how to extreme

DIY Steps for Replacing your Deck

Decks, Decks October 2, 2007 admin


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A board-by-board guide to renovating the best part of your home.

Dennis and Patti Peterson, of Broomfield, Colorado, faced the same problem that many other deck owners have faced. Over the years, sunlight, water and two energetic dogs had taken their toll on their redwood deck. Past the point of a simple staining and sealing, their deck needed a more extreme solution.

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While they could have opted to replace the old redwood with new wood, doing this would only mean restarting the annual maintenance regimen. Rather than continuing to surrender one weekend per year, the Petersons chose ChoiceDek, a wood composite material made by Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies. Composite costs more than wood at first, but after factoring in the annual maintenance supplies (and time); the Peterson’s determined that their total cost would even out in less than five years. And compared to the old stain and sealing routine, spring cleaning a composite deck would involve little more than a light scrubbing or a blast from a pressure washer. “We really liked the uniformity of the new decking,” says Dennis. He adds, “You really need to compare the cost of composite decking with clear cedar or redwood, which is almost impossible to find.”

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After decades of use and abuse, this redwood deck was past the point of simple repair. By removing just the planking, most of the framework was recyclable. Reusing most of the existing posts, beams and joists saved the homeowners significant time and money.

Replacing decking is a job well within the skill level of almost every do-it-yourselfer because, in most cases, it does not require digging or placing posts, or beam and joist calculations. “Redecking is basically a board-for-board replacement,” says Dennis. “The only trick is remembering what goes on top of what.”