One of the biggest trends that is going on in the home development market today is the growth in outdoor living. Homeowners around the country are starting to improve and expand their outdoor living space by building custom decks. They are creating flexible living spaces that feature a peaceful spot to read and a dedicated space for outdoor cooking as well as outdoor entertainment spaces and areas for al fresco dining.
It’s true that adding a deck to your home is a great way to improve your home’s value as well as its appearance. Not to mention that it also expands your home’s living space, giving your more places to enjoy your daily activities. If you’re one of the homeowners that already has a deck, you should know that it’s very important to keep your deck properly maintained so that you can get the most out of it. Even if you have an old deck, worry not, as there are numerous ways to breathe new life into your decks.
You Don’t Have to Tear Down Your Deck
If you have an old, dilapidated deck due to weathering or lack of maintenance, you don’t have to tear it all down and rebuild it. There’s a good chance that the fundamental structure of your deck is still in good shape. Since this is the most important part of your deck, you can remodel it by installing new decking, stairs and railing. In turn, this saves you a ton of money instead of having to rebuild a new deck from the ground up.
Remember that a deck building project isn’t a simple job that you can take a weekend off to get it done. It’s a significant project that can take several weekends to complete. Thankfully, deck remodeling projects are easy to do without disrupting the rest of your home. Just remember to close the door that accesses your deck until the restoration is done for the day. It’s best, however, to leave this job to experienced deck contractors.
Some of the basic tools that your contractors will use during construction include a four-foot level, a circular saw, a carpenter’s square and a screw gun. If your deck needs to be demolished, they’ll need to use a sledgehammer as well as crowbars. A power miter saw will be used to ensure that the cuts on your railing are clean and accurate.
Find Out if Your Deck Can Be Restored
Your deck building expert will tell you that the first thing you’ll need to check is if your deck footings, posts and joists are structurally stable. This will help you decide whether or not your deck is suitable for restoration. Here are the things you should check before making the decision:
- Stable footings: Start from the bottom to the top by checking the footings. If your deck footings have warped due to moisture, this means that they are already shallow and unstable. This happens during the winter when the cold affects your wood decking. If this is the case, replace them with deeper footings. Most of the time, you can dig and pour the new ones next to the old ones, rather than tearing out the old footings, which is much more taxing to do.
- Inspect wood condition: Check your posts and other framing components, and see if they’re made of treated lumber. Treated lumber is commonly used to frame most decks since they can last for decades on end as long as they are properly maintained. You can tell if you have treated wood if they have a green hue that has a “0.40 treated” or a CCA label that indicates that the wood is preserved. If you can’t find any of these markings, your contractor might have to cut some of the ends of the framing to get to the fresh end around the edge of the cut. If you have a cedar or redwood-framed deck, it’s better to start from scratch and reframe it with treated lumber since the former don’t last as long.
- Structural integrity: Create a drawing of your deck, and take note of the dimensions of the joists and beams. Bring these measurements to your building department at your city hall. The inspector will let you know if the dimensions are safe enough to be remodeled. You can then ask for a deck building permit to start your remodeling project. It’s also a good idea to ask if an inspector can visit your home to inspect it in person.
Remove Old Components
The first thing your deck remodel expert will remove is the old rails and decking. These components can be easily removed by using a sledgehammer. They’ll also remove any screws and bolts lodged into the structural components since you might reuse them. This process won’t take too long as it will take around two hours to get the deck into a bare-bone state.
Once the tear-down is done, make sure that you contact a dumpster company so you can throw out all of the debris and boards away from your yard so that it won’t cause clutter that can affect your project. Afterwards, your contractors will check if your decking surrounds the posts. If this is the case, they’ll remove the decking first so that it won’t cause any inconveniences later in the process. The deck boards will come next as they’ll be pried out to make room for the new boards that will be installed. The nails of the joists and the deck stairs will next be removed.
Installing New Components
Once the teardown is complete, the first thing that will be installed is the new deck railing. Your contractor will ensure that these components are stable by properly securing the deck and railing with bolts and joists. They’ll make the proper cuts and holes to ensure that everything is snug and secure. Once they’re done with the railing, they’ll start to install the new composite decking over your existing deck. They’ll ensure that it’s properly spaced so that the deck boards stay parallel to your home to avoid tapering which can damage the boards.
It’s also worth noting that you should purchase quality decking materials so that you can get the most out of your investment. Remember that your deck is only as good as the way it’s installed as well as how good the materials are. Finally, the stairs and the guard and handrails of the deck will be installed. They’ll ensure that all of the proper installation steps are followed so that you can fully enjoy your new deck once it’s finished.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner in building custom decks and patio design, you can count on the services provided by The Deck Store to get the job done. You can contact us at (701) 223-1008 or fill out our online contact form.