“The ultimate luxury is being able to relax and enjoy your home.” — Jeff Lincoln
Old wooden decks require continuous maintenance. Winter weather conditions can quickly age an all-wood deck prematurely.
Each spring homeowner’s tasks include maintenance, such as power washing all decks and outdoor stairs to remove the build-up of dirt and slippery, ugly mildew. A thorough power wash often reveals areas of chipped paint or the appearance of undesirable weathered deck stain.
If decking or railing are left unsealed wood rot will eventually set in. The wood-to-wood contact of unsealed deck boards with the support joists can also encourage dry rot conditions of the decking and supporting frame due to contact with continued moisture.
Solutions for Replacing Wooden Deck Materials
A better solution to an all-wood deck is to remove as much of the maintenance-intensive materials as possible and replace them with better material options.
Low maintenance composite decking, pressure-treated lumber for the railing frame and posts, and modern stainless steel balusters are what we chose for our deck remodel. Keep in mind that I am a determined 5 foot, 69-year-old woman. If I can do a DIY deck remodel you can do this, too!
Ordering Modern Decking Materials
Once you determine the square footage of your deck boards and the linear measurement for the deck railing it’s time to order the materials. You can choose to have everything delivered for ease. I found the fee was minimal for the convenience.
Items to order:
- Composite decking
- Hidden deck fasteners (great option, only 1/2 the work), plus a package of extra drill bits because they wear out quickly
- Pressure treated 2×4’s in needed lengths and 3” deck screws
- Insta-rail stainless steel tube railing kits
- Stain or sealer for the pressure-treated wooden frame and posts
Keep in mind composite decking boards have grooves on the sides to secure the hidden fasteners. They also come non-grooved. We ordered some non-grooved boards equal to the handrail’s linear measurement in the same color for the finished cap.
You will need straight, pressure-treated 2×4’s in various sizes equal to the linear feet for the handrail frame. It will consist of the bottom rail, top rail, and cap board. Essentially, calculate three 2×4 boards for every linear foot of the handrail measurement. (NOTE: The composite cap is installed on top of the pressure-treated cap board.)
We choose the taller, 42 in. H x 72 in. W Insta Tube Vertical Stainless Steel Tube Kit for Deck Railings that you can order online from Home Depot. (They also have 36” high baluster tube kits) The sturdy and slender stainless steel baluster tubes create a modern and visually appealing look.
Stainless steel is also low maintenance! Each railing kit covers 6 linear feet and includes: top and bottom track, balusters, screws, and top and bottom baluster attachments.
It is easy to follow the > Insta Tube Vertical Railing System Directions
You will need a cordless driver for screws and a hacksaw or grinder to cut the tracks to the desired lengths. Be sure to use a level when building the wooden frame while measuring the correct distance between the top and bottom board for the balusters. It is not hard to make adjustments as you go.
DIY Deck Remodel Images
I took pictures to illustrate the DIY deck remodeling process. I decided to tear off the old deck boards as I went so I had a place to stand while installing the new decking. Luckily the support posts were in the right place and in great condition. I only had to add three additional posts which you may also consider when calculating the materials needed for your deck remodel.
Remember to keep the old decking boards and wooden railing materials that are in decent condition. Balusters and old decking can easily be repurposed or up-cycled.
I have made outdoor furniture, picture frames, and even wall art out of old decking materials.
The image on the right is an example of an outdoor table made from old wooden 2×2 balusters and the trim from some pressure treated wood.
Use your imagination to see how you can reuse these materials to keep them out of the landfill. Plus, I found it extremely satisfying to make useful and creative items from these salvaged materials.
Please, if you have any questions on the modern deck remodeling process it’s easy to leave a comment so I can share tips and help you with your DIY deck update.
James B says
Wow it looks amazing🤗 Great pictures very well written article
Sandy Breckenridge says
Thanks James! So glad you enjoyed the article and my experience updating the old deck and adding a modern more streamlined look.
Diana-Lynn B Makes says
Ah NO. I cannot do a DIY deck remodel. YOU ARE AMAZING!
Sandy Breckenridge says
Oh Diana, I bet you could. But it does take some desire and the right tools really help! I love my Milwaukee Driver and Drill because they fit my small hands! Perfect girl tools, but also wonderful for manly guys, too. LOL