Deck Makeover – Decking Out Your DUDS

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Old deck board - deck makeover

Do you suffer from Darn Ugly Deck Syndrome (DUDS)? Is your home’s deck tired, grungy or just seen better days? Perhaps there’s nothing really structurally wrong with it but there’s not much right about it, either. If your existing deck boards and railings are dingy, discolored or just out of date, but the structure underneath still has “good bones”, a deck makeover may be just the tonic you need to cure your DUDS.

A complete deck replacement can be expensive but homeowners suffering from DUDS can often opt for a deck makeover rather than tearing everything out and starting again. Of course, there are important exceptions to this strategy. In some cases, safety will demand a complete tear out and replacement. If the wood in your support beams is rotting or you are dealing with soft spots, shifting or splitting, or if it was simply never up to code to begin with, then you may have no alternative than to start new.

It’s important to bring in an experienced deck contractor to make that call for you. Nothing is worse than spending your money on a makeover only to find out later that you were just putting off necessary (and expensive) repairs or replacement.

Deck Resurfacing Options

But, a homeowner with a structurally solid deck and a strong foundation may really only need to have their deck boards and/or railings replaced. You can upgrade with new materials at a fraction of the price of a full deck replacement.

With this approach, you eliminate the cost and hassle of replacing the footings and base of the deck. If you change the material from wood to a different low maintenance material, you can even wrap the existing foundation posts in matching material (see below).

Opportunity for Upgrades

You can also add more space as well as functionality with stylish new touches and accessories.

More Room – Depending on your space, a deck makeover may also be a good opportunity to add much needed square footage by pushing the deck out a few feet on each side.

Deck Lighting – Integrated lighting is also big these days. Many people are incorporating low level LED lighting on their posts and stairs to add style and safety.

New Railing – Looking to break up that rustic, all wood deck? Deck railing options include much more than just the traditional vertical posts. These days you can install deck railings in intricate patterns, curved wrought iron, and horizontal cables. You can also add balusters, molded end caps, light caps on posts and other decorative accents.

Shade Structures – You can also add a pergola to your deck to create a beautiful, partially shaded patio area. A pergola can be attached to your home or as a part of the deck. Pergola roofs consist of horizontal planks, left flat and open. There are even operable pergolas on the market for added shade and protection from the elements.

Child and Pet Friendly Features – Many decks today have built-in child gates and doggie doors that can be secured with a key, making your deck a safe and fun area for kids and pets alike.

Whatever product or design you choose, make sure you find the right contractor for your deck project. Download your FREE Complete Guide to Deck Styles and Trends for more information on the latest in deck design and finding the right deck contractor.