Resurfacing vs rebuild deck

Resurfacing vs. Replacement

Deck Makeover: Resurfacing vs. Replacement


Deciding between deck resurfacing and replacement is a common challenge for homeowners in Crystal Lake, IL. A recent study shows that regular maintenance can extend a deck’s life by several years.

This article will guide you through choosing the best option for your deck makeover, focusing on cost-effectiveness and durability. Keep reading to find out more!


Deck Resurfacing vs. Deck Replacement: Pros and Cons


  1. Cost Savings

Resurfacing your old deck can be more cost-effective than a complete replacement. This method involves replacing only the worn-out or damaged boards and the deck surface, rather than the entire structure. By fixing only what is necessary, you can avoid the higher costs associated with demolishing and rebuilding a new deck from scratch.


Choosing materials like composite decking for resurfacing can also contribute to long-term savings. Although initially more expensive than wood, composite materials require minimal maintenance, resulting in lower repair and upkeep costs over time.


  1. Reduced Construction Time

Opting for deck resurfacing instead of a full replacement can  reduce construction time. A complete replacement involves dismantling the entire deck. In contrast, resurfacing typically only requires replacing the deck boards and railings, making it a much quicker process. This means you can enjoy your updated outdoor space sooner without the extended disruptions of a complete rebuild.


Reduced construction time is particularly appealing if you have an upcoming event or if time is a critical factor. It allows you to quickly improve your deck’s appearance and safety without sacrificing too much of your valuable time.


  1. Maintaining Original Deck Footprint

Keeping your deck’s original footprint can save time and hassle by eliminating the need for new permits or designs, which can slow down the project. This approach allows you to maintain the existing structure of your wood deck, making it a faster solution compared to building a new one from scratch. It also minimizes disruption to your yard and surrounding landscaping.


However, choosing to maintain the original footprint may limit your options for changing the size or style of your deck during the makeover. You’ll need to work with the existing layout, making minor adjustments instead of major transformations. Homeowners should assess whether their current deck layout meets their needs before deciding on resurfacing over replacement.


  1. Limitations of Resurfacing (Cannot Fix Structural Issues)

Resurfacing your deck has its limitations, as it cannot address underlying structural issues such as a deteriorating ledger board, weakened beams, or rotting joists. While resurfacing can improve the appearance and functionality of the deck surface, it does not resolve fundamental safety and integrity concerns that may be present in an aging deck.


If your existing deck has structural problems, a complete replacement might be the safer and more prudent choice to ensure long-term durability and safety.


  1. Potential for Longer-Lasting Solution with Full Replacement

Choosing a complete deck replacement can provide a more durable, long-term solution. By replacing old, worn-out components, you can ensure the structural integrity and safety of your deck. Upgrading to new materials can also extend the life of your deck, providing peace of mind and improved functionality.


Best Deck Material Manufacturers

When selecting materials for your deck makeover, consider these top-quality manufacturers:


  1. Deckorators: Best In class composite decking, known for its mineral based composite offering durability and low maintenance needs.
  2. TimberTech: Renowned for high-performance, low-maintenance composite deck materials with a wide range of colors.
  3. Fiberon: Offers a broad selection of composite decking with unmatched beauty and durability.
  4. Azek: Specializes in high-quality, weather-resistant PVC decking for a long-lasting outdoor space.


Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider


Age and Safety of Current Deck

Consider the age and safety of your current deck by thoroughly inspecting all components, such as the ledger board, beams, joists, fascia board, flashing, posts, railing, and deck surface. Ensure that all elements are in good condition and structurally sound to create a safer outdoor space for your family. If you notice cracked or splintered boards or loose railings during the inspection, it may be time to decide between resurfacing or full replacement based on the extent of wear and tear. If your wood deck is 20+ years old it may be towards the end of its lifespan.


Inspection of Deck Components

– Ledger Board: Ensure it is securely attached to the house with no signs of damage or missing hardware

– Beams: Check for signs of rot or structural damage caused by pests.

– Joists: Examine for sagging, splitting, rot or corrosion.

