So you have been looking out the back window for a while now and you see that your porch is looking less than beautiful? Is your deck sagging and splintering? Or maybe the whole deck has rotted right on through. Before you groan and think about this huge task being something that YOU need to do, take a deep breath and consider a professional deck contractor to repair your deck.
Many home owners avoid deck contractors, thinking that it will end up being far more expensive hiring a professional than doing it themselves. Unless, you are a deck contractor yourself, there is actually a very good chance that you will spend significantly more doing it yourself than if you hire a contractor. You will need to buy the tools that you do not already have, the materials, and if any mistakes happen (which are bound to come up, if you have not built a deck before!) then you may be paying hundreds just trying to correct your mistakes. Also consider how you are keeping your weekends free from stress!
You will also need to consider actually repairing your deck compared to replacing it. For one, it will be less costly due to less materials being needed.
It is also easier on the environment, considering you are saving precious wood by using your already-existing deck wood.
This being said, there are of course some limitations to being able to replace your deck. If you fear that your deck may be just a bit too "far gone", such as the structure being damaged perhaps beyond repair, be sure to talk to your deck contractor about the possibility of it collapsing.
Here are some things to look for to determine whether or not your deck needs to be repaired:
- Do you have loose, heaving and/or splitting wooden boards on your deck?
- Do you hear groaning or loud squeaking noises when someone is walking on the deck?
- Is your deck leaning away or against the house? Is it deformed in any way?
- Are there any missing boards and/or support structures?
- Is the wood "mushy"? Can you easily dent it or bend it?
- Does the wood have holes?
- Is there a "dip" in the middle of the deck due to sagging?
Once these things are taken into account, the deck contractor will then be able to advise you as to whether or not it will be able to be saved. They should also then be able to tell you an estimated cost for repairing the deck.
TIP: Be sure to speak to more than one contractor and obtain a couple of different estimates. What may appear as salvageable to one contractor may not be to another, so definitely take their different opinions into account.
You will also want to see if you can get away with simply repairing ONE PART of the deck, or whether you do need to repair the entire structure.
If you have decided to repair the deck, then comes the fun part! The contractor will set about selecting an appropriate wood to match your current deck, and he or she will show you just how it will blend in with your existing structure. Talk with them about how this new wood will look if it is stained and sealed compared to the other wood: will it be extremely noticeable that the repaired section of the deck is a new part of the deck? The contractor will be able to help you choose an appropriate paint and stain that will help keep your entire deck looking fresh and new.