Step 1. Buy lots of saws.

Step 2. Buy lots of wood.

Step 3. Look around in confusion on how you’re going to bring this stuff home.

Step 4. PROFIT! No wait… Get to work.

Regarding Step 3, we ended up renting a van from Home Depot ($19.99 for 1.5 hours). This was after serious contemplation of strong-arming-mattress-transport-style on the roof of our wagon. Less drama this way. Hope we bought enough wood!

Got wood.

A few other supplies were required for this adventure – some we had already and some we needed to buy.

Dewalt 12" Compound miter saw - Pam found via Kijiji

After cleaning up from last weekend, we managed to get everything ready to replace some of the boards. I think we had about 15 or so sections that needed replacing. But then we discovered carpenter ants, and realized we actually needed to change more. Fun.

Home mark II - Carpenter Ants


Bye bye stairs

Replacement blitz


Overall this process went pretty fast. 45 degree cut here, -45 degree cut there, a bit of screaming and done. The only though bits were taking out pieces in the middle of sections. Of which I figured I’d share a small video of the process.


For those that hate video, here’s a list:

  1. Mark the section you want to remove – I like to cut after a joist vs in the middle.
  2. Make a first cut with a circular saw or jig saw (I tried jig,then discovered circular was faster and straighter)
  3. Finish the cut with a sawzall – screaming might work here but is untested.
  4. Make sure your cut is as close to the joist as possible – sanding or jigging imperfections worked for me.
  5. Add a under piece of wood attached to the joist, pre-screw the wood for easier installation.
  6. and finally add in your replacement board. DONE!
Speaking of which. We’re almost done. Next up, staining, maybe some railings and or seating. 🙂


No more holes!