We at Ayars take remodeling decks seriously. And when I say deck remodeling, I mean tearing down old decks and building new, not even keeping the original frame or footings. While it’s obvious that a deck remodel would probably include replacing the railing and decking, many people expect that the structural bits can stay. The fact is that it’s rare for much of an old deck to be salvageable.
As you can see from the picture that we provided of the old deck,
It was connected to the house. Many older decks aren’t adequately bolted to the house, and many more are poorly flashed to keep out water. While it’s easy enough to add more bolts to the deck ledger, it’s nearly impossible to be sure that the original flashing was done correctly and that there’s no rot due to bad flashing.
(As you can see from this picture provided, there was a lot of rot)
The only sensible thing to do here was to remove the old frame completely. I mean, at that point it makes the most sense to replace the framing because even treated lumber has a finite lifespan. Why would you install new decking and railing on an old frame that might not outlast them?
I know what you’re thinking, “The old footings are still good. If they were good originally, they probably still are. Not much happens to concrete below the ground.” Well, the old deck had no footings. I’m sure your next question is; “How did it pass inspection?” Well, your guess is as good as ours. However, they may have been lucky and the inspector either overlooked it, or passed it based on the codes for that era and time that that deck was built.
However, codes have changed. Lumber isn’t what it once was, and the spans allowed for joists and beams are shorter than they were even ten years ago. So, the old footings may not be spaced for the joist and beam spans allowed today. We installed the new footings, concrete, and joists. Everything is up to code and passed inspection with flying colors.
The last picture provided is of our beautifully remodeled deck that was properly installed. Our customer is extremely satisfied and so were the inspectors.
**Side note: Experience has taught many jurisdictions to require deck footings to be sized to carry not only the load of the deck as planned, but to be larger to accommodate the load from a roof that might be added later on.