Deck Redo

Deck Redo

 

I promised a post on a major deck redo. Between the weather and waiting for the contractor to do his part, it did indeed take the better part of the summer to complete. Our deck remains solid as a rock. When I built the house, I used 6×6 posts rather than 4×4’s because it makes it look much more substantial, especially because it is a raised deck, with more support posts underneath. This is a view of about 3/4’s of the deck, which runs along about 1/2 the length of the rear elevation.

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None of the railings or posts needed anything but sprucing up. The problem was the deck surface.


 

Here is what the deck looked like when first stained. The rails, posts and deck flooring were all stained with the same oil based based stain. It did a terrific job of protecting the deck, even though the sun beat down in the early years when the trees did not shade it during the mid afternoon in intense summer heat, and with the constant watering of potted plants. It was a terrific stain.

Here is what the deck looked like when first stained, about a year after it was built. The rails, posts and deck flooring were all stained with the same oil based based stain. It did a terrific job of protecting the deck, even though the sun beat down in the early years when the trees did not shade it during the mid afternoon in intense summer heat, and with the constant watering of potted plants. It was a terrific stain.



 

 

A few years ago, I painted the upper posts and top rails a crisp gray, the shame gray we used when we built wood shutters for the front of the house. I also made stacked toppers for the 6x6 posts.

A few years ago, I painted the upper posts and top rails a crisp gray, the same gray we used when we built wood shutters for the front of the house. I also made the 4 layer stacked toppers for the 6×6 posts. I really like the contrast of the darker gray with the stained gray rails and decking.


Here are the stairs leading up to the deck with the rails and post caps now dark gray. The house of the side to the left has a second story board and batten  cedar bump out stained a darker gray, so it ties it to the shutters in the front and this side.

Here are the stairs leading up to the deck with the rails and post caps now dark gray. The house of the side to the left has a second story board and batten cedar bump out stained a darker gray, so it tied it to the shutters in the front and the bump out around to the back of the house..


 

Here you can see the bump out I referred to a if you look to the right, the deck stairs. This is the right side of the house. The siding color is one shade lighter than the original stain color on the decking.

Here you can see the bump out I referred to, and if you look to the right, the deck stairs. By the way, this is the right side of the house. The horizontal siding color is two shades lighter than the original stain color on the decking.


 

Until about 5 years ago the deck looked fine. You can see in the photo that the surface is pretty decent. There were a few popped nails, and I had to replace a few short  warped boards, but it was in need of another staining of the deck surface. No problem. I will go and pick up the same original stain and formula I had already used.

Until about 5 years ago the deck looked fine. You can see in the photo that the surface is pretty decent. There were a few popped nails, and I had to replace a few short warped boards, but it was in need of another staining of the deck surface. No problem. I will go and pick up the same original stain and formula I had already used. It had held up for years.



So I went to the paint/hardware store and was told that the brand had been purchased and was no longer available, and additionally that oil stain was not not available in Virginia (and many others) anymore because of VOC prohibitions. Now mind you, this was a store where I went for many years, and took that as true. So when I asked what should I use now. I was told semi solid latex alkyd. I said, “over semi-transparent oil stain?”. “Yes”. Mistake number 2. So then I power washed, and prepared as instructed. I was assured that I did not have to strip the old finish, since there was little left, and no chipping or flaking. I put on the new finish. I hated the color, but it was as close as I could come to the original. It was much more beige than gray. So on it went. It was fine for two years and then it faded very quickly, and the deck boards themselves began to deteriorate. Nail popping was already a problem, and boards were much more difficult to keep clean. I began to avoid using the deck….it was looking ugly, and I would trip on nails or boards frequently.



 

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This is a close up of the boards. It is difficult to see, but the nails were popped on almost every board, and the cracking and alligatoring was very bad on some boards, not too bad on others. 


 

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Here is the long view. Not very exciting, is it? So the decision was made to replace the deck boards and the rail tops, going in an entirely different direction color wise.


 

So I did a lot of research on decks – on wood options, vs Azek or Trex and the like, or an ironwood like ipe. I learned a lot more, talked with a lot technical assistance departments, then had contractors come out, or not (another blog post all by itself) to give me options and estimates. I threw my hands in the air a lot in frustration. But in the end I think it came out really well. Tomorrow: what I can recommend in terms of products if you are considering a deck repair or a new deck, what products are rated the best, and how it all turned out….the reveal. KBJ and I just put in the last of the post caps and lights. Looking forward to sharing it all. Thanks for stopping by. laters, charisse

 

 

 

Comments

  1. The finished deck part II will be posted tomorrow, Saturday.

  2. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Don’t keep us waiting long, please!

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