How to Remove a Wood Deck From a Backyard

Decks provide a central area for outdoor entertaining and recreation, but after a few years, a wood deck can weather and become more of an eyesore than an asset. When you're ready to demolish that deck, you'll disassemble it in the reverse order it was constructed. Tearing out a deck requires physical strength, so recruit helpers with strong backs.

Reverse the installation process to remove the deck.

Step 1

Unscrew the screws, or remove the nails holding the handrail in place. A drill with a screw bit, set on "Reverse," removes screws quickly. If the handrail is nailed, pry it up and off with a large pry bar.

Step 2

Remove the balusters by unscrewing the screws or by working them back and forth until they loosen, and you can pull them off the bottom rail.

Step 3

Remove the bottom rail from the deck posts in the same manner.

Step 4

Remove deck screws and the decking boards. If nailed, you'll have to pry the decking up, board by board.

Step 5

Pry the decking joists away from the rim joist, which is the frame that holds the deck joists in place. If the joists are large and hard to remove, pound them loose with a large sledgehammer, and then pry them off.

Step 6

Loosen the bolts, if applicable, that hold the ledger board in place along the house, using a large ratchet with a socket sized to match the bolt head.

Step 7

Remove any bolts that connect the posts to the deck's rim joist and remove the rim joist. All that remains now are the posts.

Step 8

Dig out the soil around the posts with a shovel to loosen them. At the bottom of the post, you'll probably find a large chunk of concrete, poured to stabilize the post. Because these are heavy, you may need numerous helpers to pull them. Alternately, hire someone with a skid steer or other heavy equipment to remove the posts.

Step 9

Fill in the holes with soil.

Glenda Taylor

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.