Deck Removal

One area of deck removal is a procedure that you can do yourself if you like DIY deck demolition. It doesn't require a lot of training but does need special attention for the tools and safety equipment that you'll be using. Here is a handy run-down list of tasks that will make this job effortless when it comes time to remove any deck or patio construction in your backyard.

Reasons Why To Remove A Deck-Getting Started

Old deck stairs wood

Obviously, the most obvious reasons start to be apparent just through simple observation. Looking at the exposed wood or even peeking underneath at the joists and hanger boards will tell you everything. This also shows how bad the condition of your deck has become due to early rotting, dry rot, and even termite damage. When it gets to the point that no repair will suffice, it's time to demolish a deck and start over.

That's not always the only reason to choose deck demolition as there are practical reasons why you would choose to do this. It can always be for the beautification of your backyard or part of a remodeling project. It can also be from adding a patio or a shed, or simply to help enlarge the backyard area you have currently. Despite the reasons involved, the tools and methods that are used to tear down a deck don't change much.

Tearing Down A Deck The DIY Way

Man tearing down deck

First of all, you could always hire professional demolishers to remove a deck, but where is the fun in that? With just a small amount of planning ahead, the benefits of taking apart an outdoor deck can be beneficial for many other reasons. Firstly, you can save money on leftover lumber which can be repurposed for other projects. You also can save money on the cost of demo and likely spend less than half of that amount if you already have the necessary tools.

Most of all, doing anything that's DIY related is all about taking pride in the work you are doing yourself. Even if you aren't a professional craftsperson or wood builder, getting a sense of how something goes together or comes apart is always satisfying.

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What Warning Signs Are There To Look For?

crack on deck wood

Creaking and creepy sounds aren't just the kinds of sounds you expect from a haunted house, they're early warning sounds you need to take seriously. Just keep in mind that raised decks are often several feet off the ground and those supports that hold everything together can be telling you there is a problem that will become worse if you don't take action immediately.

Popping screws and fasteners

It's more common that screws are holding your deck together these days than regular nails, but they can pop for many reasons. The biggest reason is that wood will begin to shift and warp over the years from rainy weather. This makes the wood susceptible to soaking up water where it gathers inside screw heads. This can lead to early rusting which makes screw heads pop off from the pressure holding boards down.

It can also come from splintering boards that begin to crack around screw points and allow boards to pop up.

Soft spots

It's harder to notice unless you have lighter wood stains that are added to your deck. If you start to see discolorations that include green and brown, this is a sure sign of wood rot. Touch these spots to see if they are soft and spongy. If this is the case (and there are several all over the deck), you'll need to start thinking about removing old decking as soon as possible.

Bouncy boards

Your deck wasn't designed to be a bouncy house but when boards start to cause any kind of movement that isn't rock steady, it's another sign of a loosening framework. If you can get underneath your deck, use a flashlight to inspect the frame connection and fastening points for damage. Either way, you don't want to risk an accidental collapse if there is noticeable bouncy movement when you walk on your deck.

Getting Ready To Demolish Your Deck

cleared deck for demolition

If you're going to have the ultimate checklist for tearing down your deck, you need to have a few details sorted out. And though these don't have anything to do with getting your teardown tools together, these steps are just as important. These rules also apply to any deck removal services you call upon to do the job likewise.


Clear off your deck

Remove everything from the surface of your deck and get them to a safe place where they are out of the way. You need all the space to work and there should never be anything in your way that could become a hazard later. The best thing is to place these items somewhere safe until you need to put them back where they are best used even if you don't rebuild a new deck.


Donate unwanted items

Here's a novel idea that you might not have considered but makes perfect sense. Your deck might be filled with items that are interesting, but are they doing anything? Collect everything you can't use anymore or upcycle and send them off to charity or donation centers.


Bring unwanted items away or place them into a dumpster

Another thing that many people do is use the space underneath their deck as a place to store junk. It's somewhat covered and gives just as much shelter as a barn or shed might provide, which is why decks often get crowded with junk so easily. You'll likely need to order dumpster service before you start a teardown, so why not schedule a dumpster for the days you'll demolish decks as well.


Prepare a budget for rebuilding (and permits needed)

You could be days away from doing anything after a deck is torn down, so why not start estimating what it will cost for building a new deck. This includes reusing any limber that is still viable after your deck is torn down. Select only the best scraps for recycling and toss the rest if it's not worth the trouble. One thing for sure is to check if you need a permit for building a new deck. At least according to some specs, you do need one in certain cases.

Here is some helpful info for Maricopa County that is important.


Create an after-plan for anything new

If you're looking to have a new deck installed, this is the time when you should make a few sketches or draw out some ideas on paper. This can ultimately help when passing these ideas onto a contractor or designer for what a new deck could look like according to your initial ideas. You don't have to be great at drawing but getting these ideas out while they're still fresh in your head will make it easier to choose new designs when it's time to add a new deck.

Learn the parts of your deck beforehand

parts of deck demolition

The overall anatomy of your average deck will help you get a sense of what goes together to make a complete deck construction. Learning all of the elements that make an outdoor deck easier to identify is as simple as studying this diagram. When it comes time to remove and deconstruct your deck, you can see which items will be effective to remove first. The method to demolish old decks is always in reverse of the order that it was originally built.

