DIY deck re-do: resur­face in a week­end

The Enterprise - - Real Estate - BrandPoint

Out­door liv­ing sea­son means back­yard BBQs, yard games and re­lax­ing with a good book or good friends. If you own a wood deck, how­ever, it also means con­sid­er­able time and money spent on sea­sonal main­te­nance and deck re­pairs.

While wood decks are aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing, prop­erly main­tain­ing them re­quires reg­u­lar strip­ping, sanding and stain­ing. The process is la­bor-in­ten­sive, time-con­sum­ing, messy and costly — av­er­ag­ing be­tween $540 and $1,050 each time, ac­cord­ing to HomeAd­vi­

Con­sider this: For the same time and en­ergy you would spend main­tain­ing and re­pair­ing those old wood boards, you could re­place them with a deck made of struc­turally su­pe­rior com­pos­ite ma­te­rial — and never again have to worry about up­keep. As long as the struc­tural frame­work of your ex­ist­ing deck is in­tact and in good con­di­tion, you are a can­di­date for deck resur­fac­ing.

“Resur­fac­ing an ag­ing or de­cay­ing wood deck with new com­pos­ite deck­ing is a doable DIY project that can be com­pleted over the course of a week­end or two with just a lit­tle know-how and the help of a few friends,” ex­plains Adam Zam­ban­ini, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Trex Com­pany. “You get a brand-new deck for a lot less money than start­ing from scratch — and a lot less has­sle through the years.”

De­signed for max­i­mum dura­bil­ity and min­i­mal main­te­nance, wood-al­ter­na­tive deck­ing is re­sis­tant to fad­ing, stain­ing, scratch­ing and mold and, un­like wood, re­quires no sanding, stain­ing or seal­ing. Just an oc­ca­sional soap-and­wa­ter clean­ing is all that is needed to re­tain a “like-new” ap­pear­ance and dura­bil­ity for decades.

Ready to resur­face?

Fol­low these sim­ple steps to a new deck sur­face that you can spend less time main­tain­ing and more time en­joy­ing:

Be­fore re­mov­ing any boards, check your deck’s foun­da­tion. Start from the ground up by ex­am­in­ing the foot­ings, posts and joists. Pay close at­ten­tion to the con­di­tion of the wood. Soft wood in­di­cates rot and should be re­placed be­fore pro­ceed­ing. If the ex­ist­ing fram­ing and sub­struc­ture are sound, you’re good to go.

Tip: To help en­sure your sub­struc­ture lasts as long as your new com­pos­ite deck boards, use a pro­tec­tive tape, such as TrexPro­tect, to shield wooden joists and beams from mois­ture that can lead to rot and the loos­en­ing of deck screws and fas­ten­ers.

Re­move any ex­ist­ing rail­ing and be­gin pry­ing up the nailed deck­ing boards, leav­ing the sub­struc­ture and fram­ing in place. Start from the out­side and move to­ward the house so you have a solid, safe plat­form from which to work.

To en­sure a level sur­face for the new deck boards, make sure the joists are flat and even with one another. If any joists are bowed, you may need to plane or cut them.

Be­gin lay­ing out the new com­pos­ite boards. Start­ing near the house, face screw the first board to the frame. Closely fol­low the in­struc­tions for spacing from the man­u­fac­turer’s in­stal­la­tion guide. As you progress, check the spacing be­tween the house and the deck boards to make sure they stay par­al­lel with the house. Cor­rect vari­a­tions a lit­tle at a time over sev­eral rows to avoid large, ta­pered gaps.

Mea­sure for each post lo­ca­tion, and cut place­ment holes with a jig­saw. Then, drop the posts into the holes and bolt them se­curely. Slide sleeves over the posts and as­sem­ble rail­ing and balus­ters per the in­stal­la­tion guide. Fin­ish off by ad­ding your choice of dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments, such as post caps and top rail caps.

For more guid­ance on deck resur­fac­ing, watch a stepby-step video from Trex at https:// youtu. be/ ZI8CYwI0MYM.

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