My decks need help

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New User
I have three wooden decks that need some serious TLC. The deck boards are all cypress and are about 7 years gone now. Many have rotted to the point where they need replacing. I think the best thing might be to just tear it all off and put a new one on. I am in need of a reference for someone to come on over and give me a quote on it. I could do it myself and might have to do that in the end, but right now I don't have the time.

If someone tempts me with a fair deal for both of us I could see 'bout convincing the LOML to get it done.

BTW - how many of you WW'ers went the Trex route? Are you happy with the results? Would you do it again? What are your thoughts?


Corporate Member

I just built a house in the mountains and my deck is south facing so it get sun all day. I investigated a number of different decking materials (PT, Cypress, Ipe, and most of the composites) and I settled in on TimberTech...a composite material.

The big difference between TimberTech and most of the others is that it is structured with hollows on the underside and it is also T&G so it gives a nail/screw free appearence. The main benefit I found is that it does not reatin heat the way all of the other solid decks do. This was a big plus for us with it getting sun all day.

The deck' been up now for a year and half and styill looks brand new. I would strongly reccomend thia product.

BTW, the contractors crew really liked it for easy of handling and installation.

Dan C.

Jim Murphy

New User
Fern HollowMan
Trex is :icon_thum :icon_thum :icon_thum . I have it on my deck at the lake, and I have a product from Charlotte called Fiberon at the dock. The Fiberon had (past tense) a cedar grain and color when new, and now is faded (six or seven years of direct sun), but structurally very sound. The Trex and Fiberon were both expensive in the short run, but a great choice in the long run.

I did pre-drill and countersink with SS screws at the dock, and McFeely special screws for composite on the deck with the Trex. The special screws bite fast, have multi-threaded shafts and a little space for the mushroom to hide in. Looks great.

Highly recommended. :icon_thum :icon_thum :icon_thum


Steve D

Steve DeWeese

I'm not close enought to help you with a quote, but I have built a lot of decks. The first thing you need to check to see if the tops of the joists are rotted too. If they are, you are better off starting over. I may have misunderstood you, is the deck only seven years old and cypress is rotting? That would suprise me because cypress holds up very well to bugs and moisture. As far as the composite decks go, the jury is still out on those. I've heard of very happy people and quite a few horror stories. The decking still needs to be installed over PT lumber joists and has some other limitations too.

I'm getting ready to do my own deck soon and I will probably go with Ipe if I can swing it or maybe composite after some more research.


Wow cypress rotted after 7 years ??? - I have no time to give you a quote - the last thing I need is another deck to build - I still have not got my ball and chain ERC pool deck framed in all the way yet :roll:. I do have a carpenter buddy who may have time I'll check with him. How are the decks (length x width).



New User
For someone to do the work I would recommend that you contact Merrick Carpentry 608-3347 and tell them that Dave from Down to Earth recommended them. They are the company we use for all of our big deck jobs, and do an excellent job.
Personally I would recommend any other composite besides Trex, I have heard too many bad things about it and seen deterorating jobs that used it. I generally recommend a product by Elk called CrossTimbers to all my clients that insist on a composite deck. It uses a pre-engineered hidden fastener system that allows it to go down fast and look great.
My $.02, Dave:)


Dan -- could you share the source of the material and the cost per board foot (or some typical prices for 8', 10', 12' or 16' lengths, assuming it is 5/4 by 6").

Thanks. Rob


New User
Thanks everyone. The decks are #2 cypress and probably 40% of the boards have mild to severe rot. The three decks wrap around the south side (rear) of my house in a U-shape. The PT framing is in good shape I am reasonably confident although I have not seen it. Trouble comes from the weather of course. Most of the rot came about because the boards swell with moisture and then close up the gaps. With no place for the water to drain it sits in the cracks until it is absorbed by the boards or evaporates. The original spacing between deck boards was about a 10-penny nail apart, which was probably not enough.

So far I have ruled out Trex and cypress/cedar. The biggest deck is faced with a nice brick step border, and is only 12" off the ground. I am considering taking out the deck boards and filling the space with sand or some such. I could leave the framing in place and use it to help screed the surface level. Then I could put some sort of paving stone over that. I think the cost would be comparable, perhaps even better than a plastic deck. I am open to ideas on the stones - even thought of trying broken granite counter tops except I don't know where to find them.

In the other decks I would have to use planks. Has anyone seen or have any experience with CorrectDeck? CorrectDeck® Composite Decking & Railing Systems I talked with a disty y'day. He states that Trex is polyethylene and CD is polypropylene, with the latter being superior of course, although exactly why eludes me . Main claim to fame is that the "modulus of elasticity" (can I say that with a straight face?) gives the CD product greater stiffness. And that it doesn't heat up like Trex so you can walk on it barefoot in the sun.

I have seen benches made from composites where the planks split on the ends, along lines from where they were screwed down. An obvious case of thermal expansion problems. I imagine, but don't know for sure, that a hidden system would have limitations as well. Comments?

That's the state of the investigation so far. Anyone care to add to the discussion?


New User
Mark, While I don't have any direct experience on plastic deck boards, on electrical hook up wire, polyethlene was the softest and lowest temperature wire insulation. Polypropalene on the other hand was much better to work with, harder, with a higher temperature rating. A rocking chair on a polyethlene board may mark easier. My $.02 Bob


New User

I have a friend in the Raleigh area that does remodel/repairs. If you want,
call Dwight Clark 362-0348 and tell him David Norby referred you.


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