You know those times you start a project and say to yourself "I hope this goes as smoothly as planned"? Well this one went BETTER than planned. Of course I wasn't truly surprised, after all, part of the reason we wanted to rebuild this deck was because we knew how poorly this original deck was constructed. It took us 45 minutes to take this entire deck down. I know it wasn't a large deck but... 45 ... Minutes!? Thankfully, this has been the only part of our house that wasn't super sturdy and good quality.

Here's some in-progress shots:

Unsafe Deck. Deck Demolition Day
Unsafe Deck. Deck Demolition Day

So after a quick demo, we were left with a dust bowl underneath. We had to regrade completely under the deck to make sure the drainage was correct. Luckily, this was a simple fix - we just used shovels and rakes to get it angled AWAY from the house.

As well, if you saw the design of the future deck in our last post, we had an idea to use the space under the deck as a storage area. In order to do this, we had to get the soil under the deck as flat as possible and that is when the patio blocks came into the picture.

Regrading under a deck for proper drainage

Now, I've never been a fan of patio blocks. In fact, I'm pretty sure we've given some away on Kijiji just to get rid of them, but this idea that Chantel had to use the space underneath the deck was a plan I could get on board with. We determined the size we wanted, did some quick math, and had 25 - 24"x36" patio blocks mapped out for us to install. You can tell by the look on my face by the last row that this job was a little labour intensive - not a fun job! But voila, it was done. Thankfully my Dad came to lend a hand!

Patio Blocks for base under deck for storage

We spaced them out 2" apart on all sides. By putting a gap in between the patio blocks, it allowed us to not have them perfectly level, and it took up more space too which meant less patio blocks (which is a real good thing). After all the blocks were down, we gathered a bunch of gravel that was around the sides of the house and filled in the gaps to help stop them from shifting and obviously so things wouldn't get stuck in the gaps.

Patio Blocks for base under deck for storage
Patio Blocks for base under deck for storage

You can see from this picture above that when we painted the exterior of the house a few summers ago, we didn't bother to paint under the deck. So we then got some more of the exterior paint and painted all the areas below the deck so we wouldn't be able to see that white(ish) paint.

In total, this project took Me, Chantel, my Dad, and a friend less than a day to demo, regrade, build a patio block base, and paint. And then we were able to finish most of the build the next day, as it also went incredibly smooth. We'll be revealing the final deck photos to you next week! Can't wait for you to see it!

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