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Where to start with repairs on deck?

Just Starting Out

Where to start with repairs on deck?

Hi I'm Leka,

I have a deck that needs a major repair and I have no experience in building and needing help please to fix it and I dont know where to start. 


Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Where to start with repairs on deck?

Hi @Leka,


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. We're really pleased to have you join us and trust that you'll receive lots of help and inspiration for all your projects around the house and garden from our clever and creative members.


I can understand that not knowing where to start can feel really overwhelming and intimidating, but we're here to help. 


To start with, you might like to get some ideas from our helpful guide How to renovate a timber deck by @Adam_W. As Adam says, a deck with damaged timber can be dangerous, so please take care. Then come back to us with some more photos and a thorough description of the condition of the structure and what your goals are for the renovation work. Helpful community members like Adam and our resident Bunnings D.I.Y. expert @MitchellMc will be happy to assist from there. 






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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Where to start with repairs on deck?

Hi @Leka,


It looks like you have begun the investigative stage of accessing the deck's condition, which is a great start. What have you discovered so far? I presume some of the deck's structure is compromised, as I can see you've removed several beams. If those beams have degraded, there is a good chance the rest of the structure would be in a similar condition. I would suggest the best course of action at this point would be to get some quotes from qualified builders for repairing the deck. You'll learn quickly whether the repair is something you could consider doing yourself or if it is something better left to a professional. 


The first item that stands out to me is those beams are spanning a substantial unsupported length. It would be best practice to ensure that it is a safe building technique before continuing any repairs on the deck.


Please keep us updated and let us know if you have any questions.




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Workshop Legend

Re: Where to start with repairs on deck?

Hi @Leka and welcome!
Oh boy... this is likley a largish sort of job.
First issue I can see there is that existing bearer beams are running over much too long a span. That is why they have failed & in-fact this renders the entire structure in its present form quite dangerous.
I notice too that the side bearer plates have been joined together just with nails and on the far side I can see that join looks to have failed. This sort of join should be made using ether stitching plates with coach screws or bolts or large hammer on 'knuckle' plates on both the inside & outside.
I'm also wondering whether those pine bearers are in-fact suitable for exterior use. They look more like large ceiling rafters.
I really hate to say it but that is a very difficult structure to repair. I question whether it could be even made suitably safe & I really don't think it could be brought 'up to code'.
Assuming that the timber is suitable for exterior use you would need to be doing the following;
- Inspect all bearers for further cracks or fractures.
- Run at least two, more likley three, large sub-bearers beneath the existing bearers. These sub-bearers would have to be supported on ground-mounted posts at suitable intervals.
- Level up side bearers and add knuckle plates or stitching plates.
- Replace damaged & missing bearers.
- Replace all decking if joining in new slats is not possible.

To be brutally honest with you... it may be easier, cheaper and in the long run safer (and up to building code...) to totally replace the existing structure.
A steel frame will get you the span without needing the extra supports and then decking is just screwed down to it.


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