Should You Replace or Retrofit Your Deck?
It takes a trained eye to know
If you are thinking about replacing your deck, you might wonder if it makes sense to reuse some or all of the existing structure. In certain cases, retrofitting is a great way to save money and time. In other cases, it is a terrible investment. How can you be confident you are making the right choice? The key is knowing what to look for. Below are three examples of when a deck should be retrofitted, replaced or both.
1. A Good Candidate for Retrofit
It’s not always obvious
This client believed they would need to replace their deck. Normally this type of damage indicates rot in the foundation, but that was not the situation here. A careful examination of the underlying structure found this deck was ideal for a retrofit. So, we removed all flooring and railing and performed an extensive tune-up on the framing.
Next, we installed a heavy-duty moisture-barrier tape on top of all the joists to extend the life of the deck. Once these vital steps were completed, we installed new composite flooring and aluminum railing. Now the client is enjoying all the benefits of a new deck at a fraction of the price.
2. A Bad Candidate for Retrofit
Looks can be deceiving
This client had a newer two-level deck they wanted to retrofit to become a one-level deck. Our assessment found that a deck replacement was the right solution. While a retrofit would have saved money upfront, it would also run the risk of performance problems down the road. As a result, we recommended a full replacement and the end-product will prove to be a wise investment for decades to come.
3. A Hybrid Solution
Sometimes you need a combination of replacement and retrofit
This deck was in terrific shape and seemed prime for retrofit. However, the low elevation was our first tip-off that more was needed. Framing close to the ground traps moisture which prematurely ages the structure. During the site visit, we pried up a few floorboards and found that some joists would need to be replaced while others were just fine.
This enabled us to provide a firm price that protected the client from worrying about change orders or cutting corners to stay on budget.
What About Your Deck?
Getting it right is the goal
When it comes to knowing whether you should replace or retrofit your deck, you might hear different things from multiple builders. Just contact us and we will give it to you straight. All we want is for you to be happy with your project, and we are ready to help you achieve that.