If you are satisfied with your existing wood deck’s layout and functionality, but are tired of the aged look, the splinters and the splits, a “re-deck” project may be something you want to consider.
A “re-deck” project involves removing the existing decking surface and railing system (if one exists) and replacing with new decking and railing. What you replace it with is up to you. If you prefer the natural look of wood and can manage the maintenance that comes with that, putting new wood decking and railing down may be the best and most economical route for you. However, many folks will view this as an opportunity to get away from the maintenance aspect of wood and will use wood-alternative materials as the replacement.
(I’ll dedicate a future blog entry to the pros/cons of wood decking materials versus wood-alternative materials. This one is dedicated to the re-decking process.)
Regardless of the replacement material, two key issues must be appropriately considered before deciding to undertake a re-decking project:
- Are you truly satisfied with your existing deck’s layout and functionality?
- If you’re not, you may not enjoy or use it any more after a re-deck than you did before. Just because it has a new, clean look, doesn’t mean it will serve you better.
- Is the existing deck structurally sound?
- Re-decking a deck will not fix any existing instability of the deck or other existing structural deficiencies (over-spanned, undersized/depth footings, inappropriate fasteners, etc.). In addition, some wood-alternative products require structural enhancements that may not make sense integrating into your existing structure. A thorough evaluation of your deck’s structure should be undertaken to assess its long-term viability.
The purpose of addressing both of these issues in depth is to ensure you’re not throwing good money after bad on a re-decking project when a new deck project would provide longer-term value. Whether you are planning to do the re-decking yourself or whether you plan to hire a professional contractor for your project – or anything in between – those are two of several key issues you need to be/get comfortable with before moving forward with the project; in fact, these should be the first two issues to consider.
Archadeck of Central Iowa has re-decked many decks here in the Des Moines area. Quite frankly, that is a small part of our project portfolio, though. Which is not to say it couldn’t be larger. It just seems that most of our clients are looking to enhance the functionality (usage, layout, size) of their decks and that generally calls for a completely new deck structure. Plus, there are more than a fair number of decks around Des Moines that are inadequately structured and need a completely new deck structure. But, there are also many functional and sound…older, wooden decks…out there as well that will eventually need new decking and railing and are viable candidates for a re-decking project.
With the winter we’ve had and the toll that all this snow, ice and cold can take on wood decks, “eventually” may be here sooner than you thought last fall. But, on top of that, all the snow and ice that we still have presents an opportunity for re-deck projects that you might want to consider. That opportunity is this: Re-deck projects are generally less dependent on ground conditions than are new deck projects. So, the coming weeks are actually a great time to consider getting a re-deck project completed. See the Special Offers section of our web site for more details.