The Top 4 Ways to Improve Your Existing Dayton, OH, Backyard Deck

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, your Dayton deck builder, understands your desire to improve your existing deck or build the perfect new deck. If you’ve had your deck for a while, you may have grown tired of the way it looks or tired of cleaning, sanding and staining it each year.

We have worked with many Dayton-area homeowners in just that situation. Sometimes a homeowner simply wants a deck makeover! We have several very appealing ideas for making your deck seem like new again or making it … better.

Homeowners having a brand new deck built may want to pay attention to this information as well. They can use some of these ideas to create the perfect new deck. If you get it right the first time, then you may not need a deck makeover in a few years.

Here we go: The Top 4 Ways to Improve Your Existing Backyard Deck in Dayton, OH

1. Redecking

For anyone unfamiliar with this term, to redeck is to remove the surface boards of a deck, as well as the stairs and railings, and replace those with new material. It really is a makeover. Most redecking projects are designed to replace a wood deck with one made from low-maintenance composite or synthetic decking boards. Who wants this form of deck improvement? Usually, it’s a homeowner who has grown tired of annual deck maintenance chores.

You might wonder why the homeowner doesn’t have the whole deck demolished and replaced. There’s a very good reason, and it is the cost. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio can save homeowners a decent amount of money by redecking instead of designing and building a new deck.

Here’s why redecking is such an appealing idea. Often, the substructure beneath a wood deck is still sturdy and in good enough condition to support a deck. In that case it’s only the surface boards and railings that are weathered and worn. The deck’s substructure is not exposed to the elements the way the deck surface is. Think of the cost savings when you pay only for new surface materials, not the entire deck structure.

Not all decks are candidates for redecking, so if you want to pursue that possibility give us a call and we’ll inspect your deck’s substructure. We first need to determine if redecking is an option for you. Also, you don’t have to select low-maintenance composites for your new deck surface. If you want wood and only wood, we can redeck with wood.

Building a new deck with redecking in mind:

If you don’t want to be looking at redecking in 10-15 years, go ahead and have your new deck built with composite or PVC synthetic wood alternatives. The technology that goes into these decking boards has improved so much over the past decade many more people are considering low-maintenance composite decks than ever before. While these boards are designed to look like wood, they’re more durable and aren’t affected by weather the way wood decks are. Your composite deck will likely last 25-30 years.

2. Deck Lighting

Many newer decks are designed with deck lighting in place, but if your deck was built without deck lighting it’s not too late. The benefits of deck lighting are significant. Deck lighting creates a soothing, relaxing or romantic ambiance on your deck. It allows you to see your food if you’re dining outdoors and to see the faces of the people with whom you’re talking. Finally, deck lighting increases your safety and that of your guests by illuminating deck stairs to minimize accidents.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio can run electrical wiring under your deck to reach the areas where you desire lighting. Today’s deck lights are usually LED lights. One thing we really like about LED technology is that it’s so energy efficient. With a series of little LED lights installed at strategic points around your deck, you will barely notice increased energy usage in your electricity bill each month. These lights operate for several years before they need to be replaced, too.

If you’re picturing big lantern-like fixtures on top of your deck posts, conduct an online search for deck lighting and you’ll be amazed by what you see. Modern deck lights are usually tiny. The likely spots where we would add lighting to your deck include the stair risers, on the deck posts and under deck railings or built-in seating. Deck light fixtures are carefully crafted to direct all light down onto the deck and not out into the surrounding space.

Building a new deck with deck lighting in mind:

Since most new decks today are designed to include deck lighting, you won’t need to worry about adding it later. That’s one less home improvement to check off your list in the future.

3. Updated railings

Railing styles have changed a lot over the past decade! We mentioned that redecking often includes new deck railings, but what if your deck surface doesn’t need redecking? Without replacing your deck boards, we can still upgrade and refresh your deck simply by replacing your railings.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio can show you a wide variety of new deck railing styles. Today’s railing systems are just as likely to be horizontal as vertical. With the cable railing style, the pickets or balusters are so thin you can see right through them as though nothing obstructs your view. Some aluminum and iron railings are also quite thin, and they are available in darker colors that seem to disappear when you gaze past them. We have even worked with a glass railing system. Let us show you the many railing options. You may be surprised!

Building a new deck with updated railings in mind:

Homeowners working with Dayton deck designer Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to have a new deck added to their home can start out with ultra-modern deck railings. Of course with a new deck you will want a look that is state-of-the-art. We can’t guarantee you won’t want to replace/upgrade/modernize your deck railings in a few years, though. Given the pace at which railing companies keep developing amazing new railing styles, you may want to replace your railings in a few years.

4. Adding vertical elements for shade and design dimension

If your deck does not have a pergola or other type of shade cover already, adding one will go a long way toward jazzing up your deck. Talk about deck improvement! Everyone appreciates shade on a sunny day. Some of these shade covers also provide protection from rain showers.

The pergola is the shade structure used most frequently, sometimes more as a design element than a source of shade. Pergolas can be plain or intricate depending on what look you’re going for. A pergola adds visual interest and dimension to a deck and can be designed to define a space or mark a boundary.

Many people don’t realize the amount of shade a pergola provides is determined by the width and spacing of slats and rafters that run across the top of a pergola. When you are talking with your Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio deck designer about pergola options, be sure to tell them how much shade you expect your pergola to provide.

For some serious shade, we recommend you consider adding Natural Light patio covers or Shadetree Canopy retractable awnings to your deck. Both of these products can offer more shade than a pergola, and most of their designs are retractable so you can feel the sun’s rays when you choose to. These shade covers can be added as freestanding structures or tied into your home’s roof or even a wall. These two different types of patio and deck covers offer protection from the sun’s damaging rays and shield you from some of the heat as well. With many different styles and colors, you are sure to find one you like.

Building a new deck with vertical elements in mind:

If you are interested in the decorative use of pergolas or the benefits of a shade structure, please tell your Dayton deck design consultant in the early design stage. Too many times these vertical structures are afterthoughts. We are able to create a more cohesive deck design if we know from the start that you want a vertical shade structure as part of your outdoor living space.

The best way to improve and refresh your deck is to meet with your deck design company, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. Whether you want to upgrade or update your deck, or design and build a new one, contact us today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at [email protected].


Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

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