Refinishing the Deck


This blog post doesn’t have any artistic photography in it. If that’s what you came for, this will seem pretty amateurish. After putting up my “6 month time lapse for our Bradford Pear tree” last week, I thought I would do something similar this time, too. This is a simple sequence of photos showing our 12 year old deck on the back of our house.

The photo shown above and the next photo were both taken on April 7, 2013.


Reminder: You can always view any photo at a larger size by just clicking on it. You will then need to use your browser’s “Back Button” to return to my story.

The supporting structure is still in great shape, but many of the wooden planks that we walk on are decaying. We have already replaced several of them over the past 3 or 4 years, but now these band-aid fixes were simply not keeping up. The crew that comes out to mow our yard have really done one heck of a number on the base of the stairs when they use their string trimmers. We have never liked that the base of the wooden stairs were in direct contact with the ground (even though we know that termites shouldn’t bother treated wood).

I contacted two companies and asked them to come out and assess the situation and to quote on the repair/restoration of the deck. In the end, we chose to go with Austex Fence and Deck.

The guys from Austex came out on April 22, and tore down everything that we had chosen to replace, except for the stairs (which would come down later).


They were back the next day, April 23rd to add more joists. They were needed simply because the composite decking material that we had chosen would not span the distance between the existing joists, without sagging over time.


By the way, all of the photos in this post, except for the last one were taken by myself while hand holding my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera with the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens.

After a delay in having the material delivered, the crew arrived on the morning of April 25th and started putting down the new composite material on the floor. This next photo was taken just 5 minutes before we left to go on the Tour of the Circuit of The Americas race track.


Later that afternoon, after getting home from the Tour of the Circuit of The Americas race track, we saw that they had torn down the old stairs and had them loaded into the bed of their pickup truck.


Not only that, they had assembled the new stairs, and at our request had them on a raised concrete footing. Let the yard guys and their string trimmers have fun with that!


The crew even had much of the railing up, but it wasn’t completely tied-in to the structure yet.


They also had not yet assembled the new stairs from our backdoor down to the deck, so I just took this photo while standing in the open doorway.


They finished the assembly the next day, but it was about a week later before the “stain guy” came out to stain the railings and the sides of the stairs.


I took these two photos on May 6th.


On May 11th, Barb and I went to the nursery and purchased several potted plants for her to finish decorating the deck with. I “helped” by making sure that the plants chosen would also make interesting macro photos later on, when it gets blazing hot here in Austin. 🙂

Everything was finally finished, just in time for Mother’s Day on May 12th!


That photo above was the first photo that I have taken with my Canon 5D Mark II camera since Christmas Day, 2012. I really should use that camera more often… it takes excellent quality of photos.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

4 thoughts on “Refinishing the Deck”

  1. I found this blog very interesting, Gregg. My daughter and son-in-law just replaced their (even larger) deck last year with a composite and it is so nice! I don’t think it was even available when they built 28 years ago. I also doubt they took before and after photos, but will ask now that I’ve seen yours. Laurie

    1. Well, thank you Laurie. I didn’t think that anyone other than my family would find this very interesting, so I am pleased that you liked it.

      I think you are correct about the composites not being around that long ago. I personally first heard of them about 10 years ago, which was a couple of years after our deck was originally constructed.

      I can only “blame” the engineer in me to find the need to document stuff like this with photos. I somehow need more than a simple before and after set – something drives me to document the whole dang sequence. That’s actually come in handy, too. I took some photo of my previous house while it was being constructed, and years later there was a problem with that house. The photos that I had in my photo album were all I needed to convince the builder that his subcontractor had not installed the base of the walls correctly to the concrete foundation. (Of course, I didn’t know that at the time I took the photos, but when the inspector told me what he suspected had gone wrong, I went back to examine my photos to see if I could see what he was trying to tell me.)

  2. Looks really good Gregg. Twelve years is old in “deck years” LOL. I know exactly what you’re saying on the band-aid fixes. I had a garden shed here and was piecing things together to keep it standing. Finally wound up just ripping it down. Now it’s nice, sturdy, no siding falling off anymore 😉

    1. Libby, thanks! We are enjoying it already. This composite isn’t supposed to fade (very much), and is supposed to be maintenance free. We hope so – that old wooden deck required professional attention at least every two years. I’m looking forward to photographing some of Barb’s new plants soon!

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