Sunday, June 13, 2010


The people who built this deck didn't think to use treated material, so it rotted. We haven't decided if we want to replace it with another deck, or maybe a patio. Patio seems more likely.

We started demolition yesterday. The parts of the boards closest to the house are the some of the most rotted. It is a low deck, so going to patio isn't as a big a deal as it might seem.

The boards are so rotted, we could step right through. It does make for an easier time pulling out the nails and screws on most boards. The joists are also quite rotted, so even where the boards are in good shape, the support is not.

The photo to the right shows where we patched with big blocks. The joists under that area are not in as bad shape. If we had put those blocks in the area pictured on the right, they probably would have gone right through.

The deck was also painted with an outdoor paint that really shouldn't be used for decks. We did repaint it a couple years ago, but it didn't really help. If we do put a new deck on, it will not be painted.
We decided to rip each board up individually and will save the ones that look salvagable. We are also saving every nasty, rusted, bent nail and screw and will bring them to Construction Junction, a building material reuse center here in Pittsburgh. They have a scrap metal bin that we hope will allow our bucket o' nails.

We worked for about four and a half hours, a bit in the morning and some in the evening when the sun wasn't beating down, and got half the floor boards up. I like using the bear claw and hammer to pull up the nails. Greg uses the cordless drill to pull up the screws. This is my first demolition project and I think I'm going to like the hand tools more than power tools.

Once we get the deck off, we will study the area and make a decision about whether we want another deck, or a patio. I like the idea of patio because it seems more cozy. Our back yard is steeply sloped, so with a patio we will sit lower and have less view of the development well behind us. The photo on the left shows how high the back yard is (and also the rather nasty water issue we have up there!) and I think a patio will make the back of the house less plain, too. That tall evergreen thing is going. I never liked that tree.

Posted by Bonnie Jeanne

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Our first home improvement project was the bathroom. It started with a leaky faucet, and ended with a partial remodel. When the faucet replacement resulted in a gushing fountain, we decided we had to replace the faucet and said "Never liked that faucet anyway." That was the start of our home improvement focus ... never liked that ....

This blog will feature lots of photos, some video and all reality of home renovation.