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Refinishing a Wood Deck: What’s the Cost?

As a homeowner, you have certain tasks you need to complete to maintain your home’s integrity. One of these jobs involves refinishing a deck. Refinishing a deck is important because this step can make sure its appearance and functionality continue to last, especially if you live in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions. Not only does this process allow you to keep enjoying your outdoor space, but it also can increase your home’s value. Use this guide to learn what you should expect when it comes to refinishing your deck and how much you should plan to spend. 

How Much Should Labor Cost?

If your deck has suffered from years of neglect and exposure to the elements, it might begin to show its age. One of the main factors involved in deck refinishing involves labor. According to HomeAdvisor, expect to spend between $350 and $650 on labor.

Does the Type of Wood Matter When It Comes to Price?

Refinishing Wood Desk

Image via Flickr by Yortw

You also need to take into account the type of wood used to make your deck. Different types of wood will absorb stains at different rates. The more porous the wood is, the more easily it will absorb the stain and cause the resulting stain to be darker. Newer wood might be denser and smoother, both of which might make it more difficult to absorb stain, giving it a lighter hue.

Some of the more common types of wood used for decks include the following:

  • Ipe: Also called Brazilian walnut, ipe is an exotic wood from Central and South America. It’s one of the hardest, strongest, and most naturally resistant to rot. It also has one of the lowest annual and lifetime costs, making it comparably priced with composite wood.
  • Teak: This closed-grain hardwood has a high natural oil and rubber content. Teak is a durable timber that is highly resistant to rotting and impervious to harsh weather elements.
  • Redwood: This type of wood can range in color from a light pinkish brown to a deep reddish brown. Redwood is not as hard as the other two types of wood. 

How Much Should Deck Sealant Cost?

When looking at deck sealant, you can choose between an oil-based or water-based one. Oil-based sealants can penetrate or coat the wood, while water-based ones are less resistant to wear and tear. Non-toxic sealers also tend to cost a bit more compared to their traditional counterparts. According to HomeGuide, deck sealant costs between $15 to $55 per gallon and covers 125 to 350 square feet.

What Other Factors Are Considered?

In addition to labor costs, type of wood on the deck, and type of sealant used, several other factors are taken into consideration when calculating the costs for refinishing a deck. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Repairs: Before the deck can be refinished, any necessary repairs must be made. These issues are typically found during an inspection, which might also be added to the cost.
  • Size: Perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to refinishing costs involves the size of the deck. Understandably, the larger the deck, the more it costs to refinish. An oversized or oddly shaped deck will cost more as well.
  • Timing: In most areas of the country, late spring is the best time to refinish your deck. It’s best to book a professional early to avoid higher prices during the peak season.

After taking all of the factors into consideration, the average cost to refinish a deck is $975, according to HomeAdvisor. The lower end of that scale is $600, while the higher end reaches $1,360. This price includes sanding down the top layer as well as repainting or staining the wood.

Can You Refinish a Deck Yourself?

Just like most household tasks, refinishing a deck is a possible DIY project if you have the right tools. Completing this process yourself might cost less than hiring a professional, but it involves a bit of effort and a solid understanding of carpentry and staining. It’s best to work over a long weekend when temperatures stay between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you get started, make sure you have cleaning supplies, wood stain, an orbital sander, and a power washer. To refinish your deck, follow these steps:

  • Inspect the wood. Look at every part of the deck to make sure it’s securely fastened. Tighten any loose screws or bolts, and replace any rusted pieces. Make sure the wood doesn’t have any structural damage.
  • Clean the area. Take plastic sheeting and cover any plants. Use a wood cleaner to wash the dirt and debris off the deck.
  • Power wash the deck. Take the power washer, set it at the appropriate pressure level for the wood, and power wash the deck.
  • Sand it. Let the deck dry completely for at least 48 hours, and use an orbital sander with the proper sandpaper grit to sand the deck. Make sure you use a lower grit for the floor and a higher one for the railing.
  • Apply the stain. For quick and even application, use a sprayer to apply the stain. Use a roller or brush to blend in the stain. Keep in mind that 1 gallon of stain should cover about 200 to 300 square feet of deck.
  • Clean up. Properly dispose of all the cleaning materials, and be cautious with the finish since it’s often flammable. Place all rags and brushes in a metal can and submerge them in water. Seal the can and dispose of it. Avoid washing any of the materials down the drain or placing them in the regular trash. 

The cost to refinish a deck, whether you hire someone or do it yourself, is well worth the investment. It’s one of the best ways you can keep your deck looking as good as new. If you need help when it comes to refinishing a deck, don’t hesitate to reach out to Teak Master. Led by Tim Gilliam, who boasts more than two decades of experience working in wood restoration, Teak Master can help to bring your deck back to its original luster.

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