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Does Your Deck Need Partial Replacement, or a Full Replacement? Let’s Talk Cost!

Does Your Deck Need Partial Replacement, or a Full Replacement? Let’s Talk Cost!

In a past article, we shared a few tips for determining whether your deck needs to be fully replaced, or just repaired. You can check it out right here! Included are 4 key inspection checkpoints to help you make the best decision possible.

Today, let’s drill down into another closely-related topic: is partially replacing (or “reskinning”) your deck a good idea?

The Risks and Rewards of Replacing Deck Boards

As deck building and maintenance professionals, we encounter homeowners pretty frequently who are interested in just replacing the deck boards. The idea is to save a little cash and give their outdoor space a new look.

Some even want to switch to composite deck material, installing it right on the existing structure.

Sounds good, right?

Not so much!

Let’s get nerdy for a minute and talk about why this isn’t such a great idea. In fact, this approach can cost you MORE in the long run than replacing your entire deck. Seriously.

3 Reasons to NOT Replace Your Deck Boards Alone

  1. Joist Spacing - Anytime you switch from wood to composite, the joist spacing needs to be updated as well (likely from 24” OC to 16” OC). You might be able to save some, but then you run into major issues with keeping the surface level. Traditional wood decking is rigid, so there’s no wiggle room when it comes to a variance in joist height. Composite decking is more flexible, so if there’s ANY discrepancy you’ll get a wavy surface. Nobody wants that.
  2. Reskinning a Deck Involves MORE Labor Time - What you save in material cost is more than added back in additional labor cost. In other words, we may not need as much raw material, but reskinning a deck and all that it involves takes a lot longer than starting from scratch.
  3. New Top, Old Foundation - Let’s say you do decide to have us add new deck boards to an old substructure. Now you have a brand new deck built on an old foundation. What happens if in 5 or 10 years the structure gives way, ruining your new surface? Keeping the substructure and deck the same age is the best, most cost-effective route.

Is this to say that repairing your deck is never a good idea? Definitely not!

In fact, we specialize in deck repair and maintenance. The key takeaway here is that simply replacing PART of an old deck to try and save money isn’t always as great an idea as you might think. We take it on a case by case basis, walking through the pros and cons with you along the way.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Deck in Bend, OR?

A full deck replacement varies between $24-45 sq/ft. Many factors dictate the price point, including:

  • Type of materials you choose
  • Ground conditions
  • Safety hazards
  • Height of the deck
  • Number of stairs
  • Benches
  • Custom design features
  • Railings
  • Demo and removal of current decking (including dump fees)
  • Footings
  • Substructure
  • New decking

We hope this helps! At the end of the day, we want to help you make the best investment that yields the highest return possible. Ready to talk decking in more detail? Contact us today!

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