– Fascia Board: Inspect for decay or water damage.

– Flashing: Ensure proper installation and intactness to prevent water intrusion.

– Posts: Check for stability and signs of rot at ground level.


Analyzing these components is crucial in determining whether resurfacing or replacement is necessary based on the deck’s current condition and age.


Cost Considerations

When considering cost, factor in the expenses for resurfacing versus full replacement. Resurfacing can be more budget-friendly as it usually requires less labor and fewer materials. However, keep in mind that while full replacement may have a higher initial cost, it could result in long-term savings by preventing frequent repairs and providing an opportunity to upgrade to more durable materials.


Moreover, inspect your deck thoroughly to determine if simple repairs will suffice or if a complete overhaul is necessary. Don’t overlook the potential for increased safety and enhanced aesthetics when factoring in the costs of either option.


Desire for Updates or Upgrades

If you want updates or upgrades for your deck, resurfacing may not fully meet your needs. Upgrading to new materials and features allows for a fresh look and improved functionality. Incorporating modern deck materials can provide durability and aesthetic appeal for an updated outdoor space, ensuring a safer choice for your home.


Consider the opportunity to restyle and renovate with newer deck boards, stairs, railings, or frames. This step is essential when focusing on remodeling and bringing nitty-gritty details up-to-date without compromising safety.


Deck Makeover: Resurfacing vs. Replacement FAQ’s

What’s the difference between deck resurfacing and replacement?

Resurfacing involves replacing only the deck boards and railing, making your deck look new without altering the existing framing. Replacement means we tear down your old deck completely and build a new one from the ground up.

Resurfacing is best for decks that are structurally sound but need a facelift, while replacement is necessary when the entire deck, including its structure, is worn or compromised.


How do I know if my deck needs resurfacing or a full replacement?

The first step is a thorough inspection. Check for signs of structural damage like rotted joists or a deteriorating ledger board attached to the house. If the main framework of your deck is structurally sound and your deck’s current condition mainly involves surface-level wear and tear, resurfacing might be an option to consider.

However, for older decks with underlying structural issues, a complete replacement is often more cost-effective in the long run.


Is composite decking better than wood?

Composite decking offers durability and minimal maintenance compared to traditional wood decks. It’s made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, making it resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage.

Composite boards also come in various colors and textures that mimic natural wood. If you’re looking for eco-friendly decking that lasts longer without the need for frequent stain or paint, composite is a great investment.


What are the main advantages of deck replacement?

Replacing your entire deck allows for a complete redesign of your outdoor space, the opportunity to correct any structural issues from scratch, and the option to use modern, durable materials like composite decking for minimal maintenance.

A brand new deck can increase your home’s value and provide a safer, more attractive space for relaxation and entertainment.


How much does it cost to resurface or replace a deck?

The cost varies widely based on the size of your deck, the materials chosen (like eco-friendly composite boards vs. traditional wood), and the project’s complexity.

Resurfacing is generally less expensive than a full replacement  by 20%-30% because it requires less materials.




When considering a deck makeover in Omaha, NE, homeowners must weigh the pros and cons of resurfacing versus replacement. Factors such as cost, construction time, maintenance of the original footprint, and the desire for updates or upgrades should be carefully evaluated. Inspecting the age and safety of your current deck, as well as the condition of its components, will help you make an informed decision.


Ultimately, the choice between deck resurfacing and replacement depends on your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals for your outdoor living space. By considering the factors outlined in this article and consulting with a professional deck contractor, you can determine the best course of action for your deck makeover project.


Trust the Experts in Composite Deck Installation

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options or are ready to start building, Decked Out Builders is here to be your trusted deck-building partner. Our team of skilled professionals has decades of experience as premier composite deck builders in Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about composite decking materials and can help you schedule a design consultation when you’re ready to move forward.

In addition to custom composite decks, we offer a range of other outdoor living services, including porches, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and more. Browse our portfolio of showpiece custom decks and request your free quote today to start turning your outdoor living dreams into reality.