If you’re like most homeowners, your deck has seen better days. After years of weathering, it’s probably time for a complete makeover. Most decks only need a few minor repairs, but if yours is in bad shape, you may need to start from scratch. This can be a costly and time-consuming project, but it will be worth it in the end.
Before you start your project, it’s essential to plan ahead. Consider the following tips to help you get started.
1. Inspect your deck for damage and make repairs as necessary.
Be sure to check the structural integrity of your deck before you begin any repairs. If you find any damage, make sure to fix it before proceeding. If you avoid repairs, you could end up with a dangerous and unstable deck. Some common deck repairs include:
– Replacing damaged or rotted boards
– Tightening loose screws and nails
Depending on the damage, you may be able to make these repairs yourself. However, if the damage is extensive, you may need to hire a professional. You should also have your deck inspected by a professional if you’re unsure about the extent of the damage. For example, if you have a deck with multiple levels, it’s a good idea to get it inspected before making any repairs.
2. Start cleaning the deck.
This may seem obvious, but removing all the dirt, dust, and debris is essential before making changes. A pressure washer can come in handy for this task, but if you’re unsure how to use one properly, you should hire a professional to avoid damaging your deck. You should also scrub the deck’s surface with a stiff brush and soapy water. Be sure to rinse off the soap afterward.
You may also want to consider sanding the deck’s surface. This will help to create a smooth surface for painting or staining. If you choose to sand your deck, use the proper safety equipment, such as a dust mask and earplugs. Some people also prefer to rent a power sander to make the job go faster.
3. Choose the right paint.
Your deck is an outdoor space, so choosing a paint that can withstand the elements is essential. You should also consider the color of your house when choosing a paint color. If your home is light-colored, you may want to choose light-colored paint for your deck to avoid a jarring contrast.
Paint application is also crucial in getting the perfect finish. Hiring an expert residential painting contractor is best if you’re not confident in your painting skills. They’ll know how to properly prep and paint your deck to achieve the best results. Ask them to use a primer before painting to help the paint adhere better and last longer.
4. Choose the right materials for your deck.
Not every deck is the same, so choosing the right materials for your space is essential. If you have a small deck, you may not need as much lumber as someone with a large deck. The type of wood you choose is also important. If you want a natural look, cedar or redwood are good choices. If you’re looking for a more durable option, consider pressure-treated lumber.
When it comes to fasteners, screws are a better option than nails. They’re less likely to pop up over time and are easier to remove if you need to make repairs. If you’re using screws, be sure to choose rust-resistant ones. You should also avoid using screws that are too long, as they can damage the decking material.
5. Add some finishing touches.
Once you’ve finished repairing and painting your deck, you can add some finishing touches to make it stand out. Adding built-in benches or planters can give your deck a more polished look. You could also hang string lights or lanterns to create a cozy atmosphere, especially for cloudy days or cold nights.
If you have stairs leading to your deck, add non-slip strips to prevent accidents. You should also add a handrail if your deck is more than 30 inches off the ground. Some building codes also require a handrail if there are more than four steps. Ask a professional if you’re not sure whether you need a handrail.
Making simple changes to your deck can give it a new look. Whether you’re repainting, restaining, or adding new furnishings, these tips can help you transform your space. Always consult a professional if you’re unsure about making repairs to avoid damaging your deck. With a little effort, you can have the perfect outdoor space for entertaining, relaxing, or both.