Here's what the old deck looked like on Day 1 of the patio project.
Here I am pulling rotting deck boards up with a crowbar. It's hard. I give Dakota credit for ripping the majority of the boards out on his own. But hey, I did my best.
This is the completely demolished deck/pile of rubble. Dakota cut down some of the bigger, unrotted boards that were supporting the deck for reuse.
After it was all ripped up, we hauled all the old wood that wasn't reusable up to the front of the house and loaded into a truck. Then, it was off to the landfill.I actually had no idea there was a landfill so close to our house. This was my first landfill experience, and it wasn't nearly as smelly as I expected it to be. I definitely saw a lot of toxic-looking construction material and plastic being dumped all around us, but, overall, they seemed to be doing a decent job of replanting over the piles of trash with native plants and separating out yard waste materials and old appliances from other trash.
This nice pretty pile made up of the bricks that we found underneath the deck once we ripped everything out. Apparently, there was a patio in the backyard before. So, it's not so much that we were making a new patio as we were "restoring" the old one. Sort of. Dakota salvaged as many of the bricks as he could by carefully chipping away at the crumbling mortar between them. Then he took a sledgehammer to the cinder block and concrete blocks that were holding up the deck. I decided to let him handle that part on his own. I'm not much of a sledgehammer person.
Here are the molded cement planters Dakota made using the cement mixer he acquired off craigslist. These are for the special cactus section of the patio.
Unfortunately, we didn't end up having enough of the salvaged bricks to cover the entire patio surface area. We laid down all the old bricks we could (they're the gray ones towards the bottom of the photo) and then bought some inexpensive concrete brick from Home Depot to cover the rest of the patio. To fill the spaces between the bricks, we swept sand across the top of the patio and let it sink into the cracks. We'll probably have to add more sand after the first big rain, but, over time, it should get pretty tightly packed and stay put.
The new brown deck was made by Dakota from the boards he salvaged from the old deck. (I painted it.) The new deck is a long, low "bench" on the downhill edge of the patio and a wider section surrounding the planters.
Here are the completed planters and their cacti.
Believe it or not, I don't have one big, pretty beauty shot of the completed patio. We were racing to finish it before a party we had on October 7, and I guess I never managed to document the final product. I'll take one soon and post it.
So, that's the saga of the deck to patio transformation. It was a lot of hard work, but completely worth it. I'm happy we were able to use salvaged materials for the deck and half of the paving--especially since I felt pretty bad dumping all that old, crappy lumber in the landfill.