[This article was first published in May 2021 and has been updated, revised, and expanded.]
One of the most attractive features of many homes is an outdoor deck. Until it's not. Age, weather, and neglect can all add up to a old deck that is unappealing and unsafe.
Fortunately, there are many options for replacing your old deck including composite and engineered wood products. However, whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor to build it, the old deck debris still has to be gotten rid of.
Time for a New Deck? Here are Some Options.
Of course, the most obvious replacement option for an old deck is, well... a new deck. But there are other equally appealing alternatives to a traditional wood deck.
For example, one source states,
Patios are usually more cost-effective to construct than decks. The reason for this is that they're usually made out of concrete, bricks, or stone, which are all less expensive materials! One study showed that—per square foot—patios cost less than half the cost of decks!
And if you're keen on considering a patio option, there are various alternatives to those, as well.
Many prefer the look and feel of mosaic tiling, for example. It can be one of the most unique and stylish ways to pave a patio and the end results are often eye-catching and dazzling. However, not only is this approach one of the most time-consuming methods of building a patio, it can also be one of the more expensive ways to build a patio, unless you choose to tackle it yourself.
A more "down-to-earth" option, on the other hand, is to pave your patio area with dirt or fine decomposed granite, or DG, for a rustic ambience. According to one vendor's site,
The best way to build a patio design out of dirt is to excavate the patio surface to a depth of a few inches, then use a tamper to pack down the dirt and turn it into a hard, level surface that doesn’t kick up easily. Borders should be used along the patio edge to keep them square and pristine.
For a similar style of patio area, go with loose gravel. It is relatively inexpensive and works really well as a semi-permeable surface that allows water to seep through to the ground underneath. And loose gravel requires little maintenance, especially if you install borders to help keep the gravel in place. In fact, loose gravel can create the most effective and minimalistic patios.
And, while traditional patio pavers are the most common material employed by homeowners building their own patios, others opt for poured concrete. Now, a concrete slab with a simple finish does not make for an attractive space, concrete can be dressed up in a wide variety of ways to create dazzling patios, driveways, and even utility pads.
Stamped concrete for decorative designs and patterns as well as stained concrete that adds color and even swirls and visual texture are just some of the ways poured concrete slabs can be easily transformed.
Of course, if you choose to simply replace your old deck with a new deck, there are options for you there, too.
Decking Options: Old School or High Tech?
So, you want to build a new deck.
The primary consideration for most would-be DIY deck builder is which material to use? One option is to simply stick with the traditional, tried-and-true deck materials - cedar or redwood. However, you could go with less expensive lumber such as Douglas fir or Southern yellow pine, but those structures are going to require more TLC and upkeep and probably not last as long.
Another option is to build with one of the many newer decking materials that are not found growing in the forest.
Here are the main products being offered for deck construction today:
Composites are made to look like real wood and come in a wide variety of natural-looking hues and grain patterns. Made by combining a blend of plastic and waste wood fibers, these boards won't splinter and don't need to be stained or painted, thanks to a built-in UV resistance. - This Old House
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking is the new kid on the block and rapidly gaining favor as a material that is as close to maintenance-free as decking will ever be. PVC has no wood content. Premium varieties have a cellular core wrapped with an exterior layer of solid PVC and come with a 25-year warranty. Color options include white, gray, browns, and tans. - House Logic
Anodized aluminum decking offers a modern look and can last 30 to 50 years. The textured finish boasts added traction. It stays cool, making it barefoot-friendly even in sweltering temperatures. However, it is not appropriate for coastal homes because the saltwater will corrode it. Like synthetic decking materials, aluminum is virtually maintenance-free. It will not rust or rot and resists mold and mildew. - HomeAdvisor
Regardless of what you choose to replace your old deck with - even if you decide to just install sod and extend your lawn - you will still need to dispose of all the lumber and debris from your old deck.
Dealing with the Pile of Boards That Was Once a Deck
Old deck removal is a relatively involved and drawn out process.
And this is especially true if you plan to replace it with a patio instead of a new deck, as some people do, or if you plan to design a new deck structure that doesn't make use of any existing concrete footings. That's because the cleanup and subsequent debris disposal can involve far more than just tossing out old boards and replacing them with new ones.
In fact, depending on how extensive your deck makeover is and how complex your old deck was, your deck removal could include many pounds of brackets, nails, bolts, and other metal fasteners, along with numerous concrete footings or - if it was done with "homemade" footings - piles of broken up concrete rubble.
And that's not counting all the beams, railing pieces, stair string, treads, and all the other types of deck boards!
Then, once you begin building a new deck (or patio, gazebo, or sun room) you'll have all the packaging waste, cutoffs, and other construction debris to get rid of.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to the challenge of deck removal cleanup.
Everything Doesn't Have to be DIY for Your Deck Project
If you are dismantling and replacing your old deck yourself, it is probably going to be a project that's going to take you a few days at minimum, if not a few weeks, to complete. And what you really don't want during that time is an ever-growing pile of wood, metal, concrete and other debris on your previously green and healthy lawn.
Not to mention that it will be unsightly and a possible hazard.
The problem is that, assuming you have a truck to haul this junk out on your own, you still have to take time away from the production end of your deck project to do junk removal and hauling work. And, if you don't have a truck or access to one, then it's quite likely you really can't be hauling the big stuff anyway.
That leaves you with just one other option: getting someone else to do it for you.
When it comes to handing off or "outsourcing" the removal and disposal part of getting rid of your old deck, you essentially have two options: ask someone you know or hire someone to do it.
The first option might save you some money, but it also means that you will still be doing a great deal of the heavy lifting, loading, and - possibly - even to go along for the ride and help with the unloading. Not to mention paying the disposal fees and probably fuel for your friend's truck.
On the other hand, you could hire someone.
That could be some guy with a truck that does junk hauling. While this might seem convenient and maybe a bit cheaper than hiring a professional junk removal firm, it does come with some uncertainties and possible liabilities. Suffice it say that there are good reasons for licensing and insurance.
Which leads us to your other "outsourcing" option: hiring a professional wood debris removal team like Junk King. Not only do we show up on time and quickly, safely, and efficiently remove all your deck debris and any other bulk junk you need to dispose of, we even offer you another professional approach to that cleaning project that may take days to complete - our user-friendly rental dumpsters.
With one of our Junk King MINI Dumpsters who have the leisure of loading your deck debris as you make it over a three day long period. And, if you need more time, just give us another call.
Then, when you're done, our expert team will come back and load the dumpster and you're done!
When it comes to getting rid of your old deck, the focus for you should be on replacing it with something new and beautiful - not hauling old lumber around for days.
Getting Rid of Old Decking Material the Easy Way - With Junk King
Depending on where you live, Junk King can remove your old decking and other waste wood debris for you.
Keep in mind, too, that there may be additional fees for disposal of some types of wood due to state regulations. For example, in California the transportation of treated wood is now strictly regulated and disposal in Class I waste facilities is required.
The best course of action is to clearly identify what type of treated or painted wood waste you have, how many sides are treated, and whether it’s free of nails, screws, bolts or other non-wood hardware and fasteners.
For all other categories of wood waste, aside from treated wood in some cases, you won’t find a better junk removal service than Junk King.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly yard waste removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of your wood debris. In fact, our expert debris removal team will break down and haul off any type of waste you have. Unlike the backseat of your car, our junk removal trucks are made to handle those dirty deck debris items.
Ready to get rid of your wood waste? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Our professional and insured junk removal team will call 15 minutes before we arrive on site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You point and we haul the debris into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
Make an appointment today by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).