Friday, August 19, 2022

5 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Tearing Down Your Deck


As the good weather approaches you’re probably starting to think about how you can upgrade your yard for the BBQ season ahead. If your wooden deck is starting to show its age, that might be just the place to start. A new deck can breathe life into your backyard and turn it back into that weekend oasis it used to be. Before you can build a new one though, you’ll have to remove the old one and in this guide we’re going to look at everything you’ll need to know for your deck removal.

Deck Tear Down REEL

1. Deck Tear Down Costs and Expenses

One of the first things you’ll want to consider are the out of pocket expenses. If you’re tearing the deck down by yourself there won’t be any labor costs, but you will have to set aside time to do it and that’s time you could be spending doing something else. You’ll have to weigh that against the cost of hiring someone to do the work for you and decide what the best route is for you.

How Much Does it Cost to Take a Deck Down?

If you decide that you don’t have the time to commit to your deck removal yourself, you’ll have to look at what it will cost to hire someone to take on the task for you. The price you’ll pay can vary depending on where you live, but according to House Beautiful the average is around $1,200.

Keep in mind that’s just the cost of the deck tear down, it doesn’t include the cost of having a new one professionally built. Depending on the size and scope of your deck project, a new deck professionally installed can cost you somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000 on average.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a 20 x 20 Deck?

If you want to go with a large deck it’s going to cost you a bit more for the installation. In the example we used above our maximum deck size was 16 x 20. The national average for a deck that size is around $20,000.

Upgrading to a 20 x 20 deck is going to take your installation costs up to $25,000 or more. That means with the cost of a professional removal and installation combined you’re now looking at a total price tag between $25,000 and $30,000.

That’s a substantial cost, but a well-maintained deck can last up to 40 years. If you have the budget, it’s a worthwhile investment when you consider how important your deck is as a design element in creating your backyard oasis.

Removing All Debris Caught Under Deck

2. Deck Tear Down Tools

If you’re going to take on any DIY project you have to have the right tools. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an indoor or outdoor job. Having the right tools for the job just makes things go a lot smoother.

Which Tools Do I Need?

While you can always improvise and work with the tools you have, it will be easier to tackle your deck tear down if you have all of the tools you need up front.

If you don’t have a tool you need, consider borrowing it from a friend or a family member. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a tool for one job, unless you plan on doing a lot of projects in the near future for a complete backyard makeover where you’ll need that tool. You may also be able to rent some of these tools at your local tool rental company.

Here are the tools we recommend for your deck removal:

  • Steel toe work boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • A spade/shovel
  • A reciprocating or hognose saw
  • A sledgehammer
  • A standard hammer
  • Pry Bar
  • Drill or screwdriver

3. Deck Tear Down Board Removal

If you’ve decided to take on your deck removal as a DIY project, having the right tools on hand is just the first step. You should easily be able to tackle the job on a weekend, but it’s best to give yourself the full weekend in case you run into anything unexpected. Before you can take the frame down you’ll have to remove the deck boards.

How Do You Remove Old Wood Deck Boards?

So just how do you go about removing old deck boards? Well that depends on whether your deck boards are nailed in or screwed in. If they’re screwed in, the task should be easier, as long as the screws aren’t stripped and worn down.

Removing Intact Screws from Deck Boards

When the screws in your old deck boards are still intact and in pretty good shape it’s a lot easier to remove them. While you can use a simple screwdriver for the task — it’s a labor intensive job. By the time you’re done you might not be able to feel your forearms!

A better way to go about it, is to charge up that cordless drill. Then all you have to do is to flip the switch to reverse and back out all the screws you can. There may still be some that are stripped you can’t remove and for that you’ll need to take a different approach.

Utilizing a pry bar to remove boards

Removing Deck Boards with Stripped Screws or Nails

If you run into a lot of stripped screws or if you discover that nails were used in place of screws when your deck was built, that cordless drill won’t help. In these situations it’s time to reach for that pry bar.

If you have some boards already removed it will be easier using the pry bar, but if you need to remove all boards using this method, it’s best to start at an edge where it’s easier to wedge the bar underneath that first board. Once you get that first board off, you’ll probably have an easier time with the rest, but it’s still going to be time consuming and physically demanding.

4. Deck Tear Down Frame Removal

Old Deck Frame

Once you have all of those deck boards removed the final stage is removing the frame. That’s where the sledgehammer comes in handy. If your deck is old, you may be able to remove a lot of it with some strategically placed hammer blows. If there are exposed nails you may want to use a hammer to remove them first for safety reasons.

Sometimes you might need more than just a sledgehammer. That’s where the reciprocating or hognose saw can be useful. Use the saw to cut through those sturdy and stubborn posts where necessary.

The last stage is to remove the posts from the ground. You’ll have to pull out your shovel or spade and dig around the base. Concrete can be heavy, so you may need help lifting it out of the ground. Then you just have to remove all of that old material so you can prep the area for your new deck.

5. Disposing Of Materials

Now that you’ve torn down your old deck, everything will need to be cleared out to make room for your brand new one! Instead of lugging all of that old wood to the dump or out by your curb, try a dumpster rental! If you rent a dumpster it will be a lot easier getting rid of all of those old boards, posts and concrete. Then you’re ready to get started on the replacement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

15 Summer Projects You'll Need a Dumpster For


With summer in full swing, you’re probably starting to think about all of those projects you want to tackle this year. There are many potential options, but to keep things manageable, it’s a good idea to refine your list down to 2 or 3 things.

When you’re building or creating something new there’s probably going to be some old stuff you’ll need to get rid of. One of the easiest ways to do this is by renting a dumpster. Here are 15 summer projects you’ll need a dumpster for divided into 4 different types of projects. If you can, it’s best to tackle your projects one after the other so that you only need to rent a dumpster once.

