Modern Wood and Metal Deck Renovation

6 Materials
8 Days

We gave our tired deck a makeover with new deck boards and modern metal balusters. This is an advanced project, but it saved us thousands of dollars by doing it ourselves.

This is the "Before" pic of our deck. We had actually replaced the railing 10 years ago, but it was starting to wear out. The deck boards were probably original to the house and were rough and would not hold stain well anymore.

Demo the old deck boards

We removed all of the old deck boards and railing using hammers and crowbars. Because the deck was old, there was a mix of fasteners, including nails and a couple of difference screw heads. It took us two full days to complete the demo. Note: We left the slatted wall at the far end of the deck.

Lay the new deck boards

We used 10' and 16' Pressure Treated Lumber for the main deck and 8' boards for the landing that leads to the stairs. To eliminate the need for a lot of cuts, we did not stagger the boards. The 16' boards are at the far end, and the 10' butt up against them. I was not sure if I would like this look, (opposed to staggered) but it actually makes the floor look seamless. We used Spax deck screws to secure the boards. These are square head screws that are highly recommended for decking, but after using them, I prefer the star drive deck screws. The square head strips easily, making them a pain to remove.

Build the railing

We kept the 4"x4" posts that the old railing was attached to because they were in pretty good shape. We attached 2"x4" boards across the top of the posts.

Attach top and bottom rails for the balusters

We attached the 2"x4" boards at the top and bottom of the posts using plastic brackets. (shown in the next picture) We used a block of wood under the bottom rail to space it correctly from the deck floor.

These brackets made attaching the railing simple. The top is open, so you slide the board into the bracket then screw it in on both sides.

Attach the balusters

Pre-measure the distance between the balusters. My husband made a jig to use for drilling the holes, so the spacing would be the same across the entire railing. I pre-drilled all of the holes so screwing in the railing would be easy.

The balusters are 29-1/2 Aluminum flat bars from Amazon. We used about 120 for our deck and stairs.

Instead of trying to make a jig for the bottom rail, we simply used a level and screwed in to bottom.

We stained the deck when we were finished using a natural transparent deck stain by Behr.

The metal bars really modernize the deck and give us a less obstructed view than the chunky wood balusters did.

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  • William William on Jul 22, 2020

    It turned out beautiful. Love the metal balusters. The plastic brackets for the 2X4's I've never seen. Outstanding job.

    • Thank you! I am so happy with the balusters. I am glad the hubby found those brackets because it made it so much easier to build the railing!