how to extreme

Upgrade your Deck

Construction How-To, Decks, Decks, Outdoor Living, Projects August 3, 2016 Sonia


The resulting pile of waste might be an issue for some homeowners, and depending on the size of your deck it may require you to rent a dumpster. Luckily, we had a pickup truck to haul loads of old deck boards to the street curb, and we were working in a city that offered a weekly waste-disposal service. Once a week the city’s crane-truck would patrol the streets to pick up downed tree limbs, discarded furniture or construction waste for transport to a landfill. Demolition cleanup doesn’t get much more convenient than that!

We removed the old decking with the Gutster demolition tool.

We removed the old decking with the Gutster demolition tool.

Inspect the Framing

With the flooring removed, inspect the deck’s structural framing. Make sure all connections are solid and there is no significant rot, that everything is stable, and that no joists have sagged. Address any unresolved issues before installing new deck boards.

The galv/vinyl-coated Shadoe Track sections feature a trough with weep holes to allow easy drainage.

The galv/vinyl-coated Shadoe Track sections feature a trough with weep holes to allow easy drainage.

Also, take the opportunity to address any construction issues the original builder may have overlooked. For example, this was a freestanding cantilevered deck, and the joists on one end ran “wild” over a beam and had no blocking between them. When blocking is fastened between the joist ends it prevents the joists from twisting. If the joists twist then the level decking surface will be compromised. So, with the deck boards out of the way, we decided to add blocking between joist ends before covering them again.

Line the tops of each joist with the tracks.

Line the tops of each joist with the tracks.

Shadoe Track Fastener System

To install the system, align the Shadoe Track galv/vinyl-coated sections along each joist so their center ridge rests flush against the wood and the trough is oriented downward like a “V”. The bottom of the trough features weep holes to allow drainage during rainy weather. Nail the Shadoe Track through the mounting holes and into the tops of the joists. The manufacturer recommends using the 2-in. galvanized ring-shank nails that are included in the kit. Continue installation to cover all lineal feet of the deck joists.

Nail to the tops of the joists.

Nail to the tops of the joists.

In some cases you may need to cut the metal tracks, and this can easily be done with a pair of tin snips.

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The manufacturer recommends using the 2″ galvanized ring-shank nails included with the Shadoe Track kit.

Deck-board Installation

As you would with any deck project, begin laying the boards at one corner and stagger the end joints between rows. Check the growth rings on the ends of the boards to determine the “bark side” of the board, and place that side facing upward to reduce cupping and to facilitate drainage.