When undertaking an attic or third floor renovation, consider using a crane for the heavy materials. For about $500 a day you can rent a small crane or lift. It can easily handle heavy materials like lumber and drywall, not to mention hot tubs. They can boom out about 42 feet, enough to get to the top floor of most homes.
To reduce wood splits, such as when building a deck, first drill pilot holes for the nails using a drill bit size about three-quarters the diameter of the nail. In a pinch, if you don’t have a bit you can chuck in one of the nails being used. Blunting the nail point will also help prevent splits, since a blunt nail will tear, rather than spread the wood fibers. An alternate method to avoid splitting the ends of boards is to allow an extra length to hang beyond the edge of the deck, do the nailing, then use a circular saw to trim off the ends.