The rickety old deck stairs and landing is torn down before building the new stairs. The demolition steps are:
- Remove the upper flight stairs guard rail, treads and stringers.
- Do the same for the lower stairs.
- Take apart the stair landing.
- Remove the landing 6×6 deck posts and concrete footers.
Table of Contents
- Planning and Building Wood Deck Stairs with Landing
- Tear Down Old Wood Deck Stairs and Landing (you are here)
- Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers
- Build Deck Stair Landing: Pour Concrete Footers and Install 6×6 Posts
- Deck Stair Landing: Saw Post-to-Beam Support Notches
- Deck Stair Landing Beam and Joist Framing
- Deck Stair Stringer Hanger Board and Simpson Strong-Tie LSCZ Stringer Connector
- Install Wood Deck Stair Stringers and 4×4 Newel Posts
- How to Frame a Wood Deck Stair Landing
- Build Wood Deck Stairs – Layout Solid and Sawn Stringers
- How to Install Deck Stair Stringers and Treads
- Build Wood Deck Stairs and Landing – Completed Job Photos
Tear Down Old Wood Deck Stairs and Landing
Deck Stairs Demolition
The old stairs were nailed together except for the stair treads which were screwed on because I replaced the treads years ago. Lot’s of hammer and blue pry bar work pulling nails. As I took apart the stairs the poor construction quality was evident. The center stringer is supported by a 2×4 that is pulling away from the bottom of the deck joists. The left stringer is nailed to the 6×6 deck post with eight (8) closely spaced nails:
The sawn stringers after removing the guard rail and treads are in the following photo. I worked my way down the stairs from top to bottom. Recall there wasn’t a guard rail on the right side of the stairs, rather the builder nailed very long 2×2 spindles down the right side to prevent falling. The new stairs will be a bit more narrow to make room for proper guard rail. I mounted one of the old 2×2 spindles along the stairs to have something to hold onto:
The following photo shows how badly the stairs were sagging towards the yard. The problems here are:
- The stringers are barely long enough to reach the landing.
- I jacked up the stairs and added to the double 2×4 ledger as a temporary fix, otherwise the stringers had minimal load bearing surface.
- Note the large gap between the stringer nose and landing joist in the red circle. This how much I needed to raise the stairs to level it.
The construction quality was alarming; only 3 toenails fastened the outer stringer to the 6×6 deck post:
The main deck is over 15 feet high and I’m working on a 24 foot extension ladder. Taking down the long stringers was a two-man job with my son helping:
The upper flight of stairs after tearing down. I’ll block the stair entrance with three 2×4’s to prevent accidental falls:
Deck Stair Landing Demolition
The guard rails are torn off the landing and stairs, then the stair stringers are pulled off. The construction deficiencies here are:
- The left 6×6 post is notched for two 2×4 nailers to attach the stringers.
- The former homeowner’s had the concrete basement patio installed without a Building Permit. The concrete step was poured around the base of the stringers. The Building Code no longer allows this.
I stacked the old lumber in a neat pile after pulling the nails. I’ll hire a dumpster service after the new stairs are built to haul away the debris:
This series is continued in Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers where the old 6×6 posts and concrete footers are taken out.
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