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Rebuilding Your Deck or Dock: Things to Consider

by Duncan Seawall

Careful planning and attention to detail when rebuilding or replacing your existing deck or dock will ensure that your new structure provides years of enjoyment. While a basic structure may provide utility and even room to relax in a couple of lawn chairs, a well thought out space can become an extended outdoor living area. Thoughtful consideration of environmental and aesthetic features allows for the creation of a space that is pleasant and inviting as well as functional.

Related Blog: 6 Tips to Help Keep Your Boat Dock in Optimal Condition

What is the Structure Being Used For?

Rebuilding your structure provides you with the opportunity to consider all of the possible uses for your deck or dock and develop a plan. Asking a few questions and analyzing the answers will help you incorporate features designed specifically for your needs and requirements, maximizing the usage of your new structure.

Is the structure being used for entertaining, swimming, fishing, or some combination of the three and would benefit from a ladder, fish cleaning station, or serving area? If you are rebuilding a dock, do you have a boat and if so, what size is it? A properly designed dock can make the launch and removal of a kayak or canoe a breeze, while a boat lift may be beneficial for a more significant vessel, making access easier and reducing maintenance.

Whether it's a place to keep all the equipment necessary to operate a boat safely or room to collect the backyard toys and barbecue equipment, adequate storage considerations will make your structure more versatile and practical. Creatively reflecting on the various uses of your structure will enable you to incorporate features and accessories that enhance your use and accommodate your lifestyle.

Consider the Elements

The length of time that your structure lasts, whether a deck or a dock, is dependent on the materials and construction techniques used as well as the quality of craftsmanship. The foundation of any structure should meet the highest standards but decks and docks subjected to extreme conditions, such as those found along the Gulf coast, require exceptional planning and expertise.

Depending on the needs of your rebuild and the condition of the existing substructure, Duncan Seawall, Dock and Boat Lift begins the dock building process with eight and ten inch marine grade pressure treated pilings, set a minimum of 6 foot, then driven for maximum stability and to prevent settling. Headers and stringers of marine grade pressure treated 2" x 8" timbers are then attached to the pilings to form the new substructure.

Decking Material

The decking material that you choose for your new structure will not only affect its durability but also the amount of maintenance required to keep it safe and looking like new. Traditional wood decking needs regular painting or staining to keep it looking fresh, and constant vigilance to ensure that a loose fastener or board does not create a safety hazard. Additionally, wood decking surfaces may allow the growth of mold or mildew and become slippery and dangerous when wet.

Composite decking, made from recycled material, offers a durable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to wood decking. Stain, fade, scratch, and mold resistant, composite decking does not rot or warp, all common issues associated with wood. Composite decking does not harbor or attract insects, will not splinter, and uses a hidden fastener system that eliminates the safety concern of loose nails or screws, making it safer and more comfortable than wood.

Low maintenance composite decking never needs to be sanded, painted, or stained, requiring only an occasional washing with soap and water to preserve its beauty for years. Able to withstand extreme weather conditions, composite decking is available in a tremendous variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find a look that will appeal to any taste or style. While the initial expense of composite decking is higher than wood, the savings on maintenance means the material will usually pay for itself in just ten years, and with warranties as long as 25 years, composite decking ensures that you will enjoy your deck or dock for many years after its installation.

How often you use your deck or dock, and how long it lasts, is dependent on planning, attention to detail, the quality of materials, and the experience and knowledge of the people who build the structure. When it is time to rebuild your structure, consulting with the professionals at Duncan Seawall, Dock and Boat Lift will ensure that you receive the most value for your investment with a deck or dock built to the highest standards, one that you will be proud of and that will provide years of enjoyment.

To learn more about what things to consider when rebuilding your deck or dock contact us today.

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