Monday, May 22 2017 10:43

Getting DIYZ: Replacing Rotten Deck Boards

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The Rock Father™ has collaborated with the DIYZ® app and Life of Dad for this Home Improvement feature. All tools and materials have been chosen by The Rock Father. Opinions are that of James Zahn. #GetWise

As I am writing this, my wife and I have now owned our house for seven years. In fact, after twelve moves in my life, the home that has become known as “Rock Father HQ” will soon become the one that I’ve lived in the longest. With homeownership comes some challenges, and while we’ve tackled many with the #RockFatherRemodel project (the goal is that the house will get nicer as it gets older), others have been more daunting. Often they’re projects that don’t need to be.

Despite having done a lot of “DIY” projects, I’ve never considered myself a true “DIYer,” and certain things that I felt I lacked the skill to tackle have remained untouched….until now that is. Now that I have help from the DIYZ app, I decided to take on one of those projects for National Home Improvement Month. If you’ve ever felt intimidated, confused or just don’t know where to begin with a project, DIYZ can help.

Our deck has been an on-going issue since we moved here. At 27 years old, the massive 22’x22’ wooden structure has seen nearly three decades of blistering summer heat, followed by the “Polar Vortex” Northern Illinois often sees in the winter. When we first moved in, it was painted an icky grey color, which I cleaned-up and repainted in red-and-white (farmhouse style). Although, even at the time I realized that was only a “quick” fix, as touch-ups would be needed, and rot was setting in bad.


Every spring, I look at another batch of rot spots and think “I’ll get to that,” and it doesn’t happen. Now we have a bunch of boards that need to be replaced - but when it comes to using saws (cutting angles and all that) I’ve always lacked confidence. But with the DIYZ app I have access to hundreds of projects for every area of the home and I can simply pulled up “How to Replace a Deck Board.” Every project contains step-by-step instructions, a materials list, segmented videos and tool recommendations. It’s a basic item, but I didn’t have a Quick Square - and you know what? You can shop for tools right from the app via Amazon!


After getting down to business on replacing the surface of the deck, a lightbulb went off and it became clear to me that I have a bigger project in store. While most people will only have a few deck boards to replace, ours is so bad, I’m going to need to do the whole thing. If I run into problems along the way, DIYZ Pro Advisors are available to chat either via video or voice chat from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM ET M-F and on weekends from 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM ET. They’ve been vetted and have seen it all over the years, so if you need the advice of a legit contractor, they’re as close as this app.


If I can do this - so can you. Pick a project to tackle this month, and let DIYZ be your guide. With an app like this, you’ll be able to repair or replace just about anything in your home in no time.

The DIYZ app is free to download and is available in the Apple App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android. For a limited time, the Pro Advice feature is FREE!

PS: Curious to see the progress on our deck? Stay tuned to my socials, as I’ll be sharing pictures as I go!

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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