Loading

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool

Deck Remodel Ideas & Inspiration

There are lots of reasons to remodel your deck and lots of ways to do it. If your worn-out wood decking needs replacing anyway, give low-maintenance composite deck boards a try. Modular railings are a great DIY option to refresh the look of a deck. The same goes for LED deck lights, which are easier than ever to install. Other renovations, such as extending your deck and/or screening it in, might require professional help.

5 Ways to Refresh or Remodel Your Deck

1. Upgrade to Composite Decking

If the structure under your wood deck boards is sound, consider replacing worn or rotted wood decking with composite decking. It won’t rot like wood and it resists fading, staining, and mold. It’s also low maintenance. No sanding or refinishing is required. You just need to give the deck boards an occasional cleaning with soap and water.

You can combine different colors of composite deck boards to create patterns. Composite decking can also use hidden fasteners to give the surface a clean, smooth finish. These cleat-type connectors are easy to install. Just slide each end of the connector into the side grooves of the decking and screw it down to the joist.

Composite decking costs a little more than wood initially, but it can last twice as long. And because the decking needs so little maintenance, you’ll spend much more time enjoying your deck than you will on upkeep.

2. Add or Update Deck Railing

Whether you’re installing railings for the first time or updating them, nothing adds more visibility and character to a deck than its railings. Ready-to-install railing panels and/or modular railing components put the job well within reach of most DIYers. Plus, there are hundreds of railing designs available in a range of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, composite, and combinations. You can even mix and match colors and styles to create a custom look.

If your railing design calls for installing new posts, learn how to install them properly or hire a professional. They can’t be wobbly. If the posts are in good shape, however, you can start your makeover right away by adding color-matched sleeves, caps, and skirt trim over them. Then connect the railing panels or modular railing components. Some composite-based railings—which never rot, warp, or splinter—can be installed using fewer than two dozen fasteners per section.

3. Extend Your Deck

If your deck is in good condition but small, save time and money by extending it instead of replacing it. With an extension, you not only have more room to cook, converse or cocoon, but you can make a design statement.

The simplest way to extend your deck is to add a platform that steps up or down from your existing deck. To go up a level, build a platform using 2x6 joists and toe-nail one end to the existing deck’s surface. Support the other sides with new posts and beams. To step down a level, fasten joist hangers to the deck’s beam to hold one end of the platform and add posts beams elsewhere to support the other sides.

The project will likely require a permit, so check with local building authorities and your homeowners’ association before you start. Depending on your skill level, you may also want to hire a contractor to help build your deck extension.

4. Add or Update Lighting

Lighting adds atmosphere and makes your deck safer and more useful. While candles and paper lanterns are cheap and add interest, they’re impractical. Two better budget-conscious options are string lights, with pendant bulbs, and LED rope lights, with bulbs housed inside translucent tubing. Hang the string lights from the ceiling or along a wall. Rope lights work best under railings or under the outside edges of your deck.

For a more permanent solution, use low-voltage fixtures. Many of them install directly into deck boards, post caps and stair risers. Because they use LEDs, the lights last much longer and use less energy than other bulb types. They also give you more control over your lighting design and can be matched with spotlights and other types of fixtures to accent trees or shrubs and to illuminate pathways.

Before undertaking any electrical work, make sure your wiring is grounded and capable of handling the new electrical load. If you’re unfamiliar with what the electrical code requires for outdoor connections, play it safe and hire a professional electrician.

5. Screen in Your Deck or Porch

If your deck or porch has a roof, you’re in luck. Screening it in could be a simple matter of stapling screen fabric between the existing posts. Add a doorway, and you’re in business.

Most decks don’t have roofs and fewer still can support the weight of a roof and the walls that a screen porch needs. That’s why most screened-in decks and porches are a complete makeover, built from the ground up, and not retrofitted.

Your best bet is to consult a contractor or an architect. However, if you just want more protection from the sun and rain, there are other options like pergolas and sun shades.

To get started on your search for a professional builder in your area, use the Decks.com Find a Builder tool.

To find local retailers of composite decking and accessories, use the Decks.com Find a Retailer tool.


Popular Design Articles
How to Design a Deck

10 Tips For Designing A Great Deck

This is an introduction to design. Start here to get some fresh ideas before designing your dream deck this year.

How to Design a Deck

Budget - Determines Deck Size and Materials

Some tips for designing a deck to fit your budget.

How to Design a Deck

Deck Features

Have you considered adding lighting, benches, planters or a shade pergola to your deck design?

Next Step: Planning Articles
Building Permits

IRC Code Requirements For Decks

Residential properties have certain code requirements that must be met before building a deck known as the IRC. Learn more about IRC building codes for decks at Decks.com!

How to Hire a Contractor

How to Find & Choose a Deck Contractor

Finding a good contractor to build your deck doesn't have to be hard. Learn how to find a contractor and what to expect when working with one at Decks.com.

