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Deck Repair Cost

The average cost of repairing a deck is $700.

In this guide

Signs that your deck needs repairing
Common problems
Cost factors
Repair vs replacement
Maintenance
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to repair a deck?

Decks enhance your outdoor living space and increase the usable square footage of your home. But because decks are also exposed to the elements all year, they often wear out long before the other living spaces of your house do, requiring repair.

There are a number of ways that a deck can fail and require repair, from needing to replace a few boards to redecking and refinishing the entire structure. The average homeowner replacing some of the old boards, installing a new railing 1, and staining both to match will spend around $700 on average for the repairs.

Signs that your deck needs repairing

Decks age over time and sometimes only need maintenance to make them look their best, such as a new coat of stain. But other times, your deck needs more help than that to remain structurally sound and safe. There are many ways that your deck could fail, so it is always best to inspect your deck regularly for any of the following signs:

  • Large cracks in wooden deck boards - This can indicate the plank needs to be replaced.
  • Rusted or missing screws, nails, or hangers - Any missing or rusted fasteners 2 must be replaced.
  • Softening wood or dry rot - If you can poke the tip of a screwdriver into the wood, it needs to be replaced.
  • Railings that move or give when leaned against - Railings should be able to support up to 200 pounds of force without moving. If they move, they should be inspected and repaired.
  • Sudden noises when you walk on the deck - A new creak, crack, or other noise can indicate a problem and should be inspected.
  • Movement when you walk on the deck -Your deck should not move, give, bend, or flex in any way when it is stepped on. If it does, it should be inspected.
  • Missing flashing 3 against your fascia board - There should be flashing between your home and where the joists connect to prevent rotting and moisture issues. Missing flashing should be replaced.
  • Stairs pulling away from the structure - If your stairs are no longer in the original position, they should be repaired or replaced.
  • Ledger board is showing signs of rot - The ledger board attaches your deck to your home. If it begins to show signs of rot or damage, it needs to be repaired.

Common problems

Decks have common issues that can lead to the need for repair. Most of these require only minimal invasiveness, and doing so can preserve your deck for several more years:

Common problemSolutionCost to repair
Board gapsReplace the decking$9 - $12/linear foot
Missing nails and screws

Investigate the cause

Replace rotting wood or flashing that led to missing hardware

Replace missing hardware

$100 - $1,000
Loose railingsTighten and replace as needed$150 - $500
Structural weaknessReplace beams and joists$200 - $2,000
Water damageReplace the affected areas$200 - $5,000
Dry rotReplace the affected areas$200 - $5,000
Fading colorPressure wash and reapply the stain$900 - $1,100
Termites

Hire an exterminator

Replace the affected areas

$1,000 - $3,000


Cost factors

In addition to the type of problem that you may encounter on your deck, there are numerous other factors that can contribute to the total cost of the repair. The first is the size of the repair. Some repairs are simple, such as a single board that needs replacing or a railing 1 that needs tightening. But in other cases, it may be several boards or the joists, each of which are priced by the linear foot for material and installation. This can mean broad cost ranges depending on the size of the deck and the amount that needs repair.

In addition, some materials may also cost more than others. If you are only replacing some decking, for example, you will replace it with what you currently have installed. But if you replace all the decking, you have several options. Composite decking may cost nearly twice as much as pressure-treated decking, while exotic hardwoods 4 cost even more. For example, you may pay $3,000 to redeck with pressure-treated lumber, $6,000 for composite, and $9,000 for an exotic hardwood. This is for the complete removal of your current decking and replacement with new decking. 

If you need new joists or beams, their size and material can also influence the cost. Finally, the time of year, how you finish the deck, and what style of deck you have, all play a role in your final costs.

Labor costs

Labor costs vary as well because each repair may be priced differently. Some may be priced by the linear foot and others by the entire job. A very general cost estimate is to take the total square footage of your deck and multiply by $1. This number could be much higher or lower depending on the total size of the job. But a 300-square-foot deck that needs a few new planks and a new railing will cost approximately $300 in labor and $400 in materials, totaling $700.

