Our deck was in need of a major remodel since we moved in. We finally decided to take care of this during the 4th of July holiday weekend. We’re going to share how we tackled this project less as a step-by-step post but more as a story. Hopefully you’ll pick up some tips along the way if you are thinking about remodeling your own deck sometime soon. Here’s the before:
Deck Remodel: Demolition
We started by removing the decking boards and nails that were holding down the boards. If the nails could be pulled out, we removed them, but if not, we hammered them into the joists so they would not protrude. After removing all the floorboards, we moved on to the handrails. Getting down to the joists and skirts that we would reuse would prove to be the hardest part of the replacement. We needed a powerful tool to assist and this Ridgid drill was strong enough to last through this entire project with no problem.
Deck Remodel: Foundation
Once down to the frame of the deck, we decided to reuse the joists and ledger since they remained pretty solid; this would also help out with cost since they didn’t need to be replaced. We also decided to extend the length of the deck and to achieve this, we sistered in additional 8 foot joists alongside the originals and added support underneath the new run. We used post support blocks and 4×4 posts underneath a beam made of two 2x8s to support the 16ft span. Our corners were supported by 4×4 posts sunk in concrete to provide a stable base.
Deck Remodel: Construction
Once the new frame was joined to the original, we could get back to laying out the floorboards for the deck. This is one of the easier aspects of replacing a deck. Our span is 16 feet which makes placement easy since we can order 16 foot boards from the home improvement store; no cuts!
To lay the first deck board, we made sure the board was an even space from the siding (about 1/4″) so there is no water being held on the deck against the house. To continue the floor, we made sure the boards used were not too warped. There will likely be a few that are warped and these can be pulled in line, you just want to make sure you aren’t slowed down by too many bad boards. If the boards being used are wet, like our pressure treated pine was, spacing them is not too much of an issue. They can be placed next to each other touching. Once they weather a bit in the sun and heat, the boards will contract and will be evenly spaced on their own.
Then we screwed down the boards with outdoor approved decking screws. These screws will inhibit rust and will make replacing the deck for the next person that much easier since they will be able to unscrew instead of prying up nails. We continued laying out the boards and screwing them down until the floor is finished.
Deck Remodel: Adding Steps
Using the corner posts that were installed during the construction of the frame, we installed handrails and balusters to complete the deck. This is where projects can vary by look. For ours, we continued to use pressure treated pine and installed 2x4s along the top of the rails and 2x6s along the bottom to support the balusters. Our balusters were purchased at 3 feet to keep the project simple and classic. Once these are installed, the deck will almost be complete.
Should you have any steps, you can replace these with precut stringers purchased from the home improvement store. We already had a set of steps on one side of the deck and we added another set of steps on the other side. For these new steps, we purchased three stringers, two for the end supports and one in the middle of the treads. You can attach these to your skirt boards with hangers and galvanized nails. Once these are installed and leveled, attach the treads by cutting the boards to provide a one inch overhang on each end of the outside stringers.
Once the balusters and stairs were completed, we were finished with this weekend project! We plan on pressure washing and staining the wood boards soon so check back soon to see the fully finished deck remodel.
If you are looking to jump into an outdoor woodworking project, try to create our version of a 2-tier wooden plant stand and let us know how it turns out by tagging us on Instagram @hammerandhandsaw!