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Update Your Aging Deck to Improve Appearance and Safety

Are you looking to update your aging deck to improve its aesthetics and bring it into the 21st century? Consider another update that could be even more important: structural improvements to bring your deck up to code. Archadeck of Nashville is the deck builder with the design skills, experience, and building code knowledge to do the job correctly.

contractor working on updating deck to code

We receive a good many requests from Nashville-area homeowners looking to bring their existing deck to code. This is important for many reasons. Whether you view it as updating your deck’s design along with structural updates, or vice versa, the two go hand-in-hand.

small dog standing on deck

Top 3 Reasons To Have Your Aging Deck Brought Up To Code

  1. Your safety and that of your family and friends. An older deck may have deteriorated in hidden areas and developed structural issues you’re unaware of. In addition to being concerned for the health and well-being of family and guests, you should consider liability issues.
  2. Paving the way for listing your home for sale. If you decide to sell your home, it’s likely your older deck will need to be brought up to code prior to listing. That’s a good reason to update structural elements while updating your deck’s style.
  3. In preparation for redecking. Before we can update your deck’s aesthetics with new surface boards, we must ensure the support structure is up to the current building code. This will be even more important if you select low-maintenance composites or synthetic/PVC boards for redecking. First, wood-alternative decking boards, heavier than the original wood decking, usually require additional support. Second, the manufacturer’s warranty on new composite/synthetic decking will not be valid if your deck’s substructure isn’t up to current code.

Why Older Decks May Be At Risk

dangerous aging deck

Building codes for decks and other outdoor living structures can vary from one town, city, or county to the next. One thing’s for sure: building codes have been strengthened over the last 15-20 years. As some older decks have collapsed or railings have fallen away, homeowners have become more aware of the dangers that may be lurking. It’s possible your aging deck was not even up to code when first built. Depending on its age, it’s likely that even if your deck originally met code, it no longer does.

As your premier Nashville deck builder, Archadeck of Nashville is always up-to-date on building code changes. We are well-versed in building codes that may vary from one municipality to another in the Nashville area. For more information, you can read our blog post Nashville Deck & Porch Building Codes: What You Do and Don’t Need To Know.

Issues Addressed When Bringing Your Nashville-Area Deck Up To Code

Potential structural issues are too numerous to list here. Consider a handful of the many issues we look for when inspecting your deck for recommended or required structural updates:


  • Balusters (pickets) spaced too far apart. Requirements have changed over the years.
  • Inadequate ledger flashing. Moisture here will cause wood to rot in places you cannot see.
  • Unsecure ledger. Requirements for attaching deck to house have changed, and materials available have improved with newer technologies.
  • Footings too shallow. The concrete footings supporting your deck posts may not be sufficient.
  • Stair handrails unsafe or stairs not supported sufficiently, especially if they have a wide span.


Update Your Deck’s Style, Too!

As you talk with your Archadeck consultant about improving the safety of your deck, consider design changes as well. This is an excellent time for redecking with wood or low-maintenance composites. Redecking projects usually include new stairs and railings. You’ll want your stair surface to match the new deck surface, and it’s an excellent time to update your deck railings and balusters.


Deck railing manufacturers like Deckorators, Fortress, and TimberTech continue to develop new styles that will bring the look of your deck current again. If your deck has wooden rails, posts, and balusters, consider aluminum, iron, or composite railings to freshen that look immensely.

Don’t stop there; consider other design options to refresh your deck. Would a directional change in the stairs improve access? Would you like to update your deck’s traffic flow? How about improving ambiance and safety with deck lighting on posts or railings?

Low-Maintenance Decks Benefit from Updates, Too!

We’re not only talking about updates to a wood deck. Archadeck of Nashville can update the look of your composite or PVC deck as well. If your composite deck is several years old, a new railing system will give it a pleasing new aesthetic.


Adding a new patio to update your outdoor living space? Refresh your deck—wood or composite—so it looks brand new at the same time! Deck and patio combinations are extremely popular and create the perfect combination outdoor living space.

Let Archadeck of Nashville bring your deck up to code, update its style, and perhaps add a patio for the perfect deck-and-patio combination outdoor living space. Contact us today to learn more by calling (615) 640-3628