How to Figure Out Your Deck Replacement Strategy

Is your deck showing signs of wear and tear? Not sure whether to go for a minor repair or consider a full replacement? We are here to help you construct the right deck replacement strategy that fits your needs.

Having a deck isn’t without its worries. While the vast majority of your time spent on your deck will be filled with good times and grilling, there’s also bound to be a moment or two when you see something that makes you stop and think… Do I need to start thinking about replacing my deck?

At Johnson Lumber, with over 100 years of experience serving the central Maryland area, we understand the challenges you face when dealing with deck maintenance. One of the key conversations you’ll need to have is whether to opt for deck board replacement or a full deck overhaul. To that end, we’re here to help you with an easy-to-follow deck replacement strategy. 

Understanding Your Options

When it comes to deck maintenance, you generally have two options: deck board replacement or a full deck replacement.

Deck Board Replacement

This involves replacing only the damaged or worn-out boards while keeping the existing substructure intact. It’s a less invasive and more cost-effective solution if the overall structure of your deck is still in good condition.

Full Deck Replacement

This is necessary when the entire structure, including the substructure, is compromised. It involves tearing down the old deck and building a new one from scratch. 

Though more expensive and time-consuming, it ensures the longevity and safety of your deck. Plus, it’s an investment that’ll pay off either for you as you enjoy your deck for years, or as you think about selling your home in the near future.

Getting Started With This Deck Replacement Strategy

Assessing the health of your deck is the first step in your deck replacement strategy. After all, without good information, it’s hard to make a good decision! Here are some common deck problems and how to determine if they require minor repairs or a full replacement:

Rot, Mold, and Mildew

  • Repair: If mold and mildew are localized and the substructure remains solid.
  • Replace: If rot is extensive and affects the integrity of the substructure.

Rusted or Loose Fasteners

  • Repair: If only a few fasteners are rusted or loose and can be replaced.
  • Replace: If rust has spread widely, compromising the deck’s stability.

Loose Ledger Board

  • Repair: If the board can be re-secured with additional fasteners or brackets.
  • Replace: If the ledger board is severely damaged or causing structural issues.

Cracked or Splintered Boards

  • Repair: If only a few boards are affected and can be replaced individually.
  • Replace: If many boards are compromised, indicating a widespread problem.

Sagging or Uneven Deck

  • Repair: If the issue is minor and can be corrected by adding support.
  • Replace: If the entire deck is sagging, suggesting major structural failure.

Wobbly Railings

  • Repair: If the railings can be tightened or reinforced.
  • Replace: If the railing posts or connections are rotten or severely damaged.

Where To Go From Here

Now that you know some of the issues your deck might face, it’s time to talk about how to intervene. 

Your decision should be based on your future plans and the extent of the damage. Here’s how to approach your deck maintenance based on your long-term goals.

Planning to Move

If you’re planning to sell your home soon, you’ll want to make your deck as attractive as possible without overspending. 

Minor repairs can make a big difference in appearance and functionality, making your home more appealing to potential buyers. However, if the deck is in very poor condition, a full replacement might be necessary to avoid deterring buyers.

Planning to Stay Long-Term

For homeowners planning to stay put, investing in the longevity and safety of your deck is crucial. While minor repairs can address immediate issues, a full deck replacement ensures that your outdoor space remains safe and enjoyable for years to come. This investment can also add significant value to your home in the long run.

Being Aware of Prices for the Most Cost-Efficient Repairs

Understanding the costs involved in deck repairs and replacements is essential for budgeting and decision-making. 

Here, we outline the typical expenses you can expect in Maryland, breaking down costs into materials, labor, and long-term maintenance. These are meant to be general estimates, and can depend on your contractor, material, and more – feel free to contact us for a more precise quote.

Deck Board Replacement Costs

  • Materials: $15-$30 per square foot for wood, $25-$45 for composite.
  • Labor: $10-$15 per square foot.
  • Long-Term Costs: Lower initial investment but may require more frequent repairs over time.

Full Deck Replacement Costs

  • Materials: $30-$60 per square foot for wood, $45-$75 for composite.
  • Labor: $15-$25 per square foot.
  • Long-Term Costs: Higher initial investment but offers better longevity and less frequent maintenance.

Decking Materials to Invest In

Choosing the right decking materials is a vital step in your deck replacement strategy, to ensure your deck’s durability, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. Maryland homeowners have several options, with real wood and composite materials being the most popular.

Real wood has that natural, real wood look, can be more affordable, and is easy to work with. Considerations to keep in mind include that it requires regular maintenance and is prone to rot and insect damage.

Composite materials are a low-maintenance alternative, one that’s resistant to rot and insects, and has a longer lifespan. A higher initial cost is offset by being more cost-effective in the long run.

Consult with Johnson Lumber for Advice Tailored To You

Still on the fence about the next steps to take with your deck? Consult with Johnson Lumber for expert advice tailored to your specific needs beyond your deck replacement strategy.

With over a century of experience, Johnson Lumber is your trusted partner in deck maintenance and replacement. Let us help you make the best decision for your home and your future. Contact us today.

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