Do It Yourself

PREPARING TO DEMOLISH AN OUTDOOR DECK

There are several reasons to demolish an outdoor deck, from rotting plants and joists, to a design that’s just not meeting your needs. Whatever the reason, simple preparation before you pick up a saw can save you a lot of time and headaches down the line.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  • Worm Drive or Circular Saw (for deck boards)
  • Electric Chain Saw or Reciprocal Saw (for joists)
  • Demo Hammer (for cemented post holders)
  • Bagster® Bag(s)
  • Heavy Work Gloves
  • Extension Cords
  • Crowbar
  • Drill
  • Nail Bar
  • Socket Wrench
  • Elbow Support
  • Shovel
  • Eye Protection
  • Mineral Ice (expect to be very sore at the end of each day).

WHAT’S YOUR OBJECTIVE?

Are you going for a redesign or a complete removal? If you’re looking at a redesign, you’ll have to determine how much of your old deck you can save. That depends on the condition of the deck. If it’s a complete removal, then of course everything will have to go. Your biggest concerns will be waste removal and the tools to get the job done.

INSPECT YOUR DECK

If the base is in good condition and serves your design needs, you will only need to remove the top planks. But if upon closer inspection the beams and joists either need to be replaced are rotting or do not serve your design needs, then you will have to budget for considerably more time.

SIGNS OF ROT

  • Stained or soft wood
  • Black or yellow fungus
  • Insects
  • Soft depression under the surface of the painted wood

TOOLS

Having the right tools makes the job go more efficiently and, more importantly, helps prevent injuries.

  • A worm drive or circular saw is best for deck boards
  • Electric chain saws or reciprocal saws work well for joists
  • Demo Hammers are recommended for cemented post holders
  • Bagster Bag(s) will make waste removal a lot easier

For a list of the tools you will need, see the "Things You’ll Need" list above.

LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

Planning for potential problems before your project starts will help keep your project from getting derailed. Areas of potential trouble:

  • Elevated decks (precautions will have to be made for falling debris)
  • Cemented post holders in concrete - a tool like a demo hammer will make your life a lot easier
  • Unforeseen rotting beams and joists - this could expand the scope of the job

HINT: Rotting top boards may be a sign of rotting joists too.

CUTTING YOUR JOB DOWN TO SIZE

A simple solution for deck boards that are difficult to remove because of their size is to cut them.

  • Makes it easier to pack them in your Bagster bag
  • Lighter to carry to your Bagster bag

BE READY FOR THE DEBRIS

The volume of your job will determine how many Bagster bags you will need. For an average-sized deck (400 square feet), we recommend two Bagster bags. You can fill them with up to 3,300 lb of debris.

SET YOUR SCHEDULE

If you’re planning on doing the job in one weekend, be sure you start bright and early Saturday morning. Most likely, you’ll need the full weekend to complete the job.

ASSEMBLE YOUR TEAM

Demolishing a deck is work best done with at least one other person. Time to call in some favors.

LUNCH IS ON YOU

Prepare ahead and have plenty of refreshments on hand.

  • Drinks
  • Lunch
  • Snacks

HINT: Beer and power tools don’t mix.

PEACE OF MIND

Once you’ve filled your Bagster bag, just schedule a collection and we can take it from there.