First Things First:
The cure for a day spent staring at a computer screen is sitting on your deck, watching the sunset, glass of rosé in hand. It almost makes you forget what a pain in the *ss that deck was to build (unless you shell out the cash to have someone do it for you — more on that later). Homeowners typically spend between $727 and $2,411 on deck repairs, with an average of $1,526, according to HomeAdvisor.
Giving It A Refresh:
A new finish is an effective, inexpensive way to make an old deck look new (especially one that's been worn down by the elements). Refinishing a 10 x 12-foot deck with a new coat of sealer, paint or stain costs $350 to $750. If you're only dealing with some deck boards or railings that are rotten, decaying, or broken, replacing those specific sections starts at about $300.
Rebuilding The Whole Deck:
If the deck is old or decrepit, removal costs $5 to $15 per square foot, so taking down a 10 x 12-foot deck would set you back about $1,200. A new wood deck costs an average of $10,950, according to Remodeling Magazine, and a new composite deck is almost double that, at $17,668. For a few hundred bucks, you can add a trellis or pergola to your deck, then let plants climb along them to provide shade and privacy. The options are basically endless when it comes to designs.
Picking The Materials:
Replacing the decking for a 10 x 12-foot deck starts at $2,100 for treated lumber; $4,100 for cedar; $5,600 for composite materials; and $5,800 for redwood. Railings are extra. But then again, so are you. Cedar, for example, is a popular deck choice, but after a few years, it starts to turn gray and dingy if you don't treat it once a summer.
Giving It A Refresh:
A new finish is an effective, inexpensive way to rejuvenate a wooden deck. Refinishing a 10 x 12-foot deck costs $350 to $750. Finishes include sealers that preserve the wood's look, semi-transparent and semi-solid stains that bring out the wood grains but tint the color, and solid stains and paints that change the color.
Fixing The Railings:
Sturdy railings are a necessity. Costs for repairing broken or wobbly railings depend on the materials and extent of the damage, but typically start at $250. Upgrading railings, even if they’re not broken, can really take your deck from meh to major: Going from basic 2 x 2-inch wood balusters to decorative aluminum rails, for example, makes a big impact. New railing for a 10 x 12-foot deck starts at $400 for wood; $1,600 for aluminum; $2,560 for composites; $2,880 for cables; and $3,820 for glass.
It's all in the details. Upgrading your outdoor lighting starts at less than $200, which is great for ambiance and for safety (consider putting them near seating areas and along stairs). Solar lights are a good option (around $100 a piece) if you want to avoid electrical work. For about $200, you can add built-in planters to give the space come color — for about $75, you can install lattice panels that allow flowers to climb and keep nosy neighbors from peeping.
Read More From The Real Costs Of Renovation
Illustrations & Design by Nicole Pivirotto, Animation by Eddie Phan
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