The Pelham, AL, deck project featured here is a prime example of redecking as a cost-effective option when you want your deck to look new again. By cost effective, we mean redecking may be less expensive than replacing your old deck. The homeowners whose project you see here chose redecking. They took that a step further, however; in addition to having their elevated deck redecked, they asked us to build a new, smaller deck at ground level.
What’s the Difference Between Redecking and Replacing a Deck?
Would you rather have a new deck or a redeck? No, we’re not just making up a word. At Archadeck of Birmingham we have found that many homeowners are not familiar with the concept of redecking. It seems to be a well-kept secret.
Recently we wrote about another high-quality deck replacement by Archadeck of Birmingham in Hoover, AL. For that project, the client wanted an entirely-new deck, and we were happy to take care of that. We removed the old deck, and everything in that project was new construction—from the footers to the railings.
In a redecking project like the one here, we replace the deck surface, railing, and stairs, but we re-use the support structure from the prior deck. Now you understand why redecking can be more affordable than a deck replacement. With redecking, your cost for wood will be lower, and labor is less, too, because it will take less time for our crew to complete.
The above holds true whether you’re choosing wood or composite as your new decking material. Either way, redecking saves you the cost of building a new support structure.
How Do I Know if Redecking is Right for My Deck?
For this, call deck builder Archadeck of Birmingham for a free design consultation. Unless you’re a licensed contractor, you probably won’t be able to tell if your deck is a candidate for redecking. We’ll need to examine the support structure of your deck to determine if it’s still usable or if it needs to be replaced.
The underpinnings of your deck are not exposed to sun and moisture the way your deck surface, railings, and stairs are. UV rays and moisture are destructive to wood decks, causing wood fibers to break down over time. Meanwhile, the support structure beneath the deck is usually protected and less likely to experience the same destruction.
Note: if building codes have changed since your original deck was built, and the support structure no longer meets code, we will have to remedy that. Even then, redecking should deliver cost savings when compared to a complete deck replacement.
Part 1: Redecking in Pelham, AL
These clients in Pelham were interested in redecking. We evaluated their old deck’s support structure and determined that it was still sound and capable of supporting a deck. The typical life span of a wood deck is somewhere around 10-15 years. Our determination that the old support structure is safe to reuse means it should hold up for at least that length of time.
The homeowners chose pressure-treated wood for their new deck surface, stairs, and railings.
For the balusters or pickets in the railing, the clients selected thin, black balusters. Many homeowners select this style of balusters because they seem to increase visibility. When you’re on the deck looking out—or in this case, down—the black balusters almost seem to disappear. More than any other design change during a deck replacement or redecking, updating your railings and balusters will freshen the look of your deck.
Part 2: Adding a New Deck Down Below
The homeowners do enjoy using their yard and wanted a second (smaller) deck at ground level. It makes sense that if they’re in the yard, they’ll use the smaller deck, and if they’re in the house, they’ll step out onto the elevated deck. It’s nice to have both options!
For the new, smaller deck we used the same materials that we used for redecking the larger deck. Notice that the clients chose to include a railing on this new deck, too. A railing was not required here because the small deck is so close to the ground. As a design element, though, the railing and balusters tie the two decks together, visually, and declare them a matched pair.
Contact Archadeck of Birmingham today to make the time you spend outdoors this year—and next year— time well spent! Call us now at (205) 576-5780.
— Derek & Carissa Crews, owners Archadeck of Birmingham.