Replacing a redwood deck


I have a redwood deck just outside my front door. The steps leading up to it are TREX. The TREX flaked badly, and I got a settlement check. Today, a friend was going to help me rebuild the steps again, and we found dry rot.
What happened is that the family I bought this 11 year old home from ran the dryer vent underneath the deck area. The moisture caused the dry rot. When I moved here four years ago, I had someone move the vent so that it vents outside of the deck, into the outside air. For four years there has not been any new moisture underneath the deck. It is bone dry.
What should have been a two hour job, took four hours. We completely removed every board as it was all dry rotted. It is nice and clean now.
I am thinking about hiring a concrete company to pour a concrete deck and steps. Then, I don't have to worry about wood rotting, boards needing to be treated every summer, and TREX flaking.
My home has vinyl siding.
Can someone tell me if a concrete company can pour a nice deck and steps after a home has been built. I know it is easy to do in a new home, but this is not a new home.
I just want to be sure it looks nice as I am quite fussy.
Would you go the concrete route, or stick with TREX?
Many thanks everyone.
Kate
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I go with a stamped concrete. Yes, it can be done after the house is built. Concrete is durable, never needs painting, and IMO< is far superior that decking materials.
My deck is about 9' off the ground so I poured a concrete patio under it. We love it and use it more than the deck.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I love the look of stamped concrete, but isn't it true that it needs to be treated once a year >?
Many thanks.
Kate
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Kate wrote: ...

> I just want to be sure it looks nice as I am quite fussy.
"Can" isn't the same as "will"...
Sure, it can be done; the trick will be finding a competent crew that will do a job up to what you expect. Get references; check up on them including going to look at some of their work would be my recommendation.

That's your pick based on what you want it to look like. If the moisture issues are cured, it's possible the wood deck could be an attractive feature whereas a poured concrete deck/porch/steps is poured concrete. Of course, there are ways to gussy-up that as well, but I think it's essentially a choice of what you want the appearance to be and what the budget is.
--
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dpb wrote:

A friend builds houses, as a hobby just for himself, and he is helping me decide on a company to do this.
I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
Kate
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I like wood, but im weird. Trex is and looks plastic, concrete is expensive and you hope you havnt been cheaped on the mix and some ice melters eat it up. How about a stone looking product or pavers that have a lifetime guarntee, concrete has none.
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ransley wrote:

Another great idea. I guess my feeling is with concrete, once it is poured,I don't have to treat it anymore. I am trying to keep it very simple and easy to maintain.
Thank you!
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"Kate" wrote

It can be done easily. You can have them apply either a think topper layer of faux-brick, slate, or just about anything else so you don't have the 'bare cement look'. You can even have trex put on top in a thin layer and replace as needed over time.
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cshenk wrote:

More to think about.
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Kate wrote:

If you live in snow country, any applied brick/slate/whatever surface over concrete has a big downside. First or second time water gets inside there and freezes, the surface material pops off. Concrete is what it is- if you don't like that look, you want a stone porch, or something hollow that drains itself. If cost is no object, big chunks of granite is a nice look.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

Thanks for helping me with my decision making.
Kate
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"Kate" wrote

Hi Kate!
If you live in snow country, one of the better looking solutions to topping the bare cement, is to have them press a mold into it to create a faux-brick look as it dries, at least on all top surfaces. They even have color additives they can use with the cement so it all looks terra cotta sorta. Just pay a little extra for having it mixed through-out and you won't have layers along the sides. The colorant is cheap but a spot where they like to cut corners so make sure thats specified for all cement to be poured from 4 inches below ground and up (or just all). If you don't specify it, then they have to pour a second layer for the sides after the base is dried and you have the potential of the separation issue in snow country then if water gets between the layers and a freeze-thaw causes problems down the line.
BTW, at the design phase, you want to think about rails. I do not recall you mentioning how high this needs to be so rails may not matter, but if it has steps up to the 'landing' then this might be a factor. Some states require them based on how high past ground level the 'porch' is. Others require rails based on how many steps there are.
I am not an expert on this but from what I've gathered the watch points are generally 'more than 3 steps' and 'more than 18 inches' (I know that sounds illogical but some base on number of steps and some on distance to ground). This doesnt mean your area is that restrictive, but a general idea of what may also be required. One fallacy you will see here from a few, is confusion on code-spec and what has to be followed. The only real answer there is your local offices who will happily answer you with a phone call I am sure. You do not for example, have to bring a grandfathered back porch up to current specs, when you do the front porch one to it, at least not in my area (and unaware of any others who would require that).
Hope this helps. A local contractor (get several estimates) will know the rules for your area too.
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WOW I dont think I have ever seen redwood rot.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote:

underneath it that held the wood on top of the deck. Those support beams were not made out of redwood.
Sorry for the confusion.
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JIMMIE | 2009-08-24 | 10:41:55 PM wrote:

You just haven't waited long enough. I have a client who wants me to power-wash her redwood deck, because it's all gray and black. I could get most of it off without damaging the wood, but the other 10% of the boards would just disintegrate--they're that rotted. She doesn't want to pay for redwood, so past repairs have been pressure-treated pine. :(
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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JIMMIE wrote:

can. No idea of OP's level of expertise, but many civilians can not tell the difference. If previous owner changed the deck boards for plastic, it leads me to suspect the deck wasn't real redwood, unless PO was an idiot.
-- aem, remembering as a kid using clear-grain redwood for fascia board, sends...
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I had the same done after doing an add-on to my house. I had a permit pulled for the concrete work and had the patio built to the same spec as the rest of the house. I wanted this built so that I could turn it into a room at a later date if I wanted to. The old wooden deck was 10 by 10 ft. The new concrete one is 14 x 28.
Jimmie
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I have not seen a concrete deck, although concrete patio looks good and practical. I'm sure someone can put in a concrete deck, and certainly concrete steps are common.
But, there are a few issues with concrete. No matter how good the contractor, 1 out of 10 concrete mixes will end up cracking and/or spalting. If successful, your concrete deck should be almost maintenance free, unlike a wooden deck.
My deck is 18 years old and looks very nice. I have to remove the algae every 2 years, and re-stain every 5-6 years. I drains quickly and dries very quickly after a rain. I use decking stain. Wooden decks are high maintenance, so one that is not too big is best.
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