Maybe you’ve moved into a new Virginia home and need to replace the aging deck. Or perhaps you’ve been saving your pennies and now it’s time to renovate your existing Virginia deck, transforming it into the outdoor living space you’ve always wanted. Whatever the reason, deck renovations and replacements bring their own sets of unique challenges to the backyard.
Does Your Existing Deck Need to Be Removed?
Deck extensions can be added to the existing structure, but only if the framing and posts are sound and stable. Does the existing framing meet local building codes, including spacing and size of the framing lumber? Are the posts concreted into the ground or secured to concrete piers to resist heaving and movement during the winter months?
If you’re not confident that the existing framing and posts are safe and solid, it’s better to plan for a complete removal and start fresh.
Deck Removal Basics
The ledger board is attached to the house and runs the width of your Virginia deck. In order to remove this vital piece of structural framing you’ll need to rip off the deck boards and either cut off or remove the fasteners.
Posts can be cut off at ground level, with the concrete either left in the ground and covered or completely removed. Be very careful when dismantling walkout decks and any deck surface that’s more than a few feet off of the ground. It’s best to trust a contractor for that job, and contact experienced installers who can safely take down decks of any height.
Haul the old decking material away or donate it to a local used building supply store. Treated lumber cannot be burned, due to harmful chemicals in the wood. Your contractor will need to charge for both removal and haulage, so be sure to account for those additional fees in your budget.
Designing a New Virginia Deck
Whether you have removed the existing deck or are extending it, you’ll need to sit down with a decking contractor and design the ideal space for your family. Consider new low maintenance materials like composite decking or vinyl decking. These products come in a variety of colors and textures, often providing the look of real wood without the fuss of staining.
Think about new products available for your railing as well. Tempered glass provides a clear view and optimum safety, although it’s not easy to install these panels down your deck stairs. How about installing an aluminum frame around the glass railing, and opting for aluminum picket down the stairs? This type of combo provides a sleek look to your new deck, and aluminum is an excellent maintenance-free solution.
Remember to design big. Many homeowners complain about their decks being too small – design your new deck to provide all of the space your family needs. Include multiple layers, landings and features that help to create privacy. Overhead structures provide shade and taller, more solid railings can block the wind and help make the space more private.
Work within your budget and have a professional contractor design the best Virginia deck for your property. This is the year to say goodbye to your existing backyard space and plan for a revitalized, ultra comfortable outdoor living space with your new deck or deck extension.