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DIY Guide: How to Replace Your Deck Boards Like a Pro

Watching your deck fall into disrepair can be disheartening, especially when it once held the promise of summer barbecues and evening lounging. Fortunately, replacing deck boards is a manageable DIY project that can breathe new life into your outdoor space. At Utah Deck Company, we understand the importance of a well-maintained deck, and we’re here to guide homeowners through the process. This comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the know-how to replace your deck boards like a pro.

Understanding the Basics of Deck Board Replacement

Before diving into the replacement process, it’s crucial to understand why and when to replace deck boards. Deck boards can deteriorate over time due to weather exposure, leading to safety hazards and diminishing the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. If your deck sports rotting Wood, loose boards, or significant discoloration, it’s time to consider replacement. Recognizing the signs early can save you from more extensive, costly repairs down the line.

Moreover, choosing the right Materials is a foundational step in the process. While traditional wood boards are popular for their natural appearance, Composite materials offer durability and low maintenance advantages. Consider your budget, lifestyle, and the climate of your area when selecting your new deck boards.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Having the right tools and materials on hand is essential for a smooth deck board replacement process. You’ll need a hammer, a pry bar, a drill or screwdriver, circular saw, measuring tape, and safety gear such as gloves and goggles. For materials, you’ll need the new deck boards, which should match the dimensions and type of the existing ones, and fasteners compatible with your decking material.

Prioritizing safety and preparation can turn a daunting task into a manageable project. Ensure all tools are in good working condition and that you have reviewed all safety guidelines before beginning your work.

Removing the Old Deck Boards

Removing the old deck boards is the first, and often the most challenging, part of the process. Start by prying up the boards from one end, being careful not to damage the joists underneath. A pry bar can be particularly useful for lifting the boards if they’re nailed down.

If your deck was constructed using screws, use a drill or screwdriver to remove them. It’s important to work methodically, board by board, to ensure that the underlying structure remains intact and safe.

Inspecting and Preparing the Joists

With the old boards removed, it’s time to inspect the joists for any signs of damage or rot. This is a critical step, as failing to address issues with the joists can undermine the integrity of your new deck.

If damage is detected, repairs or replacements of the affected joists should be carried out before proceeding. This may involve reinforcing them with additional wood or completely replacing compromised sections. Preparing the joists also includes ensuring they are level and clearing away any debris or old fasteners.

Choosing and Prepping Your New Deck Boards

Selecting the right new deck boards involves considering both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you opt for wood or composite materials, ensure the boards are suited to withstand your area’s weather conditions while complementing your home’s exterior.

Once you have your new boards, it’s advisable to let them acclimate to your outdoor environment for a few days. This step helps prevent future warping or damage.

Installation of New Deck Boards

Laying down new deck boards starts at one end of the deck, ensuring each board is securely fastened to the joists beneath. Use a drill or screwdriver and the appropriate fasteners for your chosen material. Keeping the boards straight and evenly spaced is crucial for the overall appearance and functionality of the deck.

When necessary, cut boards to fit your deck’s dimensions, remembering to allow for expansion and contraction of the materials. A precise, measured approach will yield the best results.

Maintaining Your Newly Refurbished Deck

Once your new deck boards are in place, maintaining them properly can extend the life of your deck significantly. Regular cleaning, as well as periodic sealing or staining if you’ve chosen wood boards, will keep your deck looking its best.

Avoid allowing debris and water to accumulate, as these can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. Your newly refurbished deck is an investment in your home, and proper care will ensure it remains safe and attractive for years to come.

Tips for Success

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once: Ensure accuracy in your measurements to avoid unnecessary waste of materials and time.
  • Invest in Quality Tools: High-quality tools can make the difference in the efficiency and outcome of your project.
  • Don’t Rush: Taking your time with each step can prevent mistakes and injuries.
  • Seek Help When Needed: Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance or advice, whether from a friend or a professional.
  • Prioritize Safety: Always wear appropriate safety gear and follow best practices to avoid accidents.

When to Call a Professional

While replacing deck boards can be a rewarding DIY project, there are instances when calling a professional is advisable. If the structural integrity of your deck is compromised, or if you’re unsure about any part of the process, seeking professional help can save you from potential pitfalls.

At Utah Deck Company, we’re committed to helping our customers enjoy their outdoor spaces to the fullest. Whether you require a full deck replacement or simply need advice on your DIY project, we’re here to help.


Replacing your deck boards can transform an aging or damaged deck back into a vibrant, welcoming outdoor space. With the right tools, preparation, and a bit of effort, you can complete this project with confidence. And remember, whether you’re in need of professional Services or a bit of guidance, Utah Deck Company is only a call or click away — reach out to us by phone at 801-921-6826 or Request a Free Quote.