Repair vs replacement

It can be a tough call to decide if your deck only needs repairs or replacement. The general rule of thumb is that if the cost of the repairs comes close to the price of a new deck, you should consider replacement. In addition, if your deck has serious structural issues and requires all new beams and joists, then it will be in your best interest to simply replace the deck rather than to repair it. Finally, if your deck is more than 20 years old, it has likely reached the end of its lifespan and needs replacement. 

On the other hand, if your deck is structurally sound and only needs new decking, a new railing, and a few other repairs, you can simply repair it for a fraction of the cost and likely get many more years out of it before replacement needs to happen.

Maintenance

Good maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your deck in good condition and preventing the need for repair. The best way to help keep your deck in good shape is to prevent water damage. This means keeping your deck stained and sealed. If you notice the old stain peeling, it is time to power wash and restain it to keep it looking its best.

Maintenance also includes periodically inspecting your deck. Look for rusting or missing nails or screws, and replace them. Remove fuzzy mold or mushrooms because these can damage the wood. Look for problems while they are still small so that you can take care of them before they necessitate the need for major repair or replacement.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Deck Removal

If your deck needs major repairs and you do not want to repair or replace it, you can have it removed. Completely removing a deck, including demolition and proper disposal of the debris, can cost between $500 and $1,000 in total.

Deck Sealing

Seal or stain your deck to help preserve it for longer. This can cost around $1,000 on average to seal the entire deck.

Deck Staining

Deck staining is an alternative to sealing that alters the color of the deck while also sealing it. It also costs around $1,000 to stain the entire deck.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Decks over 10 years old should have their joist system inspected. This determines if the deck needs replacement.
  • If you replace boards or railings, make sure they are stained to match the rest of the deck.
  • Stain and seal your deck every 3 to 5 years to help protect it. Use a high-quality stain to seal the deck and prevent moisture problems and fading.
  • Decks in good condition can be resurfaced using a floating deck system on top of existing decking. Doing so means that you do not need to power wash or stain.
  • Minor to moderate repairs of a deck will likely not require a permit, but major changes will. Check with your city hall to find out if you need a permit.
  • If you only need a few small changes, consider hiring a handyman, who will likely charge less for materials and labor than a full decking company.
  • Delivering a large amount of lumber may require an additional fee. This varies by company and whether the installer picks it up for you. Most delivery fees start at $50.
  • Most decks are built and repaired during the warmer months of the year. If you can have your deck repaired between November and March, it may save you money.

FAQ

  • How much will it cost to repair my deck?

The cost of repairs varies depending on what needs to be repaired and the materials. The average cost of deck repair is around $700 but can go much higher.

  • How do I know if my wood deck is rotten?

Try pushing the tip of a screwdriver into it. If the tip sinks into the wood, it is rotten. 

  • Why are my deck boards rotting?

Boards rot because moisture penetrated them and became trapped. Improper sealing, staining, or maintenance may cause this.

  • How long should a deck last?

A deck should last around 20 years on average but may last longer with good maintenance. 

  • How do you know when to replace your deck?

If the cost of repair begins to approach the cost of replacement, it is a good idea to consider replacement. Likewise, if your deck is older than 20 years or has softening wood in the beams or joists, replacement may be the best option. 

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Railing: A long bar designed for a person to hold onto, giving them support. They are usually found on the sides of staircases, and can also be found in bathrooms, for example, to help persons with disabilities
2 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
glossary term picture Flashing 3 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
glossary term picture Tropical Hardwood 4 Exotic hardwoods: Timber from deciduous, flowering, seed-bearing trees that grow in tropical rainforests

Cost to repair a deck varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Aberdeen, MD
-8%
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Alpine, TX
-41%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Boise, ID
-11%
Boston, MA
+40%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Concord, NC
-15%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Elgin, IL
+28%
Hampton, VA
-18%
Houston, TX
+24%
Humble, TX
+16%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MD
+26%
Lincoln, NE
-13%
Manchester, CT
+23%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Paris, KY
-35%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Toledo, OH
+9%
Tulsa, OK
-14%
Varney, WV
-16%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources