Just say no

When your wife says “I think WE should stain the deck this year”
Me : OK
Her : We’ll need to clean it first wont we ?
Me : yes. well have to scrub it and pressure wash it to make sure the stain goes on properly

And 10 hours of pressure washing and cleaning later I have washed and scrubbed the entire deck

I’m going to have several beer now & watch as WE stain the deck since WE cleaned it :stuck_out_tongue:

How long have you been married? If you answer is: more than 10 minutes, then you SHOULD have known better LOL

How big is your deck?


His deck isn’t THAT big, he just has a tiny pressure washer … :wink:

Far too long

30+ years now

1400+ sq feet
All wood - cedar decking so it is slow to wash all the years of gunk & growth off

Its certainly a combination of things

Large Deck - about 1400 sq feet
Cedar deck boards - which as it ages gets this grey patina to it BUT part of that patina is dirt & actually small lichens/moss (?) - stuff that grows - a
Washer is ok sized but for a big job like this - yeah perhaps too small

Add it all up and its 10 hours to wash down

Yikes that is HUGE! I thought my deck was big… It’s a tiny ~625Sq Feet!

At least yours only needs to be cleaned and satined… Mine needs to be replaced - the boards are curling and boards rotted through in a number of places! (covering the holes for now with pieces of tile!)

Bought the house 27.5 yers ago with teh deck… While teh house is old the deck was pretty new then, so it’s maybe 30 years old…it is pressure treated wood I think… It was built very well/sturdily I think.

Not sure what type of material to replace it it with… money is an object and besides the material chosen, labor here in Massachusetts labor is pretty expensive and not sure how much longer my job will last.

I turn 65 this summer so likely will only be able to be here another 10 to 15ish years … The deck will need to look good when I have to sell so I don’t know what I should use… Never mind being able to find a contractor I can trust!

Decks are nice, but expensive!


I would not get duradek or any of the composite products IF your deck gets any amount of sun
I’ve had both and they get so hot you cannot walk on them in bare feet
Thats one thing I love about this deck - I can walk about in bare feet down to the hot tub and it never gets too hot

Putting down new deck boards isnt complex at all if you just want a simple straight run of boards evenly spaced. A saw and a drill with the right screws it all it takes IF the structure under it is still ok. If it was pressure treated then that should be good - that stuff lasts a long long time.

Deck boards you can get a lot of different things but there is “walkable pressure treated” which has a fine finish and is pressure treated. Its nice stuff. It doesnt tend to take stain super well though.
Something like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/WeatherShield-5-4-in-x-6-in-x-12-ft-Premium-Pressure-Treated-Redwood-Tone-Lumber-107362/203025821

If I didnt live all the way across the continent I’d be there and help do this if you bought pizza & beer :slight_smile:

EDIT : back of the napkin suggests this is < 1500 in materials for the deck boards

what do you have for railings ?

Make sure to share the beer since it was a TEAM effort! :stuck_out_tongue:

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It IS getting some rather bad reviews though …

My wife and I have the concept of “blue jobs” for boys and “pink jobs” for girls. Staining the deck is very much a “blue job” in our house.

From what I can tell, anything that smells, requires physical labour or is unpleasant is a blue job. Things which require flexing my credit card are pink jobs…


The differentiation between “blue jobs” and “pink jobs” is very sexist. One of our neighbour couples are very traditional. Asks their girl child another neighbour why is is doing “women work”. The guys are still doing the guy work and the women the women work. Can’t they work together?

We don’t have wood decks but stone paths that need to be cleaned with a high pressure cleaner. I love doing that because it gets me muddy from head to the toes. And we haven’t cleaned out the pond, yet, because it’s not warm enough. Last year we had quite the adventure with our pond (https://www.mothsoftware.com/blog_page.php?permalink=a-summer-end-week-in-the-garden).

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Too bad you don’t live closer! :wink:

I have read that could be an issue with composites… The deck does get sun and gets hot in the summer even with wood, which, besides cost, is a reason I have been leary of using it.

The house is U shaped with on branch made 6 feet ;longer than the other and teh deck fills in the center area. Here is the google earth picture:

With almost 3 sides enclosed and light colored vinyl siding to reflect the some back on it, it gets pretty hot with wood!

There is a seasonal screen house on the deck (just put it up last week) that is stored in a shed for the winter. The light colored ares other than the screen house are the tiles covering the rotted areas.

There is stairwell down to the basement, and although it is not clear in teh picture, the who area where the connection between outside straight sides end are angled and meet in a point… That whole angled area are were the stairs are… so not so simple… also the deck is fairly low to the ground and there is trouble with animals getting underneath that are so getting under the house (both sections on the left side are additions with a crawl space… the rest of the house has a full basement.

Always so not so simple… but even so just the boards

As for the structure… I don’t know… As I said it likely 30ish years old and i want it to last without issues for say 20 years (assuming teh house is sold within 15ish years)… I will have to rely on teh judgement of the contractor on that… But how can you find one you know you can trust? I keep hearing about home improvement contractor nightmares!

Given the deck is fairly low to the ground, if I go with pressure treated pine I would want top quality ground contact rated… But the color is not great… I keep hearing about teh tropical hardwoods like IPE but gather the are much more expensive.

About 5 years ago I got a quote from contractor that lives across the street from me for just the deck and it was about 30K… But he would only do Azek decking… And that put me off of doing it back then.

I would spend 10-15K on the deck as it is important for the house resale value, as well as enjoyment, but with an uncertain job, age and the fact the house needs a lot of other repairs/updates, it would need to be done well, look good and last because there es no way I could afford to redo it!

The railing are teh same material as the deck and looks lil they were build from scratch when the deck was built.


That style of deck board - 5/4 x 5 or 5/4 x 6
I couldnt find just plain treated deck boards which would be perfectly adequate as well

Not around here
One year I bought my wife a chainsaw for an anniversary present because that WAS what she said she wanted !


or was it what she thought YOU needed, for those “Lets do it together chores”? :smiley:

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Ask friends, neighbours, colleagues for recommendations
Ones whose opinion you trust
Word of mouth will get you a better recommendation that just dialing numbers or google searches
Yelp reviews etc are often faked so they are the most trustworthy :frowning:

No that one is hers - I’ve never used it :slight_smile: