Home & Garden

Deck -- start over? Or repairs possible?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 14th, 2020 11:47 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 6, 2020
49 posts
29 upvotes
Halifax

Deck -- start over? Or repairs possible?

Complete newbie when it comes to renos lol.

When we bought the home, one area noted on the home inspection was the deck. Here's what was noted:

- Beam supporting the rear of the deck is two-ply. Inspector said it must be three-ply.
- Support joists are fastened to the side of the building. Joist hangers and 4 inch lag bolts need to be installed for additional support.
- Deck is sagging from front to back. Myself, I noticed the columns were not put into a concrete base, only into the ground.
- Surface boards deteriorated.

With all of this, is it worth it to replace the entire deck, or pick away at the repairs individually? I noticed the homeowners put in a small "addition" to the deck to join the pool to the main deck. I plan on constructing a deck around the pool in the next year or so...very unsure on what to do. My plan was to say "eff it" and start from scratch, but I could also pick away at this by constructing the deck around the pool first, then re-do the main deck portion.

Thoughts? Will be attaching pics for reference.
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Controller -- CPA, CMA
HVAC Industry -- Lennox dealer
16 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
5246 upvotes
Paris
Start over and here is why:
Joints attached to house
Wood supports into ground.

That’s 2 major points of potential failure and no way I can easily see to correct those without taking it down.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
5246 upvotes
Paris
After pics... OMG deck blocks? And that span from house to first beam is too much.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
966 posts
710 upvotes
Let's see the pics, but from the sounds of it I would just scrap it and start a new, and probably combine this deck into your new deck.

Assuming you are going to do footings, you're going to have to rip up or move most of the deck anyways. Sounds like your supports also need to be replaced and your boards are in bad shape.

So just based on that, sounds like your whole deck needs to be replaced. Doing it once piece at a time doesn't really make sense to me.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
966 posts
710 upvotes
Jerico wrote: After pics... OMG deck blocks? And that span from house to first beam is too much.
+1, after pics, scrap it and do it right.
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
692 posts
231 upvotes
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Let's see the pics, but from the sounds of it I would just scrap it and start a new, and probably combine this deck into your new deck.

Assuming you are going to do footings, you're going to have to rip up or move most of the deck anyways. Sounds like your supports also need to be replaced and your boards are in bad shape.

So just based on that, sounds like your whole deck needs to be replaced. Doing it once piece at a time doesn't really make sense to me.
I agree. And I m the type of person loathe to touching anything because of money/time. It's really about the footing for me. Because of the span you likely need 2 rows of footings unfortunately.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 8, 2007
9004 posts
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Way Out of GTA
If you plan to stay there for the longer term I’d probably start from scratch. Make it structurally sound plus aesthetically pleasing.

Using glass Railing and Trex boards could make it look good also. Why rebuild something that looks the same? The all wood deck is sorta dated. So use as a chance to add value thru a modern look.

Mind you all this stuff adds up pretty quick. So make sure you do a budget and ensure compliance with bylaws.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 12, 2007
5250 posts
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Ottawa
Yup. As much as it sucks, I agree with the above advice on demolition and rebuild. Don't even bother trying to salvage the wood as it is very very tired.

On the positive side, this will let you integrate your AG pool better and potentially give you more pool-side decking.

On the negative, getting a permit for a new deck might call an inspector's attention to the fact that you have a pool in an unfenced backyard. If I were the OP, I would look into the bylaws around fencing off the area around the pool. Halifax might just require a locking gate up to the deck if there's no ladder down to the ground from the pool.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 6, 2020
49 posts
29 upvotes
Halifax
CaptSmethwick wrote: Yup. As much as it sucks, I agree with the above advice on demolition and rebuild. Don't even bother trying to salvage the wood as it is very very tired.

On the positive side, this will let you integrate your AG pool better and potentially give you more pool-side decking.

On the negative, getting a permit for a new deck might call an inspector's attention to the fact that you have a pool in an unfenced backyard. If I were the OP, I would look into the bylaws around fencing off the area around the pool. Halifax might just require a locking gate up to the deck if there's no ladder down to the ground from the pool.
Good point. AFAIK, the deck was original to the house and the pool is 2 years old...I'm starting to learn the hard way that the previous owners did a poor job of maintaining things although I hear it's par for the course around here.

The good news is, where I live (just outside Halifax) there's no bylaws for fencing. Bad news is, still need a permit.

Better get cracking on this quick if I want to enjoy it for summer I guess. Thanks everyone...confirmed my thoughts.
Controller -- CPA, CMA
HVAC Industry -- Lennox dealer
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
cartfan123 wrote: Using glass Railing and Trex boards could make it look good also. Why rebuild something that looks the same?
Yikes. You just doubled the cost of the build. Astonished Face
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
aceofklubs wrote: Good point. AFAIK, the deck was original to the house and the pool is 2 years old...I'm starting to learn the hard way that the previous owners did a poor job of maintaining things although I hear it's par for the course around here.

The good news is, where I live (just outside Halifax) there's no bylaws for fencing. Bad news is, still need a permit.

Better get cracking on this quick if I want to enjoy it for summer I guess. Thanks everyone...confirmed my thoughts.
Make absolutely sure there is no bylaw regarding pool enclosure/locking gate/fencing. It could be a major PITA to retrofit if the inspector shows up and suddenly realises it's not just a deck. Most regions (even in small communities) have adopted modern codes requiring at least one of those aspects. The deck bylaw will probably be in lock step with the Nova Scotia Building Code for most elements of the structure ( framing member sizes and spans, fasteners, guards and handrails), with local codes added to the mix for things like pier depth. Where I am in Ontario, the pier depth requirement is four feet.
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
16934 posts
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Thornhill
I think a few mistakes were made in the first steps of building the deck. To fix those, you gotta start from the beginning again. I think you’d be better off scrapping it.

Wear a mask if you’re going to chop up PT lumber.

bjl
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
t3359 wrote: Wear a mask if you’re going to chop up PT lumber.
bjl
Also, don't burn that PT lumber in a fire pit; it's hazardous waste and needs to go to landfill.
Older PT lumber was treated with CCA, or chromated copper arsenate, and you can be poisoned by doing so.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
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Paris
MrFrugal1 wrote: Yikes. You just doubled the cost of the build. Astonished Face
Doubled? The glass railing is incredibly expensive. And when I did mine (in 2008 which is a while ago) trek 4xed my decking. Just the decking was more than the project budget.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
749 posts
313 upvotes
Jerico wrote: After pics... OMG deck blocks? And that span from house to first beam is too much.
but yet this monstrosity stood for what ....looks like it's at least 20 years old. Isn't that the typical lifespan of a properly built standard pt deck?
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
663 posts
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Comox Valley
Without a doubt, scrap it, and start new. With this PANDEMIC, start looking for, and buying your lumber now, if you get a good deal on it,
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10261 posts
2818 upvotes
i think some of the comments on here are a bit overboard, is it code? probably not, was it when it was built? it might have been.

i have a cabin that is from the 60s built on wood blocks sitting on concrete pavers, its a 24x24 A frame with a upper floor. its 60 years old and still going strong.

its not like a double 2x8 is just going to one day snap in half, maybe if you put 80 people out on the deck.

is the deck sagging? wobbly? rotten?

its certainly showing its age, but unless that beam is showing signs of failing (hard to tell from the photo), i wouldnt be rushing to the store to replace the deck unless you hate the deck.

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