By John Cagney Nash

Because of the virtually limitless scenarios in which the demolition of a deck could take place, it is impossible to give even an approximation as to the cost. That said, there are a number of constants to any such project; giving each of these factors a value allows a calculation to be made of the likely eventual cost.

Porch swing
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While no two deck removal projects are the same, they all share constituent parts.

Deck Size

Clearly the demolition of a large deck will involve more time, waste disposal costs and renovation of the area than will the demolition of a small deck. Deck size will affect labor costs, hauling costs and fees at the waste disposal facility.

Permitting

Municipal authorities typically have no regulations regarding the removal of items such as decks from regular homes. If the property is of historical significance, however, it may be necessary to have a permit for removal of anything that can alter its historical aspect, and that could include a deck. Municipal authorities typically charge for permits and for project supervision.

Labor

Professional demolition companies typically quote residential demolition cost at about $5 to $15 per square foot of occupied space, according to Cost Owl. But demolishing a deck usually does not involve many safety factors or skills, or the handling of hazardous materials such as asbestos. Landscapers and construction companies often take on demolition work, and these entities typically quote a price that covers labor and debris removal. Compare quotes from a number of companies. If the deck is in good condition, it is possible a landscaping company will remove it only for the salvage materials and not charge for its time.

For a more hands-on -- and probably cheaper -- solution, contract laborers yourself, and hire a tipper truck from a tool rental outlet. As contracted workers, these laborers are responsible for the payment of any taxes due on their income. You only have to reach an agreement regarding what their time is worth. Exercise caution when dealing with strangers, and only hire people you will feel safe carrying large volumes of material from your property. Establish a maximum amount of time you feel the job should take, and multiply the hours by the hourly rate by the number of workers to calculate the labor cost.

Removal of Debris

Deck timbers are usually pressure-treated with chemicals that make it illegal to burn them, and demolished decks made of such material must be hauled away. A way to ensure that a Dumpster is big enough is to start with a survey of the quantities used to make the deck. Write down how many planks there are and their dimensions. Note how many support timbers are beneath the planks and any piles that hold the support timbers in place. Visit a home improvement warehouse with that information in hand, and measure similar amounts where they are stocked. Measure the length by height by width of a stack of planks equaling those used to build your deck, and calculate their square footage. Do the same with the support timbers and the piles. Add all the figures together to find the minimum size Dumpster you will need to haul the deck material away. Factor in the cost of the Dumpster and any costs levied by the waste disposal facility.