A Beginner’s Guide To Rebuilding Your Old Deck From Design To Decking Materials

Is your old deck starting to show signs of wear and tear? Dreaming of a new, worry-free deck where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors? Maybe its time to think about rebuilding your old deck.

With the summer months here to stay, our decks are getting more use than ever. If you’ve noticed something you’d like changed, it’s likely something you’re seeing every afternoon and evening as you step up to soak in a Maryland sunset.

Maybe, though, the thought of having to completely redo your deck is giving you pause. It does sound like a big project, after all.

What if we told you it didn’t have to be that complicated?

With over 100 years of experience serving the Maryland community as Johnson Lumber, we’ve seen our fair share of rebuilt decks. 

Today we’d like to help you learn a bit more about the process. Below you’ll find out just what’s involved in rebuilding an old deck, from design to decking materials.

What’s Involved with Rebuilding an Old Deck

Rebuilding an old deck is a process that requires careful planning and execution. The extent of the rebuild will depend on the condition of the existing deck and your desired outcome. 

In some cases, you may be able to salvage certain components of the old deck, such as the footings or structural framing, while in other cases, a complete overhaul may be necessary.

Rebuilding an old deck also requires a certain level of skills or know-how. While some homeowners may have the expertise to tackle the project themselves, it’s advisable to consult professionals, especially for more complex tasks like structural modifications or code compliance. Working with experienced contractors or builders ensures that the rebuild is done correctly, meeting safety standards and building codes.

The time involved in rebuilding an old deck can vary depending on the size of the deck, the complexity of the project, and the availability of resources. It’s important to set realistic expectations and allocate sufficient time for the rebuild. 

A well-planned and properly executed deck rebuild can typically take several weeks, considering the demolition, construction, and finishing stages.

New Design Elements for Your Deck

When rebuilding your deck, consider incorporating new design elements to enhance its aesthetic appeal and functionality. 

When rebuilding your deck, consider incorporating new design elements to enhance its aesthetic appeal and functionality. Here are five ideas to inspire your deck design:

  1. Multi-level Decking – Create visual interest and maximize your outdoor space by incorporating multiple levels in your deck design. This allows for designated areas for dining, lounging, and entertaining.
  2. Built-in Seating – Add comfort and convenience with built-in seating options, such as benches or integrated seating walls. It provides ample seating for guests while optimizing space and eliminating the need for additional furniture.
  3. Deck Lighting – Extend the usability of your deck into the evening hours with well-placed deck lighting. Whether it’s recessed lighting, string lights, or post cap lights, proper illumination enhances safety and creates a warm ambiance.
  4. Privacy Screens – Enjoy a sense of seclusion and create a private oasis on your deck with strategically placed privacy screens. These can be constructed using various materials, such as lattice panels, slatted wood, or living walls with climbing plants.
  5. Outdoor Kitchen or Bar – Take your outdoor entertaining to the next level with an outdoor kitchen or bar setup. Incorporate a grill, countertops, a sink, and storage to create a functional and stylish space for cooking and hosting gatherings.

By incorporating these design elements into your deck rebuild, you can elevate the visual appeal, functionality, and overall enjoyment of your outdoor living space. 

9 Steps To Rebuilding an Old Deck

Step 1: Starting With Your Existing Deck

Before diving into the rebuilding process, start by thoroughly examining your existing deck. 

Assess its overall condition, including the soundness of the footings, the state of the wood, and the structural integrity. Take note of any details, such as joist hangers and flashing over the ledger, which need attention or improvement.

Step 2: Deck Assessment Checklist

To ensure a safe and durable deck, use a comprehensive checklist during the assessment process. 

