Can I Reuse An Old Deck Framing?
Although the option to reuse an old deck framing for your upcoming project sounds tempting, it might not always turn out as advantageous as you’d think.
Decks are about the only type of remodel work that has its framing exposed to the elements. Water, insects, humidity, and dryness have different effects on the wood, but all of them are damaging.
To reuse an old deck framing for your upcoming outdoor space means sabotaging yourself.
In this guide we uncover everything that’s wrong with old decking frames. You’ll discover how vulnerable lumber is, and why your deck needs to be structurally sound for you and your loved ones.
Let’s dive in!
New decking Frame vs. Old decking frame
Your home’s framing is protected by layers of paint, caulk, siding, and (on newer homes) a water barrier. They protect your home’s framing from every challenge mother nature may bring.
On the other hand, your deck’s framing is exposed year-round to rain, snow, UV rays, and bugs. Because of this, your deck framing is likely to fail well before your home’s frame.
Fascia issues are a common problem we see in most old deck framing. When installing the fascia flush with the decking, you risk trapping water between the wood, causing rot ahead of time.
On newer decks, the fascia goes under the decking overhang of the border to allow water to fall off your deck. This method ensures no water touches your rim joists, making your frame last longer.
How To Tell If Your Deck's Framing Needs Attention
Top 5 things I look for when examining a deck’s framing
In short, if anything is beginning to rot or decay, it’s definitely time to replace.
Less Obvious Framing Problems
Decks with no obvious framing problems are the most troublesome and dangerous spaces. These are the ones that look a little weathered and make you think a new paint job would work.
This is where it gets a little harder to determine the real issues that put your life in danger.
We’ve learned that most problems start on the inside of the wood, while its outside would still look in good shape. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve cut into what appeared to be a good old deck framing just to find the inside completely rotted.
Such problems start from small screw holes in the top of the joists or beams that might seem unimportant. However, these holes trap water inside the lumber, causing rot and decay in the wood without anyone seeing it.
Other times, the rot inside the lumber is caused by ants or termites. They nest inside the wood, eating and damaging it.
With time, the wood gets so weak that it can cause your decking frame to fail under pressure when you don’t expect it.
How Do You Address A Deck repair?
99.9% of the time, the best way to ensure your deck is structurally sound is to start fresh. Hire a professional deck builder to have the peace of mind that your outdoor space is safe for you and your loved ones.
Trying to save an old deck’s framework means taking more time to remove the old decking frame, boards, and railings without damaging anything.
Squaring up the old deck framing and fixing any visible damage adds to the cost, but any issue inside the lumber will remain unfixed.
If you consider the extra work, time, and money you have to put in to make your old decking frame usable, you soon realize it’s not worth it.
And here’s the good news:
You’ll spend the same amount of money if you decide to start fresh with a new decking framing. Besides, your new decking frame will look much nicer with new “bones” to hold it up, and your safety will not be at risk anymore.
Choosing the decking material
The last thing to consider is the type of decking you will be installing. If you want low maintenance composite or PVC boards, we highly recommend new framing.
And for a few good reasons:
Warranty Is Important
Warranty is an essential aspect of any remodeling experience.
Our low maintenance decks come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. You’ll get to enjoy your outdoor space as long as possible.
Here at Hankins Decks, we figured homeowners appreciate a quality product designed to last a lifetime. You get a substantial warranty of materials and on our product because you’re at the front and center of our business.
The shortest answer to “can I reuse my old deck framing?” is yes, but you shouldn’t.
Your old decking frame comes with multiple problems from its previous life. Rotten lumber, soft patches, cracked or splintered wood, and termite damage cause your old decking frame to lose quality and reliability.
A severely damaged frame puts your life at risk every time you step on your deck.
If you were thinking about money, the costs to carefully remove the frame, the posts, and the railings pile up. When you’re ready to install the old frame back in place, you realize you would’ve spent the same amount of money for a new and better frame.
Check out this case study to better grasp how an old frame will put your life in danger.
Replacing the deck’s framing saves you a lot of money and headaches. Deck frame failures cause injuries every year, and our experts would never recommend trying to reuse an old, worn-out deck framing.
Your Deck Partner Just A Phone Call Away
If you’re in Kansas City and find yourself in need of a deck specialist that can help you bring your old deck to life, get in touch with us. We serve Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, and more of Johnson County – and we’d love to help you secure your deck.
Work together with one of our experts to ensure your deck is safe from top to bottom.
Find us at (913) 703-3257 and let’s get to work.