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Deck Issues? Your Questions Answered

Can my deck be repaired?

That would depend on the condition of the deck and its construction. We tend to find that most decks built in the last 20-25 years have solid framing that can be reused. Generally, only decking and railing needs to be replaced. However, if you want to change the size of your deck, then it might need to be replaced instead of repaired. 

Do I need a permit?

That depends on the scope of your project. If you are renovating the existing frame without changing the size of the deck, then a permit is not required. This does save a significant amount of cost since a permit requires drawings and permit fees. If you are making your deck larger, than it does require a permit. We handle the whole process for our clients. 

What are my material options for the deck’s structure? 

The framing of the deck is pressure-treated lumber. For the finished decking, the lowes cost option is pressure-treated lumber or synthetic materials such as composite decking or PVC. Composite decking is about triple the cost of pressure-treated wood. While PVC is about 20-30% more than composite. These products give long-lasting performance. Composite products have warranties of 25-30 years, and PVC products have warranties of 50 years. For the railing you can use pressure-treated wood.  For low maintenance materials, vinyl railings (few color options) composite railings (more color options, look like traditional railings) or there are aluminum railing systems (more color options and give the cable option) which provide visibility through the railing to take advantage of the views. Railing costs go up significantly when you move away from wood, although you no longer have the cost of staining those materials. 

How much does a deck cost?

The costs of decks can vary widely, but a simple pressure-treated wood deck close to the ground costs between $5,000 – 10,000. The same deck in composite is going to be between $10,000 -15,000. As you start getting into larger, more complicated projects, there’s really no limit, but many projects with low-maintenance materials and plenty of space for family activities fall between $20,000 – $50,000. 

How long does it take? 

Most deck projects can be completed in a couple of weeks. However, if a deck requires a permit that will affect the lead time. That process of project prep usually takes about a month. 

What about shade in our area?

There are a few options for decks that get hot due to a lack of shade. Fisrs, the lowest cost option would be a sun shade. These provide protection from the sun and are attached to poles.  These sun shades last a few years and then need to be replaced.   They also need to be taken down in the winter time.  The cost for sun shades, installed, is usually less than a thousand dollars. Second, you could build a pergola. These are permanent shade structures that are made out of different materials. Most pergolas cost between  $5,000-15,000. Last, the third option would be to build something like a patio cover or porch roof, which provides shade and solid protection from weather. These structures generally cost between $15,000 – 30,000. 

How big should my deck be? 

This is a good question and would depend on how often it is used. If you would like a simple dining area for a table of about six people, then a 12×12 deck is a good size. If you want room for more people or a seating area, then going up to 12×16, 16×20, or larger would provide much more space. If you anticipate using your deck for large groups of people (i.e. 20-30 people) then the deck size should be 16×24 or larger.

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