Background Story that Prompted Us to Update our Deck by Flipping the Boards
In 2011, we purchased our lake house. In 2013, we renovated and added an addition. Our deck is original to the house and we had been contemplating what to do with our deck for several years. We considered replacing the wood with composite, but that is so expensive and not in our budget yet.
Neal wondered if we could flip the boards. First, we examined the underside of the deck. The boards appeared to be in good condition and just needed to be cleaned. So, we opted to update our deck by flipping the boards over and getting several more years of use out of them. Neal is a GENIUS, but don’t tell him I said that!
The total cost was two boxes of deck screws and two new deck boards. The total cost was under 60 bucks! Of course, our labor is FREE! It took us about 5 days to complete this project but it was worth it!
Pressure Wash the Existing Deck Floor:
We pressured washed the entire deck floor before starting even though the deck surface would become the underside of the deck. This removed any dirt, mold, and mildew and gave the underside a better appearance.
Carefully Pry Up Deck Boards:
We used a small pry/flat bar to chisel around each nail to make it easier to pry each nail from the board.
We were very careful not to break or crack the deck boards.
The front of our deck was fairly simple because the boards were all the same length (no staggered boards) and did not require any cutting – – simply flipped the deck boards.
Flip, Cut as needed, and Screw the Board in Place (Front Deck):
It is essential that the ends of each deck board end on a joist. The joist is the horizontal structure/boards under the deck. If the deck boards are in the middle of a row, they will need to end in the middle of the joist (leaving room for the next board to be nailed/screwed in the middle of the same joist). If it is the end of a row, the deck board should end on the joist/exterior ban of the deck.
Flip, Cut as needed, and Screw the Board in Place (Side Deck)
The side deck was a little more challenging because it is a larger space and required us to cut and reconfigure (like a puzzle) some of the deck boards. It was worth the effort to stagger each row. In other words, we did not want any seams in adjoining rows to line up.
Because we had an entire section that is angled at the end, we had to cut each of these pieces to be the opposite angle and then piece these rows. We used a miter saw to cut each deck board as needed. This took additional deck boards. We wanted all of the deck to match/blend. We had plans to replace the deck railing, so we used the handrails (also deck boards) to fill in as needed.
Before and After Comparison
This picture shows the larger part of our deck (side of the house). The left side is before flipping the deck boards, the deck boards in the middle section have been flipped but not pressure washed, and the far-right section has been flipped and pressure washed.
Screws vs. Nails
We prefer to use deck screws instead of nails. Over time, nails start protruding out of the wood and have to be hammered down (also stub toes if not hammered down). Screws are more secure and also make it easier to remove the deck board in the future. (We hope to replace the wood with composite one day.)
Once we finished each section, we pressure-washed the boards. This is when the real beauty of the wood emerged. We were stunned because it almost looked like new wood.
Below is the final result of how we updated our deck by flipping the boards.
To learn how we updated our railing, click HERE . . . here is a sneak peek at our DIY railing . . .
Let us know what you think about how we updated our deck by flipping the boards or if you have any questions by commenting below.