Giving New Life to an Old Deck

Michael and Jessica's deck
Michael and Jessica’s old deck supports new composite decking that they can enjoy for years to come.

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Michael and Jessica Zoghby share a beautiful home with their two sons, Michael and George.
They’ve lived there about four years and love the home’s location, layout and yard filled with lush landscaping, but the deck is an eyesore. It has rotting wood, peeling paint, and raises concerns about safety.

We’re going to install composite decking, composite handrails and some lights to transform this space.

The Projects

Remove Deck Boards and Handrails

Deck with rotting wood
This deck has rotting wood, peeling paint and it will soon be unsafe.

First, we check out the deck’s framing to ensure it’s structurally sound and can support new Trex composite decking.

The deck’s framing is strong, so we can proceed with the project, and Jessica uses a deck wrecker to lift the old boards.
We need to reduce the space between joists, so we add some new ones.

Install Trex RainEscape

Trex RainEscape installation
Michael installs the Trex RainEscape drainage system just beneath his deck.

Michael says he would love to use space under the deck for storing lawn equipment, so we’re using the Trex RainEscape system. It will divert any water that comes between the deck boards, pushing it into a gutter and keeping it away from under the deck.

First, we install downspouts at one end. Then, we take the flexible trough material, bend it into place, where it drains into the downspout, and then add a gutter underneath the downspouts that will pull all the water away from the deck.

Jessica installs composite decking
Jessica drills deck screws into the composite decking’s fasteners. These fasteners ensure the deck has uniform gaps between boards.

Install New Composite Decking

We’ve cut an additional stringer for the stairs so the composite decking is well supported.

Then we cover the old wood joists with tape flashing. Shielding the wood joists helps protect them from the elements and extends their life.

Composite decking is DIY-friendly because it includes fasteners that screw into the joists and create uniform gaps. And that look will last, since composite decking doesn’t expand and contract.

Next, we install skirt boards while Michael and Jessica install the deck boards on their own.

The process goes faster than you might think.

“I imagined it would take days to put down a deck, and it took a couple of hours,” Jessica says.

Install New Handrails

Deck posts, after shot
These vinyl covers easily fit over the old wood posts, and the new white rails contrast nicely with the black balusters.

To add new handrails, first, we need to place all the balusters. Then, we make sure they stay that way by squeezing the two rails together with a ratchet strap.

Next, we install the mounting brackets on the ends of the rails. Those brackets will secure the rails to the posts.

The posts are in good shape, but they’re weathered and look unattractive. We can instantly make a difference by encapsulating them with vinyl covers that even include a baseboard. As a bonus, LED lights are built into every column cap.

We also:
• Clean and reinstall existing lattice
• Pressure wash bricks and stepping stones
• Install riser lights on the stairs
• Add plants and planters

Post-Production Thoughts

Danny, with homeowners Michael and Jessica Zoghby and their children.
“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford, with homeowners Jessica and Michael Zoghby, and their children.

Michael and Jessica’s deck was a great size in a great location, with a great view, but the years hadn’t been kind to it.

The peeling paint and rotting wood made it unattractive and unsafe.

But now, the deck that was an eyesore has become a showplace.
This new composite decking will not only offer years of worry-free use, it looks fabulous while it’s doing it.
The color of the surface complements the house beautifully, while the white rails and black balusters create just enough contrast to make sure that the neighbors notice.

The lighting we added blends in so well you won’t even know it’s there until the sun goes down, and the RainEscape system allows Michael plenty of covered storage under the deck and out of sight.

At about $7,500 for materials, this is a little pricier than many of our projects, but it’s hard to argue with the results.

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    I enjoyed the deck updates today and look amazing.. I could only wish was our deck updated by our pool.. we iwned a precious deck and was hard to maintain and swore if I ever get another deck it would be the composite.. But was pricy and when we got our pool we could not afford composite.. My husband is now need of knee surgery and after watching your show today I feel we may have hope to update our deck with vinyl and composite like you did on your show .. well I guess someday hopefully we will ? was inspiring though and loved to see the Grandkids ?

  2. Hello my name is Anton.
    I am considering to replace existing 300 square wood decking with new Red Ceader decking. I need to remove existing pressure treatment scrowed decking. HOW TO REMOVE EXISTINF DECKING 60 % of screws can not be unscrewed.
    Thanks Anton


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