Our deck plans have been delayed several times. This deck, which we lovingly refer to as “the death trap,” has never been stable. Our inspector warned us several times about it when we bought the home.
We added lag bolts to help hold things together and we had a friend from church replace the stairs for us.
But during get-togethers, we still labeled the deck a “no-standing zone”. You could use it to get in and out of the house, but you couldn’t congregate on it. (I’m sure our insurance company would have loved that plan had they known about it.)
In the end, we knew this thing had to be torn down. But did you know that some towns require a permit to tear down a deck? Our town allows us to combine the tear-down and building of a new deck on the same permit, but we couldn’t file the permit until we had figured out the design and dimensions.
Our goal was to build the deck during the spring so we could enjoy it during the summer and fall. Instead we found out our hall bathroom shower was leaking and had to be replaced. That turned into a complete bathroom reno that took our deck-building time and our deck-building money.
After a few months of replenishing our savings, we once again thought we’d tackle the deck. But, pregnant me decided I wanted a pool instead. Read about that debacle here.
Our new plan – build the deck this spring with tax return money. There were a few things we could do before spring to prep the space that didn’t require a lot of money. So last fall, we filed the permit and then hosted a demolition day at our home. We invited some teens from our church youth group over to destroy the deck and a few other things in our yard (like a dilapidated shed and some dead trees). It was such a blast to see them tear this down. (I was a couple of weeks post C-section so I was relegated to photo duty.) The girls rocked it with hammers and a sledge, while the guys used brute-strength to push things over.
It’s surprising how fast the deck came down. But as we have found – if something isn’t built right to begin with, it comes apart real easy.
HOW NOT TO BUILD A SUPPORT POST
We were left with just the support post standing after the teens did their damage. While we were trying to figure out the best way to remove them from the ground, Gary leaned against one – and over it went. Scary to think that was all it took. When we looked at the base of the post, we found they had simply piled 3 masonry blocks on top of each other, stuck the wood post in and then poured concrete on top. The concrete only made it as far down as the first block, so the support for the post was only about eight inches deep.
The other posts came down with a couple of shoves as well, and suddenly we were deck-less.
Now we wait for our tax refund and some warmer weather to finish this off.