Summer Kicked-Off with a Carport Deconstruction – Notes From the Field

by Ryan DeSales, Seattle Field Crew Member

Summer is here! And that means that the weather is perfect for barbeques, the beach, and even deconstructing a carport. Yes, a carport. At least that’s what The RE Store’s Seattle field crew did on its summer vacation.

field crew deconstructing

You may already know that The RE Store will pick up and/or salvage your reusable building materials for free in the greater Puget Sound area. But did you know that we also offer green demolition services for select projects? The goal of green demolition (or “deconstruction”) is to salvage as much reusable material as possible, while mitigating waste and environmental impact.

With these goals in mind, an aging carport in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood became the perfect candidate for summer deconstruction. We started from the top by stripping off the old torch-down tarpaper roofing; incidentally, this was the only real waste created during the entire project. Next, we pulled the plywood sheathing from the rafters and then removed and lowered the rafters themselves onto our trusty truck Possum.

I should mention that we parked Possum (one of our trusty flat-bed trucks) directly under the carport and worked from it like a scaffold. This provided a stable work platform and allowed us to load salvaged materials immediately upon removal. This is not the first time that Possum has served as part scaffold and part workbench. We even roped the carport’s vertical support beams directly to Possum’s side gates to keep the structure stable as we pulled it apart (MacGyver would be proud).

possum the truck as scaffolding

Surprisingly, most people don’t like to buy lumber that’s full of nails and staples. Thus, we typically “de-nail” all lumber onsite and this carport deconstruction was no exception. Larger nails must be removed the old fashioned way with pry bars or hammers. Smaller nails, however, can be extracted with a pneumatic nail-kicker. The nail kicker is essentially a reengineered nail gun that is placed on the point end of a nail to shoot it free of the work piece.

With the exception of a circular saw to cut a few beams down to length, we deconstructed the entire carport with hand tools and elbow grease. From start to finish, the process took five people approximately four hours, and it yielded twenty sheets of plywood, twenty-five 2”x10”x18’ boards, four 6”x6”x10’ posts, and an assortment of smaller lumber. We recycled all unsellable materials, such as old aluminum rain gutters, flashing, and the pounds of removed nails and others fasters.

loose beams ready for The RE Store

The RE Store’s green demolition services are well suited to standalone structures, such as garages, carports, sheds, and similar outbuildings. These types of structures can be dismantled efficiently with person power and hand tools and typically yield less waste. As an added bonus, green demolition of such buildings creates a supply of quality, reduced-cost building materials for re-consumption by the public.

Contact our crews in Seattle or Bellingham here:  http://re-store.org/contact-us/