A well-planned deck renovation adds comfort and value to a home. Start from the ground up by examining whether the deck footings, posts, and joists are structurally sound. A simple test with a screwdriver can indicate whether the wood is soft or rotted. If the wood feels dull, a replacement may be needed. For more information, visit Deck Cleaning Summerville SC to proceed.
While many homeowners believe a deck’s surface is the focal point of a backyard outdoor space, its framing makes up the bulk of the structure. If your deck’s frame is damaged, you must address this before considering resurfacing or staining. To assess a deck’s framing, carefully walk around the perimeter and note any areas that seem loose or have visible damage.
If you notice a lot of rot, mildew, or mold, your best course of action is to replace the decking. This will cost more than sanding and restaining, but it’ll ensure your deck is safe and secure. If a large section of your deck is beyond repair, consider hiring a professional to remove and replace the old boards.
During this phase, it’s also a good idea to check the condition of your deck posts and piers. You may need to dig down and replace them if they’re in bad shape. It would be best to inspect the footings, which are concrete poured into holes in the ground.
Decking materials vary in price, with pressure-treated lumber and cedar generally cheaper than pricier composites or redwood. Once you’ve removed any loose or rotting deck boards, you can tighten the screws and start working on the rest of the structure.
When resecuring decking, use a level to mark a straight line across the top of the board you’re replacing. Then, use a circular saw to trim off the excess wood. Always measure your deck before buying supplies so you don’t have to make a last-minute trip to the store.
Whenever you’re securing wood, it’s important to remove any nails that are protruding and potentially dangerous. It’s also a good time to clean up any leftover nails by pulling them or, if they’re bent out of shape, simply bending them flat so they won’t cause harm when handled.
Regarding your deck, a great railing can make a major difference. Whether yours are old and worn out or simply not to your taste, new railings can transform the look of your entire deck. They can also be an important safety feature, depending on how high your deck is. While regulations vary from state to state, most require a deck with railings (guardrails) if it is 30 inches or taller off the ground. This is where having a professional contractor can be helpful, as they know the codes for your area.
Wood railings are a traditional option made from different materials, including cedar, redwood, and mahogany. Each of these woods has its defining color, hardness, and unique characteristics that can add character to your deck. Various designs can be incorporated into these railings, from simple vertical balusters to trendy cable rails and mesh panels. Some railings can integrate even glass for a more open, modern look that preserves sweeping views.
The most popular type of railing used on decks is a composite option. With a look similar to natural wood, these are durable and can be stained or painted in some colors to match your home. Some even include an aluminum core for extra durability. Many of these are paired with low-maintenance PVC fascia and trim for a complete, integrated system that will withstand the elements.
Aside from the structural integrity of your deck, the furniture and accessories you choose to bring in can be a big part of what makes it feel like home. Pillows in bright hues that play off your backyard throw are ideal for relaxing on the couch, and groupings of potted plants can make the space feel cozy and inviting. You can even add a fun sculpture or sculpture to your deck for visual interest and a pop of color.
While a deck renovation can be expensive, it can help to be prepared with the right tools before starting. A tape measure is an essential tool for assessing the condition of your deck and measuring replacement planks, as well as a shovel if you’re planning on moving soil. A cordless drill is also a must for securing replacement planks and tightening loose screws.
Lighting is often overlooked when a deck gets renovated, but the right lighting can level up the ambiance and help people safely navigate the nighttime space. In addition, it can help define areas and accentuate the features of the space. Using a mix of lighting sources can be the key to creating a cohesive look that matches the style of your home and garden.
Mounted lights are easy to install and great for adding a decorative element to your deck. Choose a fixture with an architectural design that coordinates with the rest of your outdoor decor. For example, an outdoor chandelier with glass bulbs and an orb floor light can complement a rustic-style dining area.
You can also use recessed lights to create a more modern look. These can be installed overhead to brighten a walkway or line stairs and draw attention to specific areas, such as bars and tables. To illuminate the space without blinding those walking by, try LED strip lights that are available in warm white or colored options and can be dimmed to create a relaxing ambiance.
If you plan to have a barbecue on your deck, a lighted grill is a practical addition that will make it safer for everyone to cook and enjoy the surroundings. These fixtures are available in various designs and styles, including a traditional hooded model with a metal lid for safety.
Deck rail lighting is another way to add some oomph to your deck. These lights can be incorporated into the balusters, which is an option that works especially well for new construction projects, or they can be added during renovations. For a more subtle effect, you can also use low-level recessed lights to light up steps and changes in deck level and highlight plants.
Landscape lighting can be more complicated, but it’s easy to understand the basics well. There are many different options for illuminating your deck, from tiki torches to lanterns to solar-powered lights. Avoid anything with an open flame, which can be dangerous, especially if pets or children are around.
A deck renovation is a great way to make your home feel like a dream. It’s also an excellent investment that will add value when you’re ready to sell. The key to a successful remodel is hiring a contractor who understands how to bring your vision to life while keeping costs low. You may also need a permit for your project, so check with local authorities before you get started.
A major redo might involve re-building parts of your deck, especially the structural part. Replacing an existing deck without tearing it down can be challenging, but the right contractor can do it for less than you might think.
The first step is a thorough inspection. Graf recommends using a screwdriver to test the structure of posts, stairs and joists on ground level to see if they’re starting to show signs of rot. Then, look for rust or other damage to the fasteners that attach your deck to your house. In addition, check that all the railing and balusters are in good shape and that the rail posts haven’t shifted due to weather.
Once you’re sure your deck is sound, you can focus on adding the finishing touches. You can install a pergola or other shade trellis or build a fire pit for evening entertaining. A new deck gate is another important touch that keeps pets and kids safe when you’re out on the porch.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how to stain your deck. There are many options, including sealers that preserve the wood’s natural color, semi-transparent stains that enhance the grain and tint the wood and solid stains that change the color completely. The right finish will make your deck last longer and look great.
A well-maintained deck makes your home more attractive and comfortable to live in, and it can be an enjoyable place for parties and other gatherings. If your deck looks shabby, consider remodeling it to bring out its best features and ensure safety. With a little effort, you’ll have a beautiful outdoor space perfect for entertaining guests and relaxing in the sun.