How to Estimate Deck Repairs

Wooden decks are exposed to long-term damage from harsh weather, and immediate damage from falling objects and fire. Prior to any repairs have been made, a homeowner may estimate the costs for materials and labor by taking measurements at the damaged regions. The measurements enable you to determine a cost for materials and obtain comparative quotes from several contractors based on the extent of the repairs. Material prices are offered through lumber yards and many home centers. Estimating the deck repairs would be the first step in restoring your deck to it’s original condition.


Measure and write down the size and sort of damaged wood posts that support the girders at the deck’s undercarriage. Typical support posts are four-by-four or four-by-six, and may be Douglas fir or redwood. Measure the amount of the post from bottom to surface and recording the measurement.

Measure the magnitude of broken girders, such as four-by eights, in addition to the period of the damaged part of the girder. If the damages do not extend to support articles, measure the distance between the corresponding support articles and plan on replacing that part of the girder.

Determine the magnitude of broken floor joists and rim joists by measuring the thickness at one edge and the width at one side of the joist. Typical deck joists and rim joists are two-by-eights or even two-by-10 ins. The lineal footage of joist lumber needed depends upon the portions of joists that are damaged. Sections of joists may be replaced in girder to girder or the whole span of the joists or rim, if needed. Include extra lineal footage for blocking between joists, if needed.

Decking and Handrails

Determine the square footage of deck boards needed by measuring the width and length of the damaged region and multiplying one by the other. Insert five percent to the total to permit cutting boards to span so they lay at floor joists. Notice the magnitude of the boards, such as two-by-six, and also the kind of material, such as redwood, fir or manufactured decking.

Measure the size and duration of broken redwood handrail posts. Very similar to all trimmed lumber, redwood posts are milled in standard sizes that vary up to 2 feet in length. For example, if a post measures 5 feet in the lower end to the underside of the handrail, a 6-foot piece is needed. Plan on a 10-foot piece to replace two articles.

Notice the size and duration of the redwood handrail that attaches at the tops of their articles. Measure the distance from post to post to replace a department, or measure the overall length, if needed.

Decide on the quantity of redwood for horizontal handrails or vertical balusters that comprise the handrail sections. Replace the rails from post to post, or balusters as needed, by counting the number of broken pieces.

See related