Ideas to fix my ugly composite deck?


Old 06-21-16, 08:02 PM
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Ideas to fix my ugly composite deck?

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We recently bought a house that came with a deck that is structurally sound (we had inspected) but has about 3 major cosmetic issues. Looking for ideas on how we can either improve or hide these blemishes.

See attached pictures. Looking under the deck I can see that some of the beams/outer joists were clearly not straight and therefore the deck builder/home owner ran into issue he/she didn't know how to correct.

Really do not have the money or time to take it apart and start over, especially given the size of the deck (15x30). And since the decking and railings are composite it isn't a matter of just sanding down.

Any creative ideas or thoughts?
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Old 06-21-16, 08:22 PM
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It looks like all your problems are at the end of the deck and under the railing system.
I can see the railing needed to be taken down to true up/repair the decking under it.

I'm not the pro here.... they'll be by.
Old 06-21-16, 08:36 PM
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That's almost funny the way they tried to fix that.
That's just nuts the way they stuck all those short pieces in there.
The decking was cut to short, not enough over hang to cover the fachia, the ends where not cut after the deck was built so there would be a straight line.
I agree the railings need to go, fachia and deck boards need to come off to even see what needs to be done.
Old 06-21-16, 08:41 PM
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That composite stuff expands and contracts like crazy, so I am guessing that is a large part of the problem... but not all. It looks like a homeowner tried to fix it, I can't imagine a contractor that would do such poor work. The idiot that made the cut in the bottom picture apparently doesn't know how to use a chalk line or a skilsaw. Too late to try and fix that now that he cut them too short. I would start by removing the rim (fascia cover) that's the 1/2" x 12 board that forms the edge. Once that is off, drive a nail halfway in on each end (so tgat you can wrap a string around tge nails) and run a mason's line (tight as you can pull it) to see how straight the framing is. If the line is 1"away from the framing on the ends, it should be 1" away everywhere you measure in between. If it's only out a little bit, maybe +/- 1/4", a power planer could straighten it. But my guess is that the framing is pretty straight and that someone just butchered it.

Now the top pic that you have, shows the planks don't line up on far side of that perpendicular divider. That was probably installed that way. If it looks that bad there, I wonder what it looks like inside the railing. Hopefully it gets better, not worse.

I would suggest that perhaps a solution could be had by adding an additional 2x10 rim joist around the perimeter, shim it so it hangs plumb at so that it's straight with the deck planks (pick a straight row to measure from).

Once you install the new rim and know that it's straight, go to the most butchered spot and measure from there to the edge of the rim. Whatever measurement you come up with, that's how much you want to cut off that entire side. (Use a chalk line) Then, assuming this is a solid composite decking, you will be able to rip a piece (if you end up cutting off 3/4" all the way around to clean up the edges, you might make that rip about 2 1/4" wide)... router a 1/8" roundover on the cut edge of both the deck and the cut edge of your rip, and screw that down on top of the new rim joist.

If your composite fascia pieces don't lay flat when you remove them, you might as well throw them away and get new ones. The new ones should be installed with composite screws... installed in pairs, 12" on center. If you like to router, you could make an overlapping rabbet joint for the butt joints, leaving a 1/4" gap between each piece as an expansion joint.

If you prefer, you could also make your rip wider (that 2 1/4" rip could be 3 1/2" for instance) so that it would hang over the edge a little, giving you a nosing so that your composite fascia would be fully underneath the perimeter nosing, which would help hide any gap or waviness.

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