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Deck Replacement
Old 07-28-2017, 11:12 AM   #1
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Deck Replacement

As I already threatened more than once, I will be bragging about the deck repair that I spent so much effort on. Thought about putting this in "Other Topics", but "Life after Fire" would be good too. Indeed, if I were not retired and still working, would not attempt something like this.

Here's what the large rear deck of my high-country boondocks home looked like in its 12th year. Pretty bad, eh?

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Old 07-28-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
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Hah! I glanced immediately at the picture and thought "NW-Bound is bragging about THAT?"

Look forward to the next post.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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Well, you don't know how much effort we put in that deck in the 12 years we owned the house since new. Good lord! It was so bad I told my wife why we bought a place to go up to do maintenance instead of to relax.

The builder put in the wrong kind of stain, and it degraded after 1 year. As part of the warranty, he put on a coat of a kind of deck paint which looked really good for 2 years, then it started to fade too. So, we bought more of the same type and refreshed it. Looked OK for 2 more years, then it went down hill fast. Plus I was going through a severe medical problem in the 7th year of the house, and could not do physical work.

In the end, the deck paint was peeling, and the wood started to rot too, starting from the ends of the 16' planks. It was beyond redemption. And so, when my health recovered, I decided to bite the bullet and decided to replace the whole thing, but using Trex composite planks. And nothing but the best Trex. No more fooling around.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:27 AM   #4
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It will buff out....
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:31 AM   #5
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I went for my lungs when they installed my trex deck. Open up that purse. They really sent their kids to college on my deck alone. BTW, these things are NOT maintenance free. They need a nice cleaning with a brush every year, I use Olympic premium deck cleaner.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post

In the end, the deck paint was peeling, and the wood started to rot too, starting from the ends of the 16' planks. It was beyond redemption. And so, when my health recovered, I decided to bite the bullet and decided to replace the whole thing, but using Trex composite planks. And nothing but the best Trex. No more fooling around.
I'll resort to that, too, eventually. Just did a lot of prep work and painting on my own deck and I'm not totally finished yet. When it needs it again I'll probably go with Trex. Will be interested to see how yours comes out and (if you don't mind volunteering) what it cost.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:38 AM   #7
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Our front Farmers' porch has Trex but our back deck was wood. Our townhouse is only 7 years old and we already had to stain the wood deck twice before we decided this year to replaced it with Trex. The contractor finished the job in one day and came out perfect. The cost was high but not having to worry about staining the deck every two years is well worth it.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:49 AM   #8
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Of course the 1st thing was to removed the planks. The screws they used were good! They were not galvanized (zinc coated), but made of a kind of steel that does not rust.

The problem was the screw heads were covered with stain and paint, and some needed to be picked so that the drive bit could engage them. This being a large deck, there were so many screws, and in the end I collected enough screws to fill more than 1/2 of a 5-gallon bucket.

What took more time was removal of the planks next to the exterior walls, and also the ones underneath the fireplace.

You see, they built the large deck which wrapped around the rear of the house first (the deck sits high above the sloping ground, as high as 7' at the apex), then put scaffolding on the deck to build the rest of the house. And so, the fireplace and its chimmey, also the exterior siding, were built on top of the deck. Argh!

In the photo below, the wall to the right is actually the 25' high chimney sitting on the deck.

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Old 07-28-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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And along the perimeter of the house, the siding was put on top of the deck. Arghhh!

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Old 07-28-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
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And along the perimeter of the house, the siding was put on top of the deck. Arghhh!

I take it that this is a bad thing?
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:15 PM   #11
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I take it that this is a bad thing?
It is when you're trying to replace the deck.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:18 PM   #12
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this year I finally cleaned and stained my deck of 26 years. I have cleaned it a few times and water sealed it... but very little maintenance. Glad mine does not look like that.

Could be the difference in treated lumber over the years.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:20 PM   #13
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It is when you're trying to replace the deck.
OK, ty. With my luck they probably laid my bricks on mine
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bingybear View Post
this year I finally cleaned and stained my deck of 26 years. I have cleaned it a few times and water sealed it... but very little maintenance. Glad mine does not look like that.

Could be the difference in treated lumber over the years.
Yes, the type of treated wood makes a big difference. Southern Yellow Pine is what is typically sold because it's cheapest. Ponderosa Pine holds up much longer with just occasional pressure washing. Replaced my 28 year old Ponderosa deck this year with Azek. Of course the DW picked out the most expensive stuff we sell.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:25 PM   #15
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I'm having mine replaced this year. I have a few rotting boards that now sag when stepped on, not safe. It was built strong and good, has been up for 30 years. All doug fir. When the stain wore off I hit it with linseed oil and then paint the next year.

The new one will be solid redwood, time to blow that dough -
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:51 PM   #16
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Our deck is in the same condition that the above decking was in. Fortunately, half of my deck is under cover and doesn't require replacement. The problem is finding decent 5/4 x 6 wood. I understand the good stuff is going to Japan, and we're getting #2 and worse quality real wood. I need to match the good wood on my deck.

I used Trex on my last house deck, and it was quite pricey. It also burned my feet on hot southerly summer days--unwalkable barefooted.

Thankfully I just need eleven 16' boards and eleven 12' boards on my 28' deck. It's a job where I can take up and put down 3-4 boards a day. Do it all in one 96 degree day, and it's a quite miserable day. What's nice about E/R is not having to do jobs in one day.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:00 PM   #17
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Our deck is PT decking and was there when we bought the house 17 years ago. In fact, the deck, a water pressure tank, a sliding glass door and a fridge we now use as the spare/beer fridge are the only things remaining from the property that we purchased.

We have cleaned/stained the deck a couple times.

The geniuses who built our deck decided to lay the decking 45 degrees to the joists.... makes it a PITA to shovel in the winter or even sweep but it is what it is. If/when we replace we'll put the decking perpendicular to the joists

We have a mill nearby that has nice 5/4 eastern white cedar decking so I'll probably go with that since it is reasonably affordable and will likely outlast me.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:01 PM   #18
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Our home is only about 11 years old, but the front porch deck was made of 2x6 lumber. It sucked, and did not take a stain.
We swallowed hard, and had it ripped out and went with Trex or equivalent. It looks great and is easy to clean.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:17 PM   #19
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Is it true that you need closer joist spacing with Trexs and other synthetics? Someone told me the synthetics tend to sag if the spacing isn't close enough.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
It will buff out....
Sure.

Actually, I initially thought about renting a big floor sander and to sand the top off. Then, upon closer inspection I saw that many boards were already warped and some had the ends rotted so badly that they would have to be replaced or patched.

No, no more half efforts like that. My frugal wife always thinks of ways to save money, and I keep telling her that my labor is not free and indeed will be more precious with time. I am getting old and tired, and soon will not be contemplating things like this anymore.

To show what the deck look like, I include the photo below. It shows the uncovered main part of the deck. The two sides that extend to the left and right wings of the house are covered, and not seen in the photo. The total area is around 900 sq.ft. It also shows me on the ladder.


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