Originally I planned to add onto the small deck off the sunroom, approximately tripling its size. After pouring some of the footers I took a closer look at the construction of the original deck and was appalled. I realized what I probably knew all along, that the existing deck would have to come out and the entire deck built anew.
First the floor boards were removed. This was actually the most time-consuming part of the deconstruction because I want to re-use the boards. The boards were fastened with gun nails, which are coated in a glue that binds to the wood very strongly. It took about 4 hours to pull off all the boards and remove the nails. That left the frame and posts.
The band joist was removed with a few well-placed swings of the sledgehammer and a bit of prying with the crowbar.
The rest of the frame came off very easily because the construction was subpar (I'm being generous here). Ledger boards - the framing member attached to the house wall - should be fastened to the house with galvanized lag screws into the house sill joist. This ledger board was fastened with 3" common nails, just long enough to go through the vinyl siding, a foam insulating board and into the plywood cladding. I pulled them off without any prying tools, just grabbed them and pulled. It did not take long to get to this:
I could go on about the code violations that took place on this deck. The other major no-no is never attach a ledger board to the vinyl siding. A section of siding must be removed and the ledger board attached directly to the wall, then flashed. I'm amazed that the deck held together as long as it did.
Saturday it was raining lightly much of the day and I did not want to start framing with wet wood. I cleaned up the area, cut down the old posts and removed siding. Today I bought the necessary hardware - joist hangars, galvanized lag screws and carriage bolts, galvanized flashing - and can begin the framing when the weather improves.