Before we dig into this, the lawyers say we have to remind you: just because we do something does not mean you should. It's a good idea to consult with a pro before tackling DIY demolition. This stuff is dangerous. Make sure that children stay away from tools, no living creatures are in the way of falling debris, proper safety equipment is worn, etc, etc.

How to deal with an old awning

You all remember that awkwardly-placed pergola on our property, right? It's hard to forget, being right in the middle of our front walkway. I originally had plans to move it to the pool area as a pool cove, but after we pressure-washed some of the gunk off we realized that the top was rotted. Wood rot has to be removed completely or it will continue to fester, so those slats are pretty un-salvageable.

There goes my idea of simply relocating this thing intact.

How we do DIY Demolition

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

Out come the DIY demolition tools (thanks, Ryobi!).

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

The pergola was already unbolted from the ground. Next, Nate tried to unscrew the support beams. We thought, once separated from its base, we might be able to lift the roof up and haul it away. Unfortunately, the long screws were rusted through and stripped.

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

Plan B for DIY demolition? Hacking straight through the beams with a reciprocating saw affixed with a metal-cutting blade.

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

This here doesn't look fully rotted, but the poorly-treated wood is moist and not in good shape. Bad news, bears.

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

After removing the support beams, we realized that the roof was WAY too heavy to be lifted without a crane. We had one option left, which was to pull it down to our level. Enter the trusty WARN winch. Nate has this installed in his Boss bumper so we can pull our way out if we ever get caught in a tricky situation while boondocking.

It was one of the more industrious solutions we've thought of.

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

And clearly, quite effective.

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

The roof pieces were too heavy to pull away by hand, so we chopped them right in half with our chainsaw (thanks, STIHL!).

Pergola demolition in an hour with power tools and a winch

To clear our DIY demolition mess we dragged those pieces away, again using the winch as our aid.

How to do DIY demolition using a heavy duty truck and chainsaw. For frequent DIYers, investing in these tools may be a better option than renting a bulldozer.

So that's how we do DIY demolition in three steps: deal with bolts/screws, take it down and hack it into pieces. Those pieces are now sitting off to the side of our property. Next, the rotted wood is going into the fire and the remaining structural components are either going away OR being revamped into a new-and-improved pool cove.

Stay tuned.