Building Permits

Residential PSF Deck Requirements

For a residential deck, the code requires it be designed to support a minimum 40-psf live load. Learn more about how much to put on a deck psf at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
How to Design a Deck

Deck Remodel Ideas & Inspiration

There are lots of reasons to remodel your deck and lots of ways to do it. If your worn-out wood decking needs replacing anyway, give low-maintenance composite deck boards a try. Modular railings are a great DIY option to refresh the look of a deck. The same goes for LED deck lights, which are easier than ever to install. Other renovations, such as extending your deck and/or screening it in, might require professional help.

5 Ways to Refresh or Remodel Your Deck

1. Upgrade to Composite Decking

If the structure under your wood deck boards is sound, consider replacing worn or rotted wood decking with composite decking. It won’t rot like wood and it resists fading, staining, and mold. It’s also low maintenance. No sanding or refinishing is required. You just need to give the deck boards an occasional cleaning with soap and water.

You can combine different colors of composite deck boards to create patterns. Composite decking can also use hidden fasteners to give the surface a clean, smooth finish. These cleat-type connectors are easy to install. Just slide each end of the connector into the side grooves of the decking and screw it down to the joist.

Composite decking costs a little more than wood initially, but it can last twice as long. And because the decking needs so little maintenance, you’ll spend much more time enjoying your deck than you will on upkeep.

2. Add or Update Deck Railing

Whether you’re installing railings for the first time or updating them, nothing adds more visibility and character to a deck than its railings. Ready-to-install railing panels and/or modular railing components put the job well within reach of most DIYers. Plus, there are hundreds of railing designs available in a range of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, composite, and combinations. You can even mix and match colors and styles to create a custom look.

If your railing design calls for installing new posts, learn how to install them properly or hire a professional. They can’t be wobbly. If the posts are in good shape, however, you can start your makeover right away by adding color-matched sleeves, caps, and skirt trim over them. Then connect the railing panels or modular railing components. Some composite-based railings—which never rot, warp, or splinter—can be installed using fewer than two dozen fasteners per section.

3. Extend Your Deck

If your deck is in good condition but small, save time and money by extending it instead of replacing it. With an extension, you not only have more room to cook, converse or cocoon, but you can make a design statement.

The simplest way to extend your deck is to add a platform that steps up or down from your existing deck. To go up a level, build a platform using 2x6 joists and toe-nail one end to the existing deck’s surface. Support the other sides with new posts and beams. To step down a level, fasten joist hangers to the deck’s beam to hold one end of the platform and add posts beams elsewhere to support the other sides.

The project will likely require a permit, so check with local building authorities and your homeowners’ association before you start. Depending on your skill level, you may also want to hire a contractor to help build your deck extension.

4. Add or Update Lighting

Lighting adds atmosphere and makes your deck safer and more useful. While candles and paper lanterns are cheap and add interest, they’re impractical. Two better budget-conscious options are string lights, with pendant bulbs, and LED rope lights, with bulbs housed inside translucent tubing. Hang the string lights from the ceiling or along a wall. Rope lights work best under railings or under the outside edges of your deck.

For a more permanent solution, use low-voltage fixtures. Many of them install directly into deck boards, post caps and stair risers. Because they use LEDs, the lights last much longer and use less energy than other bulb types. They also give you more control over your lighting design and can be matched with spotlights and other types of fixtures to accent trees or shrubs and to illuminate pathways.

Before undertaking any electrical work, make sure your wiring is grounded and capable of handling the new electrical load. If you’re unfamiliar with what the electrical code requires for outdoor connections, play it safe and hire a professional electrician.

5. Screen in Your Deck or Porch

If your deck or porch has a roof, you’re in luck. Screening it in could be a simple matter of stapling screen fabric between the existing posts. Add a doorway, and you’re in business.

Most decks don’t have roofs and fewer still can support the weight of a roof and the walls that a screen porch needs. That’s why most screened-in decks and porches are a complete makeover, built from the ground up, and not retrofitted.

Your best bet is to consult a contractor or an architect. However, if you just want more protection from the sun and rain, there are other options like pergolas and sun shades.

To get started on your search for a professional builder in your area, use the Decks.com Find a Builder tool.

To find local retailers of composite decking and accessories, use the Decks.com Find a Retailer tool.


Popular Design Articles
How to Design a Deck

10 Tips For Designing A Great Deck

This is an introduction to design. Start here to get some fresh ideas before designing your dream deck this year.

How to Design a Deck

Deck Size

We offer some tips for determining the best size for your new deck design.

How to Design a Deck

Leftover Deck Board Ideas

Have leftover deck boards after building your deck and don’t know what to do with them? Get inspired with 10 ideas for leftover decking from Decks.com.

Next Step: Planning Articles
Building Permits

IRC Code Requirements For Decks

Residential properties have certain code requirements that must be met before building a deck known as the IRC. Learn more about IRC building codes for decks at Decks.com!

Building Permits

Building A Deck Over A Septic Tank

Building a deck on or near a septic tank is not the best idea and can result in a damaged or punctured tank. Learn more about building near a septic tank at Decks.com.

Building Permits

Residential PSF Deck Requirements

For a residential deck, the code requires it be designed to support a minimum 40-psf live load. Learn more about how much to put on a deck psf at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic