from the ledger board, which is usually a long, heavy piece of wood. If you can’t easily pry the sill plate off, look for the hidden lag bolts in the hardware of the joist hangers. If you can’t carry the sill plate to the trash because it’s too heavy, cut it in half or in thirds.
Step 6: Remove the deck transom
In most cases, the transom is twice or three times the size of the joists. Since the beams are big and heavy, cut them into pieces that can be easily moved and knock the other pieces off the posts.
Step 7: Dig out deck posts and foundations if you want
Some people cut the posts into the ground and leave them there, but it’s best to take them out or use them again if you can. If you can’t get the posts out of the ground, you can nail a low block of wood to one side of the post and use it as a lever to lift it up. You can also use a skid steer and a heavy chain tied to the post to move it. This is the best option when the base or post is made of concrete.