What can you build in your backyard?

1. Building a Wooden Deck

One of the best outdoor summer projects you can take on to turn your backyard into your own personal oasis is the addition of a wooden deck. The cost of lumber can be a bit expensive, but the end result is usually worth it. Even a simple deck can add a lot of character to your backyard. If you're replacing an existing deck you can place all of the old material in your rented dumpster as you work.

Wooden deck

2. Building an Outdoor Kitchen

When BBQ season hits, who wants to cook inside? Building your own outdoor kitchen is one of those outdoor summer projects that may seem like a dream, but it actually isn’t that hard of a project if you have some DIY skills. If you don’t, and you have the budget to hire a pro, it’s a great addition to any backyard.

3. Building a Gazebo

A gazebo is a great outdoor summer project if you don’t have a lot of natural shade in your yard. Even if you love soaking up the sun, it’s nice to be able to head to that shady spot for some relief once in a while. First, you have to prepare the area and level the ground. Any excess material can go in the dumpster you’ve rented for your summer projects. There are all kinds of different gazebo styles to choose from so you’re bound to find one that fits nicely with the test of your yard.

4. Building a Shed

If you don’t have a garage, building a decent size shed in your backyard is a great solution. Even if you don’t have the skills to build one from scratch, there are plenty of prefab options available. This is one of the larger outdoor summer projects you’ll probably take on so you’ll want to determine your budget ahead of time and make sure you can commit the time needed to see it through.

5. Adding Walkways and Concrete Patios

Another great way to spruce up your backyard this summer is by adding walkways or a concrete patio. You have countless options when it comes to concrete these days. The materials you choose for your dream patio are only limited by your imagination. You can opt for stamped concrete, colored concrete or stick to a more traditional look if you prefer.

What is the least expensive way to build a patio?

6. Replacing Worn Out Patio Stones

Probably one of the cheapest summer project ideas if you want to build a patio is to add patio stones. If you do the work yourself all you’ll have to do is remove any sod in the area you want to add your patio, level the ground, perhaps add a layer of stone screenings and you're ready to build your patio. Simple stones will cost between $5 and $10 per tile, so you can add a decent size patio for $200 to $400.

Patio stones for walkway

7. Re-sodding

If you want to set up your patio on your grass so that the area can be quickly repurposed when needed, you'll want to at least make sure the area is level. You may need to re-sod to replace worn out and unlevel sections. Using a grass area as a patio isn’t ideal, but it can work on level ground and it will save you a lot of money on expensive concrete or lumber.

How can you make your backyard fun for kids?

8. Preparing and Grading Land for Above Ground Pool

For the ultimate backyard makeover for kids, nothing beats a pool. Before you can put that pool in though, you’ll need to prepare and grade the land. Dropping a pool on uneven ground is never a good idea — it can cause the walls to collapse. Any extra dirt and sod can also go in your dumpster. Believe it or not, adding a small above ground pool can be one of those cheap summer project ideas that pays for itself in keeping your kids entertained all summer.

9. Installing a Pond

If your kids love fish, adding a backyard pond can be a fun project that they can help you with. Ponds can be as simple or elaborate as you like. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even consider adding a waterfall. You’ll be surprised how much extra dirt you’ll have as you dig the area out for your pond. If you don’t have somewhere else in your yard to put it, a dumpster is one of the easiest ways to get rid of it quickly.

Pond in the backyard

How do you entertain a small backyard?

10. Adding a Sunroom

Some outdoor projects are a little more expensive than others and a sunroom definitely qualifies. If you have the budget though, it’s a great way to transform a small backyard into a nice area to entertain guests. Best of all you can use it year round.

11. Tree Removal

If you have too many trees in your yard it might be hard to enjoy that summer sun. Removing one or two of those trees can make a world of difference. If you have a small yard, it will also open up space for you to entertain this summer.

In terms of outdoor summer projects, it’s probably one of the ones that requires the least amount of DIY ability. It can be hard work though and it’s a good idea to make sure you have a chainsaw or at least rent one. Even one tree can produce a lot of lumber so that rental dumpster will really come in handy for this type of project.

12. Clearing Out the Shed

large shed is another great potential spot for entertaining. You can add a bar on the exterior and perhaps a card table or game room inside. It will mean you’ll have to keep all of those garden tools in the garage, but it will make a nice addition to your backyard entertainment options. If you’ve been keeping tons of old junk in that shed, a dumpster will really come in handy.

Wooden shed in a backyard

13. Clearing Out the Garage

If you have a garage, it can be a great alternative to entertaining in a small backyard. Clearing out that garage can be a big job, but it’s a lot easier with a dumpster a few feet away. Once you have it completely cleared out you can turn it into a nice entertainment area. When it’s nice out you can open up the garage and enjoy the fresh air or close it if it's cold and raining.

14. A Yard Overhaul

If you’re happy with your deck, but your yard is in need of a makeover, a yard overhaul is probably in order. You can put all of those weeds, bushes, old sod and any other yard waste you have in your rented dumpster. If you don’t have a wheelbarrow, it’s probably one investment you should make before getting started.

15. Add a Privacy Fence or Trees

One other outdoor summer project that can really transform your yard is the addition of simple privacy. You can add a fence or some trees for privacy. If you have an existing chain link fence, it may be as simple as attaching some privacy lattice to that existing fence. These sheets are relatively inexpensive, but if you do plan on removing an old fence to build one that gives you more privacy, you’ll appreciate having that dumpster in your driveway. Although it takes time for trees to grow, they make for a beautiful wall of privacy and a great addition to your backyard.