Introduction: Deck Rejuvenation

This is a simple project. Rejuvenating a deck can be as simple as removing the old decking and replacing, or, you can exercise some imagination and add improvements that just make life better! The old deck was pressure treated wood, it had been painted many times and it was soft in places. Additionally we really did not like the major 'scar' created by an ill-designed transition from deck running in one plane to one running at a different angle. Further we are now overlooked by a newer house next door, so some screening needed to be built in to the new deck. The first decision is to choose the decking material. I have worked with Cedar, Pressure Treated Fir/Spruce and several plasticized decking materials such as Trex etc. Over the years I have come to dislike the plasticized decking materials, they have little structural integrity, requiring additional joists; they do not move (expand/contract) like wood and gaps tend to open up over time and they are of course expensive. For slightly less than Trex you can get good quality beautiful hardwood decking, such as Ipe, or Tiger Wood or several others. All these choices are more expensive than Pressure Treated Fir but about the same as Cedar in our locale. They have several advantages however. They last much longer than any softwood (cedar or pressure treated wood) and they age gracefully unlike Trex. (Just my opinion).

I ordered my deck from Advantage Lumber online. It was delivered (no delivery charge) to my home a couple of weeks later.


Required tools:

Pry bar and hammer

Circular saw

Good quality cordless drill/screwdriver and several spare rechargeable batteries.

Deck board bender

Carpenters square

Optional tools:

Miter Saw for easy crosscuts

Table saw for easy rip cuts

Deck spacers

Knee pads

(these just make the job easier)

Step 1: Old Deck

This is the old deck. Nothing really wrong with it, except some soft spots and some amateur transitions in the decking layout. It has a great view over the water but notice the newer house built next door. This now overlooks our property. The middle level of this house is their main living floor, they are awesome neighbors, but we didn't want to be looking at them every time we walk onto our deck so a big driver for this project was to screen this house.

Step 2: Structural Work

To provide the screening from the neighbor's house we needed to install 12' 4x4 posts. These are HEAVY! They are installed 10' above deck level. They are through bolted to the fascia/joist and also bolted into the substructure 2' below the deck. This is marginal for their height, so I added X braces below the deck. You will notice only part of the old deck has been removed. I have found when renovating decks that it is much easier if you can work progressively, only removing the few planks that you are replacing, then removing another few and adding new. This works very well as long as you are not changing the substructure. It makes it easier moving around the deck while you are working on it.

Step 3: Laying the Deck. Dealing With an Ugly Transition

Looking down on the old deck, you can see where the installer decided to create a transition to deal with an angle between the two buildings that are connected by the deck. This 'scar' opened up over the years and achieves no functional purpose. It just serves to emphasize the disconnectedness of the two parts of the deck and the odd angle between the two buildings. The new decking will ignore this transition and run in a single plane from one end to another. It will add a few planks to the order, but will improve the looks substantially.

I had replaced part of this deck 20 years ago and those boards were screwed in with treated screws. 99% of those came up very easily. The remaining original deck had been nailed in and is more of a challenge. I use my longest pry bar and a combination of pressure with the pry bar, with moderate hammer taps underneath each plank at the joist to ease up the boards. Most come up in one piece.

Step 4: Expanding the Footprint of the Deck.

I did need to add some new joists to part of the deck, where we expanded it a couple of feet. New joists are hung on joist hangers then it's back to laying the new deck.

Step 5: The Completed Deck

I think these pictures pretty much speak for themselves. The colors of the Tigerwood contrast nicely with the painted posts and the sheathing of the house. The upper screening provides some privacy which will be enhanced when we add triangular canvas 'sails' as a ceiling.

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