The Challenge of Demolition

This is a simple story of a deck that rotted away. The doubled-up (sisterred) joists had collected moisture between them and rotted out in a few places. These were 100 year old pine boards next to newer pressure treated pine… as you might have guessed, in those sisterred areas the old pine out-performed the new pressure treated. In addition to the rot at the joists, the stairs were goners (having already fallen off) and the posts were on crooked footings.

The plan was to demo the existing deck and build a new bigger one, 7′ by 32 ‘, with a new 6’ wide staircase.

Step One: Demolish deck. This part can be extra fun if there is a challenge. We needed to get the deck down without damaging the building or wall (or ourselves) and it would be nice if it was minimal work and fell in a nice pile. We decided to cut through the rim and deck boards one 5′ section at a time. We then placed a 4×4 post under the deck section so it isn’t pulling on the joists as we cut them. We also put the post in the corner of the deck section of the direction we want the deck to fall. Then we cut the joists, and right as the last cut is made I pulled the rope to give the deck a nudge in the direction I wanted… and viola! In an hour the whole deck was on the ground in a neat pile.

Next step is to build the deck, but I’ll let photos tell that story.

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