First Things First:
The cure for a day spent staring at a computer screen is sitting on your deck, watching the sunset, glass of rosé in hand. It almost makes you forget what a pain in the *ss that deck was to build (unless you shell out the cash to have someone do it for you—more on that later). Homeowners typically spend between $734 and $2,636 on deck repairs, with an average of $1,685, according to HomeAdvisor.
Giving It a Refresh:
A new finish is an effective, inexpensive way to rejuvenate a wooden deck. Refinishing a 10 x 12-foot deck costs $350 to $780. Finishes include sealers that preserve the wood’s look, semi-transparent and semi-solid stains that bring out the wood grains but tint the color, and solid stains and paints that change the color.
Rebuilding the Whole Deck:
If the deck is old or decrepit, removal costs $5 to $15 per square foot, so taking down a 10 x 12-foot deck would set you back about $1,200. A new wood deck costs an average of $14,360, according to Remodeling magazine, and a new composite deck is over 5 grand more at $19,856. For a few hundred bucks, you can add a trellis or pergola to your deck, then let plants climb along them to provide shade and privacy. The options are basically endless when it comes to designs.
Broken decks are unsafe. If you’re only dealing with some deck boards or railings that are rotten, decaying, or broken, replacing those specific sections starts at about $200.
Replacing the decking for a 10 x 12-foot deck starts at $2,400 for treated lumber, $3,600 for cedar, $3,900 for composite materials, and $6,000 for redwood. Railings are extra and offer a range of design options. Cedar is a popular and inexpensive deck choice, but after a few years, it starts to turn gray and dingy if you don’t treat it once a summer.
Fixing the Railings:
Sturdy railings are a necessity. Costs for repairing broken or wobbly railings depend on the materials and extent of the damage, but typically start at $250. Upgrading railings, even if they’re not broken, can really take your deck from meh to major: Going from basic 2 x 2-inch wood balusters to decorative aluminum rails, for example, makes a big impact. New railing for a 10 x 12-foot deck starts at $420 for wood, $1,280 for aluminum, $1,590 for composites, $2,360 for cables, and $3,200 for glass.
It’s all in the details. Upgrading your outdoor lighting starts at less than $200, which is great for ambiance and for safety (consider putting them near seating areas and along stairs). Solar lights are a good option (around $70 a piece) if you want to avoid electrical work. For about $140 a piece, you can add built-in planters to give the space come color — for about $75, you can install lattice panels that allow flowers to climb and keep nosy neighbors from peeping.
You know you want a hot tub. They start at $3,000 installed.
Illustrations & Design by Nicole Pivirotto, Animation by Eddie Phan
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