Deck Repair or Replacement: How to Redo a Deck for Cheap

You have decided that your deck has seen its best days and that it now needs some TLC or replacement. If the deck is not a safety hazard or doesn’t have some serious problems (e.g., substructure faults, lots of rotting wood, pest infestation), you may want to consider the cost of repairing versus replacing it. Here we have compiled some information on deck repair and replacement to help you out. 

Deck Repair Cost 

You will spend between $250 to $6,000 to repair your deck. On average, homeowners spent $1,808 on their deck repairs. Deck repair covers a wide variety of issues. It may include repairing railing, repairing parts of the deck, remedying popped screws and nails, anchoring the deck boards, removing mold and rot, removing mildew, and/or pest control. Also, don’t forget to add in the labor costs for doing the work and the possibility of doing unexpected repairs after the contractor starts tearing apart your deck to make the agreed-upon repairs.

Before you sign with a contractor, get several quotes. One or more contractors may identify a problem or potential problem with your deck that other contractors missed. Also, if you have at least three quotes, you are more likely to be able to negotiate a lower job estimate with the contractor of your choice.

Some average deck repair costs are:

Type of Repair Average Cost
Damaged Deck Boards $1,280
Loose Deck Stairs $150 – $300
Missing Deck Nails $5 – $10
Mold, Mildew, and Rot $200 – $500
Damaged Deck Railing $400 – $500
Termite and Pest Treatment $100 – $300
Stain and Seal $3.50/sq. ft

Deck Replacement Options

If you want to replace your wooden deck with cheaper material or just something different, then consider the wide array of alternative deck materials on the market. Alternative decking options include:

  • Composite Decking 
  • PVC Decking 
  • Vinyl Decking Systems
  • Aluminum Decking
  • Vinyl Tiles
  • Bamboo Decking
  • Rubber Paver Tiles
  • Interlocking Grass Deck Tiles
  • Marine Flooring Composite Decking Synthetic Sheet
  • Interlocking Garage Flooring Tiles
  • Duragrid 12×12 Plastic Interlocking Decking Tiles
  • Ultrashield Naturale Outdoor Decking Tile
  • Slate Flex Multi-Purpose Interlocking Textured PVC Floor Tiles
  • Interlocking Patio Square Tile Flooring
  • Ultrashield 12×12 Spanish Walnut Wood
  • Outdoor Composite Quick Deck Tile

Before selecting one, I suggest that you consider how it will look when it’s finished. Also, figure out if it will increase or decrease the value of your home, maintenance costs, and the overall pros and cons of each material. Also, factor in the cost of putting the deck railing and which types of material you will use for the deck railing. Ideally, you will use materials that complement each other. So, you may have to replace all your deck railings if you choose a dissimilar material in character and appearance to the material you originally used for your deck.

Deck Replacement Cost 

If you choose to replace your deck, the cost can range from $14,360 for a wood deck to $19,856 for a composite deck. The cost will largely vary based on the type of new material used, the size of your deck, and whether you are required to replace or repair the deck railings and substructure. The deck replacement costs are also affected by how much of the old material you reuse, if you can get a reduced price for your materials and if you do some of the work yourself. 

Cost to Replace Deck Railing 

The cost of your deck railing will be based on several factors. The factors include the material, design complexity, location, contractor’s experience, and size and height of the deck. The material cost will range from $15 to $600 per foot. Labor costs are generally billed at $30 per linear foot. Finally, do not forget to calculate the costs of any permits needed before the contractor replaces the deck railing. Permit costs are usually $20 to $30. Overall, replacing more expensive decking can cost you as much as $5,000.

To get an idea of what deck railing materials cost per linear foot, look at the chart below.

Type of Material Cost per linear foot
Wood $40 – $50
Vinyl (PVC) $20 – $40
Aluminum  $40 – $70
Composite $15 – $30
Trex  $20 – $35
Cable $50 – $200
Glass $100 – $600
Wrought Iron $50 – $120
Stainless Steel $30 – $80
Poly or plastic $25 – $70

Average Cost to Build A Deck 

The average cost to build a deck will vary based on the types of materials you used for the deck, railings, and stairs. Other considerations are the deck’s size, style, landscaping, amenities, and elevation. Homeowners may also have to pay out money for building permits, taxes, and additional insurance to cover the deck. 

Let’s look at some of the factors that can affect the cost of your newly built deck. When building your deck, you may opt to install the following:

  • Deck fireplace and fire pit
  • Deck enclosure
  • Have screened in deck
  • Built-in deck seating
  • Deck planter boxes
  • Hot tub
  • Outdoor deck shower
  • Outdoor kitchen on the deck
  • Build a pergola or roof over the deck
  • Deck skirting

The costs of adding those items will depend on how upscale your design is and the amount of work and labor that must be put into incorporate them into your deck. 

Another consideration you’ll have to make is the location of your deck. Nowadays, you can integrate decks into the design of your home. So, do you want a secluded deck, wrap-around deck, complimentary landscaping, existing trees cut down or integrated into your design, sun exposure for your deck, or on which level(s) of the structure would you like the deck (e.g., low, mid-, or high-elevation decks)?

If all this cost estimation makes you dizzy, perhaps you want to hire an architect to design your deck for you. The architect can look at your property, budget, and listen to your ideas about the deck and its future uses and then design something that will best fit your home. Alas, this is another fee that you must calculate into your budget, but it may be well worth it if you get a chance at designing the deck of your dreams!

Cheapest Ways to Build A Deck 

Trying to save money? Who isn’t?! Well, there are some ways that you can save money on your deck repair or replacement. One thing you definitely shouldn’t do is build over the previous old deck. That is a really bad idea and doesn’t fix the problems with the old deck. It actually amplifies them. So, what can you do? You can reuse old material, do some or all of the work yourself, use cheaper material, buy material yourself, and use a simple deck design. Other cheap ways to build a deck include building a pallet deck, not using any pre-treated wood, only using standard-sized materials for your deck (i.e., no customization), or creating a sealant yourself to preserve the deck.

Cheaper Options Than Decking

Perhaps you are set on having a deck, but you want something more budget-friendly, don’t like wood, or you just want a different look for your deck. There are other more budget-friendly materials that you can use for your deck. These materials include plastic or PVC decking, rubber paving, composite decking tiles, aluminum decking, enhanced wood decking, and concrete and stone decking. 

Before you make your final decision, look at more than the cost of the material and installation. You want to know the life span of the material, maintenance requirements, how and if it will affect the value of your home, and its pros and cons. Remember, cheap doesn’t mean ugly or poor performing. It just means you saved money and got a great deck, too!

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