Sprucing up old deck to sell house?


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Old 04-02-10, 06:30 AM
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Sprucing up old deck to sell house?

I will be selling my house soon. I have a large 20-year old pressure-treated deck that is moderately weathered -- not terrible, but I'd like it to look better when I show the house. It has never been stained. I water-sealed it a few times, not as often as I should have, and haven't done it in the past 5 or 6 years.

There is no rot, the framing is in great shape, foundation is solid, there is no settling. I don't want to spend the money to re-deck it with Trex (besides, the joists aren't spaced closely enough for composite decking). A few of the decking boards have some cupping & checking, but not many -- less than 10% I'd say. Of course, all of the boards have shrunken, some more than others, so there are places where the ends of the boards have pulled away from each other slightly.

What's the best way to make it look good? Stain? If I replace the few cupped & checked boards with new, will they look the same after staining? Would it help to run a floor sander over the entire deck, to take off the top layer of weathered wood -- or is the weathering too deep for that?

Is there any product that I could lay right over the existing deck boards to create a new surface? Like some sort of thin composite that I could lay over the old decking, maybe running 90 degrees to the old boards?

Also -- any ideas on railings? The rails are 2x4 PT and have weathered a bit worse than the deck. Is there some sort of cap rail I can put over the 2x4's? I'd rather not replace the entire railing, the slats are 1x something, set at an angle to create a louvered look for privacy -- it would be a lot of work to replace the entire railing.

Any advice appreciated ...
 
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Old 04-02-10, 07:33 AM
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Using a solid stain (rather than a semi-transparent) after you have replaced the worst of the boards would eliminate the color differences between the old and new boards.

DO NOT lay a composite on top of the existing deck boards! Moisture will get trapped between the two, resulting in the existing boards rotting in a matter of a few years.

Several mfgrs. have composites that will span 24", assuming that is what your existing joist spacing is (i.e. Trex High Strength 2X6). If the existing framing is in as good as shape as you say it is, it's simply a matter of adding one joist between each of the existing to reduce the joist span so that any composite deck board could be used. That's not that much of an added expense. (More than 90% of the cost would be in the new decking and fasteners)
 
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Old 04-02-10, 10:14 AM
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Clean the deck and then reasses your options.

Before you apply any stain you're going to have to clean it anyway. You may be satisfied by how the deck looks after a good cleaning and not bother with replacing boards and staining. Besides, unless you're real good with a spray gun, staining the 1x louvered/lattice material can be a real pain.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 01:50 PM
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I agree Cleaning the deck is always part of a good deck stain job. A solid stain can hide a lot of the effects of aging.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 04:26 PM
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Thanks, guys, that's the kind of advice I was looking for. I think I'll test a solid stain on one of the boards that needs to be replaced anyway. If I like the results, I'll do the whole deck.

Thanks!
 
 

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