Composite or Wood?
Have you looked at your deck and thought: “This doesn’t look so good”? Some of the boards are cracked, some are warped and sticking up a little. Other places may be soft or sagging. Wood decking boards that were the standard 20 years ago now take 2nd place to composite deck boards. You’ll need deck repair or building.
The most visible part of your deck is the decking boards. I really like the low maintenance aspect of composite decking, but do your homework and compare products and read reviews. I prefer to buy decking from building supplies outlets rather than home centers. Building supply houses are knowledgeable about there products, more so than home centers, for these products anyway.
Even more that decking board, the railing systems employed have such variation. With all things considered, I like the PVC railing systems the best. There are strong and they’ll never warp, split or rot.
Deck Repair and Building
But often there is more wrong than just the visible aspect, like decking boards. Is there a definite tilt or slant to your deck these days? The wood structure under the deck may also need some help.
A common problem is to see the deck come away from the house. If the deck is attached to the house, there is a good chance that one end is supported by your home’s structure. And if it is pulling away, then one end of the deck has had its structural support compromised.
This was the case on this small deck refinishing job I did recently. There were rotten and soft deck boards on top, it was pulling away from the house, and it was tilting to one side. So, we started with restoring the framing underneath.
The ledger board has to be attached a masonry foundation in a prescribed manner, that is with suitable anchors designed for that purpose. Because screws and nails can’t be used, we have to drill holes and set anchors, or drill holes clear through and put washers and nuts on the inside. When it comes to fastening the ledger board, it’s important to get it right.
This deck was small so the frame beneath was made from 2 x 6 pressure treated lumber. The bigger the deck and longer the joist boards the wider the joist boards have to be, 2 x 8, 2 x 10, or even 2 x 12. The township has building codes that regulate every detail of the deck’s construction. And I for one am glad they do.
Do the Job Right – At the Best Price
I’ve seen decks that were 10 years old and needed to be replaced already, not built on permit. They took a lot of shortcuts when building it and now, 10 years later, the deck is unsafe and no longer enjoyed, or even used for that matter. It’s worth it to have it built correctly, and unless it’s very small, should be done on permit.
If the deck is less than 36 inches high, no handrail is required by law, but you may still want one, unless it’s less that 1 foot. Could you imagine falling backwards off even a 2-foot high deck with no rail; it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. And if there’s more than 1 step, there should be a railing for the steps too.
I find that the deck building codes that exist are sensible and you’ll be glad you have a contractor that can inform you on safety items. Also, you’ll be glad in 10 years when your deck looks just as good as it did when it was first built, level and strong. Our experience allows us to do carpentry efficiently and we can give you the best price for a good job.