- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
If your deck looks like it’s seen better days, that doesn’t mean you have to replace it. Whether you just bought your home or have lived there for years, we can show you how to make your old deck look new.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
Refurbishing an existing deck begins with making sure that the deck framing is in good structural condition. Visually inspect the framework under the deck for loose connectors, broken posts and wood condition. Use an awl or small flat screwdriver to test the wood’s firmness in various locations. If the wood in some areas is much softer than in others, it may need to be replaced.
Verify that the ledger board is securely bolted or screwed to the house’s rim joist, rather than just angle-nailed. The joists should be secured with joist hangers. If not, they should be installed now. If you have a doubt about the condition or fastening of the deck frame, call a professional for help.
Now decide if you want to replace the deck. If your decking is in good condition, consider updating the railings and adding decorative lattice, balusters and post caps following these instructions.
Remove the railings and lattice. Leave the old posts in place for now.
The new composite posts attach to the inside of the rim joist and end joists with post brackets. To replace an old railing post with a new one:
Gather the materials and tools you'll need for this job.
Deck screws are available in a variety of lengths, drive styles and coatings. Lengths typically range from 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches. Most are flat-head screws with either star or square drive heads; some are self-tapping and don’t require pilot holes. Coated or galvanized screws protect the steel fasteners from rust. Be sure to get the appropriate drill bit. A Lowe’s associate can help you select the appropriate screws and tools for your deck job. Check your local building code for specific hardware requirements.
Mark the location of the old post with a pencil.
Remove the old post with wrenches, pry bars, hammers and other tools as needed. If you're also replacing old lattice, remove it at this time. Make sure that you don’t damage the deck’s framework during removal.
Use a carpenter’s square to transfer the marks from the old post location to the top of the decking. For corner posts, place and mark the post in the exact inside corner of the frame.
Drill a starter hole at the center of the post marks on the top of the decking.
Use a jig saw to cut out the post hole along the marks.
Align and install the post brackets on the marks.
Place the bracket on the marks under the decking, and use a pencil to mark the bolt hole locations. For the corners, remove the side bracket.
Drill the holes.
Loosely attach the bracket with carriage bolts.
Cut the railing post to the appropriate height, including the width of the joist.
Set the post in the bracket, use a post level to make sure it is plumb, then tighten the carriage bolts.
Verify that the railing post is still plumb and adjust as needed.
Continue attaching the remaining posts around the deck in the same manner.
Slide the base cove moulding over the post to the bottom for a finished look.