— In honor of Deck Satisfaction Awareness Month, deck builder Archadeck of Birmingham asks you to consider whether you need to replace your deck, expand it, or redeck.
How old is your deck?
If you have a pressure-treated wood deck, you may be aware that its estimated life expectancy is 10-15 years. Maintaining your deck, sanding and sealing the wood – including stairs and railings – every couple of years keeps your wood deck looking good and extends its life. Nevertheless, at some point your deck may become unsafe because of its age. Are the railings loose? Do some deck boards wobble when you walk across them? Are any posts that touch the ground showing signs of rot? This is by no means a complete checklist for a deck safety assessment. These questions may simply help you realize your deck is living on borrowed time.
— Does this resemble your back yard deck?
Don’t wait for a worst-case scenario to occur. No one wants their home to appear on the news in another “deck collapse” story. At Archadeck of Birmingham, we recommend planning to replace your wood deck well before it deteriorates. If yours has reached or passed an age of 15 years, it’s time to give Archadeck of Birmingham a call.
• If your deck needs to be replaced, your deck satisfaction score is LOW.
Are you tired of the chore of maintenance for your wooden deck?
You would not be the first client to replace a wood deck after several years, tiring of the annual maintenance chores. Just because the deck may last 10-15 years doesn’t mean you have to keep it that long. If wood deck maintenance is something you hate and dread, stop punishing yourself.
• If you feel weighed down by the demands of deck maintenance, your deck satisfaction score is TOO LOW.
When your deck’s substructure is in good shape, still capable of supporting a deck safely, and you want to change your deck surface material, we recommend redecking. Many homeowners are not aware that redecking is an option. One of the primary benefits of redecking is its cost – lower than the cost of completely replacing a deck. You will save on materials and labor costs when you redeck because you’re only replacing the surface, stairs, and railing, not the support structure below.
When you call deck builder Archadeck of Birmingham to inquire about redecking, we’ll need to come out and assess your deck’s substructure. If it’s sound, we can proceed with a redecking project there. We’ll help you select low-maintenance composite or synthetic decking boards so you’ll never face wood maintenance chores again. Low-maintenance decking comes in several brands, a vast array of colors, several price ranges, and different surfaces designed to mimic the look of natural wood grain.
• If you redeck with low-maintenance materials because you have dreaded wood maintenance chores, your deck satisfaction score is HIGH.
Do you need to expand your deck?
Don’t feel bad if you added a deck to your home only to find it’s just too small. This has happened to many homeowners. Others have purchased a home with a deck that’s too small and tried to make it work. One of our jobs as Birmingham deck designers is to make sure our clients select a deck size that will truly meet their needs. If your deck builder didn’t guide you to the deck size you really need, we suggest you take action to remedy the situation. There’s no need for you to continue feeling dissatisfied with your too-small deck. Let’s expand it!
• If your deck is too small, your deck satisfaction score COULD BE MUCH HIGHER.
The process of expanding your deck will depend on what materials it’s made of. We strive to make sure a deck expansion doesn’t look like one. We always want the finished project to look cohesive and not like a portion was added later.
First, we need to determine what size deck will meet your needs … finally! With your help, your Archadeck of Birmingham deck design consultant will start with pencil and paper to work through the necessary calculations. We’ll ask questions about how you want to use your deck and specifically what makes you feel your deck is too small.
When determining your ideal deck size, we want to make sure you have enough room for the furnishings you want to use. Think of the dining room inside your home. Not only do you have sufficient room for a table and chairs, you also have room to pull chairs out and walk around them. Space requirements on the deck are no different.
— Archadeck of Birmingham expanded this Shelby County deck. You can read about this project in Two Deck Segments Combine as one Multi-level Deck in this Brooke Highland, AL, Deck Expansion.
We have rule-of-thumb calculations for deck size based on what furniture you want to use. For example, if you want to use a 48” round dining table, then a deck that’s 12’x12’ would feel ample. The minimum area for that table would be 10.5’x10.5’, but why make your space that tight? Many dining tables are 4’x6’. To use a table like this comfortably, you need a deck that’s at least 14’x16’. These calculations don’t include space for comfortable lounge furniture in addition to dining table and chairs. Go bigger! What good is a deck if you don’t have room for the events in your life? If you plan to host birthday parties, houseguests, or neighborhood get-togethers, make room on the deck for everyone to feel welcome.
• If your deck is large enough that you never feel cramped for space, your deck satisfaction score is HIGH.
Does your deck look dated?
Sometimes a deck’s style expires before its useful life comes to an end. If that is the case at your home, it may be time to upgrade to a modern decking material and railing style. A well-maintained wooden deck may have a lifespan of 30 years. If your deck is 20 years old but features big, clunky wood railings with wide balusters, why wait 10 more years to replace it? An updated deck and modern railing system will do wonders for your home. Replacing a bulky wood railing system with today’s thin cable railings – or even replacing balusters (pickets) with glass panels – will greatly improve your view from the deck. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll enjoy your deck when you bring its style up to date.
• If your deck reflects a 21st-century design aesthetic – instead of one popular 20-30 years ago – your deck satisfaction score is HIGH.
What’s your deck satisfaction score? Are you thinking about replacing, expanding, or updating your deck? Contact Archadeck of Birmingham today to make the time you spend outdoors this year time well spent! Call us now at (205) 576-5780.
— Derek & Carissa Crews, owners Archadeck of Birmingham.