Is Re-Decking a Good Investment?

June 21, 2018

You still love your outdoor living space, but there’s no doubt, it’s seen better days. Splintering, discolorations, and stains — when your deck was new, it was the crown jewel of your backyard, but now it’s an eyesore.

You need to do something, and fortunately, you have options. You can build an updated outdoor living space or you can opt for re-decking or deck restoration.

old wooden deck boards

Nowadays, tons of companies promote the service of re-decking, during which they replace the beat-up deck boards but leave the rest of the deck the same. Re-decking is seen as a way to get a seemingly brand-new deck for less time and less money. But is it really a good investment compared to building a new outdoor living space of your dreams?

7 Reasons Why Building New is Better than Re-Decking

While re-decking looks great on paper, we’ve seen it let a lot of homeowners down in practice. Here are the 7 reasons that it makes more sense to build a stunning new deck than to choose deck restoration.


  1. Limited Design Options — When you build from the ground up, the sky is the limit. You have nearly unlimited creative possibilities. Whether you want to build a covered porch, a two-story deck, or something equally exciting, the freedom to do what you want is yours. Deck designs have only gotten more ambitious and exciting, and your new project can be on the cutting-edge. On the other hand, if you go with re-decking, you’ll have a state-of-the-art deck, circa 1999 — and it’ll show its age right away.
  2. Less Savings than You Think — The prospect of saving money is the big reason that re-decking has such an appeal, but once again, it sounds better than it is. When you go with a deck restoration, you don’t have to pay for the frame, only the deck boards. Here’s the thing though: framing is the cheapest part of the deck. Deck restoration only really saves the frame, and that doesn’t provide you enough savings to make it worthwhile. We compare re-decking to repairing a broken-down 1994 Dodge Dart because it has new tires.
  3. Holes in Your Warranty — At Keystone Custom Decks, we stand behind our work with an iron-clad warranty, and most reputable deck companies do the same thing. However, contractors can only stand behind the work they do, so if you choose re-decking, you’ll likely ONLY get a warranty to cover the new deck boards — not your foundation. If you build new, you get a full-coverage warranty.
  4. Old Structure Can’t Always Go Composite — When you keep a 15 to 20-year-old deck structure, you get 15 to 20 years of performance from it. Depending on joist placement, some older deck foundations can’t provide proper support for low-maintenance, ultra-popular composite decking. So if you choose re-decking, you may end up being stuck with outdated wood deck boards. Learn more about composite vs wooden decks.
  5. No Outdoor KitchensOutdoor kitchens are one of the hottest additions to any outdoor living space. People absolutely love cooking gourmet meals at a full kitchen on their deck or porch. When you build a new space, you can center it around your custom outdoor kitchen. Unfortunately, re-decking a 15 or 20-year-old structure won’t give you the strength to incorporate a true outdoor kitchenLearn more about the hottest deck accessories.
  6. Your Deck May not Meet Building Codes — Another result of placing a fresh set of boards on an antique frame, your restored deck may not meet building codes for your area. If there have been significant changes to the codes in your area, your decade-old deck won’t be legal. This can prove to be expensive and inconvenient — we’ve seen it too many times to be able to recommend re-decking.
  7. It’ll Look Exactly the Same — This reason might not be quite as practical, but this is the main reason why re-decking tends to disappoint. Even though deck restoration is the slightly cheaper option, it’s still a significant investment. There’s nothing more disappointing than investing thousands of dollars and having the same outdated deck, just a little better. When you revolutionize your outdoor space with a brand-new showpiece deck, jaws will drop. When you go with re-decking, most of your guests probably won’t even notice.

Deck Installers in PA, DE, MD, NJ, & NY

new composite deck

Want to build a gorgeous new outdoor living space? We’re the team to trust. At Keystone Custom Decks, we specialize in building the showpiece composite decks and outdoor living spaces that you and your family will cherish for years to come.

In addition to providing all of our potential customers with a free quote, we also build a fully 3D rendering of what your one-of-a-kind outdoor living space will look like — see more right here.

Contact us to start the conversation today.

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