Cost To Remove An Old Deck

calculator and deck demolition chart

Let's get to the immediate cost breakdown in case you're looking to have your old deck torn down by a professional demolition company. On average it will cost between $600 and $1000 and you'll be lucky if this includes dumpster service. You can get a quote from AZ Junk Removal that also features demolition and dumpster services all in one. Some exceptions play into this kind of demolition when contacting deck removal companies.

  • Accessibility to the deck itself
  • Overall size and complexity of the deck
  • Each contractor charges a different price
  • The location where you live
  • Materials that can be salvaged

Demolitions tools and equipment needed

deck demolition tools on table

If you're a homeowner, chances are you already have these items in your garage or within a toolbox. It goes without saying that most people who already are accustomed to home improvement will keep these select tools around for all kinds of fix-up tasks in addition to gardening and ongoing home maintenance. So if you're going to break down a deck, these items should be on your list.

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Shovel
  • Pry bar
  • Sledgehammer
  • Sawzall (reciprocating saw)
  • Drill (electric or battery-charged)
  • Chainsaw (optional)
  • Hand saw (optional)
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Work shoes (with protective steel toes)
  • Kneepads
  • Dust mask
  • Roll-off dumpster (for debris)

Hire AZ Junk For Bulk Trash Pick Up.

The steps to remove your old deck 

deck demolition in initial stages

These steps are all listed in the order which doesn't take much effort to handle with the necessary tools that make the job run smoothly. Watching this process is also a sight to behold as these home experts show you how to demolish your backyard deck in no time at all.

  • Designate a place for all of your removed wood
  • Remove the handrails
  • Pry up the deck boards
  • Cut the deck frame apart from your house
  • Cut off the joists
  • Remove all of the hanger boards
  • Dig out all the support posts
  • Pull out and of the stairs or steps

What To Do With The Old Wood?

Man throwing deck wood

It's the million-dollar question that ultimately makes other DIY projects more accessible to create. Old reclaimed wood is useful for many kinds of projects since old wood has a certain texture you can't get easily with fresh lumber. Removing deck boards often uncovers hidden gems underneath, so keep a close eye on the good stuff.

Interior projects

Perhaps old wood can be used for rustic additions on beams or shelves in a kitchen or living room. Keep in mind that reclaimed wood can be further sanded and cut to suit your needs.

DIY picture frames

Deck boards make great picture frames if you have a decent table saw. Just remember to remove any nails or screws before you start to cut them up.

Backyard plant beds

The look of a planter box in your backyard is up to your personal style, yet it's more creative when you use leftover wood from your deck that is perfect for outdoor use already. This wood can be stained and sealed so it doesn't start to become more weathered than you want it to.

Use leftover wood for parts of your new deck

Sometimes the best look is from weathered wood that seems to fit best for ornamental and visual appeal. If your old wood is still good, incorporate these pieces into a new deck to save money. It never hurts to recycle.

How Does DIY Deck Demolition Affect Your Home Value?

home front elevation with deck

Lastly, it happens to be one of the major appealing points of backyard projects that ultimately can add value to your home. Even if you aren't going to sell your home anytime soon, the visual charm of a new deck will increase your home's value over the old deck. You not only increase the safety for those on your new deck, and help to regain more charm and beauty to your property more than an aging deck would be able to attract.

Schedule a Pick Up

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Who is responsible for removing an old deck?

Who ever own the property is normally responsible for removing an old deck. If you’re renting, you should look at your lease to see if there are any clauses that say otherwise. If there are none, then it’s the landlord’s responsibility.

Can I remove the deck myself or do I need to hire a professional?

You can definitely remove a deck yourself, it’s not that difficult. It just comes down to if you have the time, energy and willingness to do the job. It’s a good sized project and a dirty one at that. But you can definitely do it yourself or with some friends.

What is the cost for removing a deck?

Usually removing a deck isn’t all that expensive, it’s the removal of the remains of the deck that often costs the most. Try placing an ad in your local paper, Craigslist or even a few local Facebook groups and see what people would want to remove it for you. Often times handymen will have their own truck and do everything for one set price.

How long does it take to remove a deck?

That totally depends on how big the deck is, how well made it is and if the build was something more complex that usual. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to remove a deck.

What do I need to do to prepare for deck removal?

The first hing is to remove anything that isn’t secured to the deck. This includes any furniture, potted plants, or other items from the deck. You should also ensure that any utilities or services connected to the deck, such as gas or electricity, are disconnected and capped off.

What happens to the materials from the removed deck?

Normally everything will end up in the dump if the wood is no longer usable in any way. If the wood is in somewhat decent condition and not totally rotted out, the wood can be recycled or repurposed. But even rotted wood can work as firewood, and someone will normally take it if it’s free. It's best to discuss the options with the removal company before the removal process begins.

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About the author
Wordpress Username: azjunk

Brad Thomason is the owner of AZ Junk Removal, a seasoned professional with decades of experience in the moving and junk removal industry. With an acute understanding of how people acquire and dispose of items, he established his company in 2001, serving the Phoenix, Arizona area with exceptional junk removal services. Throughout his career, Brad has witnessed the exponential growth of the city as new communities, businesses, and retail centers continue to develop.

Committed to offering a more personalized approach, Brad operates the company as an owner-operator, actively involved in daily operations. When you choose AZ Junk Removal to eliminate clutter, you can expect to work directly with Brad, one of his close family members, or friends. This level of customer service sets them apart from other franchised hauling companies in the Valley.

With his wealth of knowledge and commitment to providing top-notch service, going with Brad Thomason is the clear choice for all of your junk removal needs in Phoenix, Arizona.


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