Monday, October 17, 2022
Installing an outdoor deck not only allows you to enjoy your outdoor life better. And it can also effectively increase the resale value of your home. However, for most wood decks, regular maintenance is required to keep the outdoor deck looking good and safe. In some cases, you can easily repair or replace the deck yourself, but in other cases, you’ll need to hire a professional to do the job.
There are many costs and factors that go into replacing or repairing a deck, usually the following.
The cost of replacing a deck depends on the size of the deck, the materials used, and who does the work. Generally speaking, the average cost to replace a deck is between $25 and $43 per square foot for natural wood and between $30 and $60 per square foot for composite decking. For a 400 square foot deck, it would cost between $10,000 and $17,000. If composite decking were used instead, it would cost an additional $12,000 to $24,000.
While this is a big difference in upfront cost, a better comparison is to consider the longevity of composite decking and how little it costs to maintain. If you hire a professional to replace your deck, the cost of materials is usually about a third of the total cost. If you do it yourself, the material cost is the full cost.
For materials alone, the average cost to replace wood deck railing is $12 to $20 per linear foot. Compose railing, which doesn’t require much maintenance, costs $25 to $50 more per foot upfront than other materials.
But the price is not the only factor to consider. The important thing is that composite, aluminum, or a combination of both will last longer and require less maintenance than wood railing. The cost of replacing railings depends on how many need to be done and how complex they are.
Each linear foot will add about $20 in labor costs. Of course, if you plan to install the deck railings yourself, then you will only be responsible for the cost of materials.
It is difficult to predict how much this will cost because if the deck boards are in such bad condition that they need to be replaced, then it is likely that the deck structure or framing will also need to be repaired or replaced. If the deck structure or frame is rotten or damaged, then it can create a big safety hazard. So if you don’t know how to inspect the frame, have a professional look at the structure before you replace any deck boards. You can also ask them how much it will cost to repair or replace the deck.
Hiring a licensed contractor to fix a few broken boards can be expensive, but because of their professional background, they know how the outdoor deck was built, what materials were used, and how high it is off the ground, among other things.
How much it costs to repair a deck depends on what is broken and how bad it is. As we have already talked about, repairing the damage that does not affect the structure costs the least. But if the damage is caused by deterioration, decay, or large branches, it is difficult to give an estimate because the entire deck may need to be replaced. Railings are usually easier to repair when they are broken because they are built in sections between posts. You can even buy railing modules that are already assembled in 6 and 8 foot lengths. The cost per foot always depends on the type of material, how difficult it is to build, and whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.
Rot can occur on wood decks, and the cost to repair rotted wood depends on how bad it is and where it is located. For example, it is usually cheaper to replace the decking planks than to replace the joists. Which is one reason why it is important to know how to avoid, stop and repair joist rot.
If the damage isn’t too severe, having a contractor fix the rot can cost anywhere from $300 to several thousand dollars. But usually, the repairs are small and simple, and you can do them yourself for much less money. Since most contractors like big jobs, it’s hard to find people to do small repairs.
Finding pests on your deck, mainly termites is also a very necessary task. Some pest control companies offer inspections or add the cost of the inspection to any work you do. To hire a licensed pest control specialist, you should plan to spend $100 to $200.
If termites are present, replace damaged boards and apply a coating that will protect your entire deck from termites. The average cost of professional termite treatment is about $600. But huge infestations that require tenting and fumigation can cost $2,000 or more. If you install composite decking, then you can avoid these higher costs.
Usually, whether you repair or replace your deck depends on how bad the rot or other damage is. Almost always, it is cheaper to repair an existing structure than to build a new one. Especially if you pay someone to tear down and rebuild an outdoor deck.
If you’re not sure which option is better, have a professional look at the deck before making a decision. A skilled contractor may be able to give you advice based on your situation and help you save some of your deck and save you money.