Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement: Which is Right for You?

Royal Deck Expert Deck Builder > Resurfacing > Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement: Which is Right for You?

If you have an outdated deck that has seen better days, you may be wondering about whether you need deck resurfacing vs. deck replacement. There are a number of reasons why one may be a better option over the other.

In this blog, the deck builders at Royal Deck in Atlanta will share their expertise about the differences between deck resurfacing vs. deck replacement, and the benefits and downfalls of each to better help you choose the right option for your deck.

What is the difference between deck resurfacing vs. deck replacement?

If your deck is looking worn and outdated, you might be wondering whether you should resurface or replace it. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on the condition of your deck and your goals for the space. Here are the key differences between both.

Category Deck Resurfacing Deck Replacement
Definition Deck resurfacing involves replacing the deck boards on an existing structure while keeping the underlying frame and supports intact. Deck replacement is the complete tear-down of the old deck and the construction of a new one, including the structure and foundation.
When to Choose – The structural frame is still solid and stable. – The deck’s structure is compromised (e.g., rot, instability).
Benefits – Cost-effective.

– Less time-consuming than a full replacement.

– Allows redesign and customization.

– Ensures safety with a completely new structure.

Downsides – Limited to the original deck design.

– Cannot fix structural issues.

– More expensive.

– More time-consuming.

Cost Comparison: Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement

When considering whether to resurface or replace your deck, cost is often a deciding factor. While specific prices can vary widely based on materials, size, and location of the deck, understanding the general financial implications of each option is important in choosing the best option for your deck.

Deck Resurfacing:

  • Cost-effective: Resurfacing a deck is generally more affordable than a full replacement as it involves only replacing the deck boards and visible parts.
  • Minimal structural changes: Deck resurfacing allows you to refresh the look of your deck without the expense and labor involved in reconstructing the underlying structure.
  • Extended lifespan: Resurfacing can significantly extend the life of your deck at a lower cost, ideal for decks with a solid and stable frame.

Deck Replacement:

  • Higher initial cost: Replacing a deck is more costly because it involves complete demolition and rebuilding from the ground up, including new framing, posts, and potentially new foundations.
  • Safety and compliance: A full deck replacement is often necessary if the existing structure is unsafe or compromised, ensuring compliance with current building codes.
  • Increased property value: Although it requires a larger upfront investment, a new deck can add more value to your home and provide a longer lifespan without frequent repairs.

Both options come with their own set of financial and practical benefits. Deck resurfacing can be a more budget-friendly choice that still enhances your outdoor space, while replacement can offer a completely new start with greater customization and potentially a better return on investment.

Not sure whether to resurface or replace your deck? Let Royal Deck help you make the right choice. Our experts are ready to assess your deck’s condition and guide you through every step of the decision-making process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Design and Aesthetic Considerations: Deck Resurface vs. Deck Replacement

When updating your deck, many homeowners place high value on design and aesthetics in the decision-making process. Here’s how resurfacing and replacement differ in terms of design flexibility and customization options.

Deck Design:

  • Deck Resurfacing: While resurfacing a deck provides a fresh look, it is limited to the existing deck layout and structure. This option is ideal if you are satisfied with your deck’s current design and primarily need to refresh its appearance.
  • Deck Replacement: Replacement allows for a complete design overhaul. You can reconfigure the layout, change dimensions, or incorporate new features such as built-in seating or multiple levels. It offers the flexibility to truly tailor the deck to your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.

Customization Options:

  • Resurfacing Limitations: Resurfacing is generally confined to the material and color of the deck boards. You can choose from a variety of modern composites or traditional woods, but the structural design remains unchanged.
  • Replacement Possibilities: With a full deck replacement, you have the opportunity to customize every aspect of the deck. From the choice of materials to the style of railings and the integration of lighting systems, replacement opens up a wide array of customization options to suit your specific tastes and needs.

Both resurfacing and replacement can enhance your deck’s appearance, but the choice depends on how much change you’re looking for. If you need help or guidance in making your decision, Royal Deck is happy to help! Contact us today!

Maintenance and Durability of Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement

When upgrading your deck, choosing the right materials is going to make a significant difference in the long-term durability and ease of maintenance. Both composite and PVC materials offer major advantages over traditional natural wood, especially when it comes to longevity and weather resistance.

Here are a few reasons why upgrading to these materials can be beneficial, whether you choose to resurface or replace your deck:

Longevity of Deck Materials:

  • Composite and PVC: These popular decking materials are known for their durability and long life spans. Unlike natural wood, composite and PVC are resistant to rot, decay, and pest infestations, which will significantly extend the life of your deck. They maintain their appearance and integrity for many years with minimal maintenance making them the ideal choice.
  • Natural Wood: While offering classic good looks, natural wood requires regular maintenance including sanding, staining, and sealing to prevent deterioration. Over time, wood is more susceptible to environmental damage, which can shorten its lifespan.

Better Low-Maintenance Option:

  • Composite and PVC: These deck materials require very little upkeep compared to wood. They do not need staining or sealing and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. This makes them a convenient option for homeowners looking to reduce ongoing maintenance efforts.
  • Natural Wood: Traditional wood decks demand continuous maintenance to keep them in good condition, which can be both time-consuming and costly over the years.

Superior Weather Resistance:

  • Composite and PVC: These modern materials are highly resistant to weather conditions including rain, sun, and snow. Their color does not fade easily under UV exposure, and they do not warp, crack, or swell like wood can in varying climates.
  • Natural Wood: Wood decks can suffer from weather-related issues like fading, warping, and water damage, all of which require additional care and maintenance to manage.

Upgrading to composite or PVC materials when resurfacing or replacing will enhance your deck’s aesthetic appeal while providing a practical, low-maintenance solution that withstands the elements better than natural wood.

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Timeline and Disruption of Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement

Both a deck resurfacing project and a total deck replacement will cause some disruption to your schedule. Understanding these timelines helps manage expectations and minimize the impact on your household.

  • Timeline:
    Deck resurfacing usually takes a few days to a week, depending on the size and condition of the original deck. Factors like weather conditions and material availability can extend this timeline.A full deck replacement usually requires one to three weeks, as it involves more extensive demolition and reconstruction. Delays may occur due to permitting requirements or unexpected structural issues.
  • Disruption:
    During resurfacing, your deck might be unusable for several days, causing minimal disruption.Replacement involves longer periods of downtime, majorly impacting daily life as the entire structure is rebuilt. Planning your project during off-seasons or times when outdoor usage is less necessary can mitigate the inconvenience.

Safety Considerations of a Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement

Both deck resurfacing and replacement projects often require adherence to local building codes and may necessitate permits. For resurfacing, permits might be required if structural changes are made, though this is less common. Deck replacement typically requires a permit since it involves dismantling and rebuilding, which must comply with the latest building standards to ensure safety.

Deck replacement also offers an opportunity to enhance safety that resurfacing cannot match. By rebuilding the deck, you can incorporate modern safety features such as:

  •  Improved railings
  • Non-slip surfaces
  • More durable materials
  • Correction of previous code violations
  • Structural weaknesses

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Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement: Making the Right Choice With Royal Deck

Deciding between deck resurfacing and replacement can significantly impact both the functionality and aesthetic of your outdoor space. As we’ve explored in this blog, each option offers distinct benefits and considerations, from cost to design flexibility, maintenance requirements, and overall durability.

Whether you’re looking to simply refresh your deck’s appearance or undertake a full redesign and rebuild, the choice you make will influence your enjoyment and use of your outdoor area for years to come.

Contact Royal Deck today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards transforming your old deck!

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