Finally, decided to overhaul your deck? Not sure if you should opt for a full-on replacement or a deck restoration?
Let us help you choose. Restoring a deck is significantly cheaper (up to 20% cheaper, in fact) than building a new deck, so if you have got the bones there, keep them, and build from there.
Because you can keep the framing, subflooring, and joists, you will cut down on the need to buy the pricy, pressure-treated lumber that those components are typically made of. Furthermore, leaving the concrete footings in place saves big on labor costs; those things are heavy and made to last, so digging them out for the sake of a replacement is something to avoid if you’re trying to keep costs low.
Even with that said, deck restoration is still not an endeavor you should rush into without some solid research. Poor budgeting will sink a project faster than anything else, so we’re here to break down exactly what you should consider when determining the cost of your deck restoration step by step.
Now, going into more detail, let’s discuss what goes into figuring out the cost of a deck restoration project.
Size and Complexity
The simplest cost driver, but not one to neglect: What is the square footage of the area that needs to be replaced? Are there parts that only need touch-ups rather than a full overall? Additionally, how many levels are you working with? Are there additional concerns like custom builds (for example, was the deck specifically designed to accommodate a tree or an unusual bit of landscaping).
Predictably, the larger the area that needs to be completely redone, and the more complex of a job it will be to redo it, the higher the cost will be.
The reason for this increased cost is straightforward: More people working more hours will cost more. It’s for these reasons that restoring a deck is generally preferable to replacing one altogether.
Even a simple installation can be labor-intensive to remove, especially when compared to touchups and replacements. In general, try to keep track of the difficulty of the work your particular restoration project entails and be prepared to pay a bit more if there are additional size, complexity, or danger concerns related to your deck.
Stairs and Railings
More than anything else, stairs and railings tend to suffer the most damage and are often the first to go when restoring a deck. They’re exposed to the most traffic, are the first line of defense against the weather, and are generally made with smaller components that wear out faster.
It is best to assume that you’ll be replacing your stairs and railings, so be sure to note how complex and ornamental they are. Railings or stairs with built-in lighting, for example, will be a lot more difficult both to remove and replace than ones without.
If you are not all that attached to the decorations that the stairs and railings of your current deck are equipped with, consider cutting costs by replacing them with something simpler. A modern, more streamlined and minimal look can bring a classy edge to your home while being cost-efficient as well.
Wear and Tear
Now that you have assessed the scale and difficulty of the job, it’s time to take into account the state of your current deck.
How old is it? How has it held up to the weather? Does the position of your house consistently expose your deck to direct sunlight?
If the weathering on your old deck is not too bad, you can expect the cost to be lower, both because less of your deck will have to be replaced and also because what is added will not have to hold up to an extreme climate. On the other hand, if the weather has decimated the deck you are restoring, expect to pay a bit more both for replacing the damaged areas and paying for weather-resistant composite materials.
Speaking of materials, it is time to figure out exactly how much you will l be spending on them. This is going to be tied directly to how much of your deck’s flooring you’ll have to replace.
To calculate this cost, do not eyeball it! Make sure you have an accurate count for the number of boards that are warped or cracked from weather, have holes or other damage, or have rotted/come loose. Being able to give us an exact number means we will be able to tell you exactly what will need to be purchased to make your deck good as new, and that, in turn, means that you will be able to safely and accurately budget for this project.
Even if your deck’s flooring is relatively sound, that doesn’t mean you should not consider replacing it. Wood, while it may have a classy, authentic look, simply often isn’t worth the hassle that comes with maintenance. Sun, rain, heat, and cold, even bugs — wood is vulnerable to them all, and the costs that go into constant upkeep and restoring a wooden deck can easily balloon. Furthermore, wood can splinter, creating health hazards, particularly for families with small children. For safer, more consistent results and better budget planning, our customers often replace their wooden decks with composite or PVC materials.
In particular, composite materials are an excellent choice for someone looking to bring their deck into the 21st Century. Composite materials are mixtures of wood fiber, recycled plastics, and other materials that stand up to wear and tear well, while keeping the aesthetic appeal of wood intact. Composite decks are much easier to maintain, clean, and care for, and it’s well worth considering if keeping your deck’s original wood is going to be worth it in the long run.
Permits and HOA
Time for some good news! Provided you’re keeping the subframe of your deck intact, generally no new permits are needed. You read that right: restoring, rather than replacing, your deck comes with the added bonus of no new paperwork to fill out! You can get a new look and skip over the nonsense and fees: once was enough, right?
Similarly, when it comes to your HOA, provided you are not making any incredibly dramatic changes, it’s unlikely that your restored deck is going to cause any trouble. It’s worth considering things like paint color, for example, and making sure that you’re not going to cause any violations when it comes to aesthetic concerns, but on the whole, restoring a deck is a pretty bureaucracy-free experience. Just another reason to let BigDecks.com transform rather than create, a new deck for you.
Interested in talking to the experts and learning more? Contact our team today!