  • Check for stable footings – Ensure that the footings are solid and not showing signs of settling or movement. Verify that they are properly aligned and in compliance with local building codes.
  • Evaluate the condition of the wood – Inspect the decking boards, joists, and support beams for signs of rot, decay, warping, or insect damage. Pay close attention to areas near the ground or where water may pool.
  • Inspect the structural elements – Check the integrity of the structural components, such as ledger boards, posts, and beams. Look for any signs of sagging, excessive movement, or compromised connections.
  • Examine the ledger attachment – Verify that the ledger board is securely attached to the house using lag screws or bolts and proper flashing to prevent water intrusion. Ensure that there is no rot or deterioration around the ledger.
  • Inspect the railing system – Evaluate the stability and condition of the existing railing system. Check for loose or damaged balusters, posts, and handrails. Confirm that the railing meets local safety codes.
  • Assess the presence of joist hangers – Look for the use of joist hangers at the connections between the joists and beams. Ensure that they are properly installed and not corroded or damaged.
  • Check for adequate ventilation – Evaluate the ventilation beneath the deck to prevent moisture buildup. Verify the presence of adequate gaps between decking boards to allow for proper airflow.
  • Inspect the presence of flashing – Look for the presence of flashing over ledger boards and any connections to the house. Proper flashing helps divert water away from the house and prevents water damage.
  • Evaluate the overall safety – Assess the overall safety of the deck, including the absence of protruding nails or screws, tripping hazards, or any other potential safety concerns.

This meticulous evaluation will help you identify areas that require repair or replacement.

Step 3: Remove Old Decking and Nails

Clearing out the old decking and nails is a crucial step in the rebuilding process. 

Rent a dumpster to make the removal process easier and more efficient. 

By starting with a clean slate, you can lay the foundation for a strong and visually appealing deck.

Step 4: Start with Deck Railing Posts

Deck railing posts provide stability and safety for your deck. 

Install new posts that meet safety codes and complement the overall design of your deck. 

Consider different materials and styles to add a touch of elegance and character.

Step 5: Install New Composite Decking

For a low-maintenance and durable deck, consider using composite decking materials. 

Composite decking is made of wood fiber and plastic, offering the timeless beauty of wood with added durability and easy maintenance. 

With a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles available, you can achieve the look you desire without the hassle of regular upkeep.

Step 6: Frame Landing, Mark Footings

To ensure a stable and level deck, frame the landing and mark the footings. 

Proper framing provides the necessary support for your deck structure, while accurately marked footings ensure a precise and secure installation.

Step 7: Build Stairs

If your deck requires stairs, building them properly is essential for both safety and convenience. 

Follow building codes and guidelines to construct sturdy and well-designed stairs that seamlessly integrate with the overall deck structure.

Step 8: Install Guard and Handrails

Guard and handrails are critical safety features for any deck. 

Install them securely, ensuring they meet local building codes. 

Choose materials that complement your deck’s design and provide a secure and comfortable grip.

Step 9: Build Underdeck Screening

For added versatility and privacy, consider building underdeck screening. 

This feature allows you to utilize the space beneath your deck while protecting it from the elements. 

Create a cozy outdoor room or storage area that seamlessly blends with your deck design.

Suggested Tools

To successfully rebuild your old deck, it’s essential to have the right tools and quality decking materials. 

Here are some suggested tools for the process:

  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Chalk line
  • Level
  • Framing square
  • Post hole digger
  • Hammer

Suggested Decking Materials

When it comes to decking materials, Johnson Lumber offers premium options to suit your preferences and budget. Consider the following decking materials for your project:

Premium Grade Pressure Treated Lumber – Our pressure treated lumber from Culpeper Wood Preservers is perfect for residential and commercial projects. From dimensional lumber to decking boards, our pressure treated lumber offers exceptional durability and strength.

Cedar Wood Decking – Cedar wood decking is a timeless and naturally beautiful option. It provides excellent protection against water damage and insects, while also being resistant to warping and cracking. Maintain its rich cedar color with a water-repellant finish or semi-transparent stain.

Ipe Wood Decking – Known as Brazilian walnut decking, ipe wood is the ultimate choice for strength and durability. It is highly resistant to rot, decay, and insect infestations, making it a fantastic long-term investment. Protect its natural appearance with a UV protectant coating.

Composite Decking – Composite decking is a popular alternative to traditional wood. Made from a blend of wood fiber and plastic, it offers easy maintenance, durability, and a wide range of styles and colors. Enjoy the timeless beauty of wood without the hassle of regular upkeep.

Call Johnson Lumber to Rebuild Your Old Deck

Rebuilding an old deck can be a rewarding project that enhances the beauty and value of your home. Trust the expertise of Johnson Lumber to guide you through the process from design to decking materials. Contact us today to transform your old deck into a stunning outdoor oasis that you’ll enjoy for years to come!

Related Posts