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West Deptford, New Jersey Deck Remodel

Deck Replacement vs. Deck Repair: Which Is Better When?

You’ve heard of aging in dog years, but have you heard of aging in deck years? The average medium-sized dog has a lifespan of about 11 years, whereas the typical pressure-treated wooden deck lasts only about a decade with regular maintenance. Parting with an old deck may be difficult, but oftentimes there is no alternative. In addition to being unsightly, rotted or structurally unsound decking can pose a hazard to your family and guests.

However, there are times when you can delay a full deck replacement and get away with deck repairs. The important thing is knowing where — and when — to draw the line. 

Decking problem areas

Your deck has two archnemeses — moisture and ultraviolet radiation. Over time, moisture seeps into seams and corners and degrades the deck’s structure. UV rays warp and fade those surfaces most exposed to sunlight. There are a handful of areas that take the greatest beating and these are those that need closely examined and inspected annually for a loss of integrity.

  • The deck surface — the deck boards take the brunt of the abuse. They are walked on, stamped on, shined on, rained on, and snowed on. Because of this, surface components will need to be swapped out more frequently. Even if the deck’s substructure is still sound at the moment, it won’t be if routine repairs and maintenance are neglected.
  • Posts — Because deck posts and balusters are vertically standing, they slough away water more efficiently and don’t receive quite as much sun exposure. However, water can collect in places where posts adjoin to other parts of the deck, such as support beams and foundation. Water damage in those joints can cause the post to become loose and wobbly, jeopardizing the safety of those who would lean against them. 

deck construction pilesgrove nj

  • Beams and joists — Beams are the main horizontal support structure for the overlying deck surface, with the joists running between them. Be wary of rot at the end where the beams and joists meet one another or the framing; these little crevices are notorious for trapping moisture.
  • Fascia board — this framing element wraps around the deck’s perimeter for a cleaner appearance. It also can hug moisture tight against the load-bearing boards behind it.
  • Ledger — this is where the deck attaches to the house; it goes without saying that the deck pulling away or detaching from the house is a telltale sign that a full deck replacement is needed.  

Deck repair for localized issues

If damage or wear is confined to a small area and the deck is not too advanced in age, one can usually proceed with a deck repair. Pressure-treated lumber should be sealed and restained at regular intervals; surface boards that are past their prime should be pulled up and replaced. Generally, if an area of rot is the size of a thumb or smaller, it can be scooped away and plugged with a wood preservative to slow further decay. Otherwise, that component should be replaced.

Wenonah, New Jersey Deck Remodel

Deck replacement for structural deficiencies

Structural failures should be treated seriously and professionally — deck-related injuries and deaths occur by the hundreds annually. Any load-bearing or anchoring structure should remain solid and secure for the lifespan of deck usage. If not, a deck replacement is likely in order. Probing around adjoining elements and the foundation before enjoying your deck for the season is a must. A professional inspector will be better equipped to spot these issues and advise you on further action.

Deck repair costs vs. deck replacement cost

According to data collected by homeadvisor.com, the national average cost for deck repairs is approximately $1,700, while the average cost of replacing or installing a new deck is around $7,200. Of course, these figures vary widely based on the size of the project (for instance, a deck that is 500 square feet or more averages $24,000), the materials used (you’ll pay more upfront for composite decking materials), the complexity of the design features, and the amount of labor required. 

Play with a full deck from Ayars

It’s no surprise that the better the decking materials and installation, the greater its longevity. Whether you’re scrapping and replacing an old deck or starting from scratch with a new deck or porch, Ayars Complete Home Improvements’ quality constructions will set you up to enjoy these extensions of your home for years to come. 

Deptford, New jersey Deck

Deck Design: 3 Things to Keep in Mind

Design a Deck That Tells The Right Story

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard to work with, you’re capable of planning a new deck to go with it. A beautifully designed, sturdily constructed new deck can greatly enhance the value of your home and your enjoyment of the warmer months. Before you build a deck, however, it is vital that the deck’s design frame your property and the surroundings in the best possible light. The features, styles, and materials of the new deck construction will be in part defined by your imagination, and in part defined by the lay of the land and what’s around you. It should be an organic extension of your home that meshes seamlessly with the environment.

At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we collaborate with you to build a deck that is both beautiful and functional — a bona fide outdoor living space that not just an accent to your home, but a highlight.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your new deck design.

Deptford, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Deptford, New jersey

1. Deck Elevation

The elevation changes (or lack thereof) in your yard are the first major consideration when planning your new deck design. For level lots, especially those harboring a single-story home, we recommend a platform deck. Since platform decks are built so close to the ground, waterproofing is mandatory to preserve their look and integrity for years to come. The plastic decking products offered by Ayars are ideal for moisture resistance.

If “flat” doesn’t describe where you’re at, you’ll likely consider a raised or multilevel deck. A first-story raised deck is supported by foundation posts and is usually the solution for yards with steeper grades. Its second-story counterpart will usually require additional bracing and support.

Stairs and railings are not only important deck design elements but safety elements as well.

The multilevel deck is ideal for more gradual slopes, as the various tiers can follow the landscape. Each tier can be specialized according to purpose, making multilevel decks also multifunctional.

Pilesgrove, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Pilesgrove, New Jersey

2. Purpose

Beyond what the topography of your yard dictates, you’ll also need to consider what you’ll be using your new deck for. If you plan on hosting large cookouts or get-togethers, you’ll want access to the kitchen and ample space to stretch your grillmaster muscle. If you’re planning on using it for meditation or relaxation, a shaded pergola or gazebo integrated with some landscaping may induce just the right mood.

If your new deck is designed with multiple levels, you’ll want to place visual indicators to assert each one’s unique personality and identity.

Mullica Hill, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Mullica Hill, New Jersey

3. Climate and Lighting

A beautiful design and sturdy construction mean nothing if your new deck is not a safe and comfortable outdoor living space for you to be in. Be aware of your deck’s positioning in relation to the sun — a covering may be needed to provide proper shading (as well as extend use for rainy days).

If you intend to host many late gatherings and soirees, well-lit stairs, railings, and pathways can keep the party going deep into the night.

Free Deck Estimate from Ayars

If you’re interested in expanding your outdoor living space, contact the Ayars team to get started with a free deck construction estimate. We can help fix up or rebuild existing decks or completely design and build a brand new deck for your home.

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