A Girlfriend’s Guide to Deck Repair

A Girlfriend’s Guide to Deck Repair
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Who says we have to pay a workman to repair our deck? We woman are just as capable of taking on DIY projects. I want to show you how easy deck repair can be and encourage you to try it for yourself, especially if you are a single woman or have a not-so-handy husband. My deck is not that old, only 6 years, but it’s starting to show wear and tear. The kids have tripped a few times already and gotten splinters so it was time to make some repairs.

Come on ladies! Let’s get our DIY on!

A Woman's Guide to Deck Repair - c4a.bc9.myftpupload.comOh my, yes that is green moss growing all over my poor deck. It doesn’t look that bad from here, but let’s take a closer look. 

damaged stairs

Yikes! Nails are all popped up. Look at those cracks! That board is barely together, just laying there and about to break off. Cracks love to form around knots in the wood. Many builder’s tend to use the least expensive decking boards, which are loaded with knots and shorten the life and quality of the deck.

This is not safe at all. cracks in wood

 To replace deck boards you will need the following items:

The first step is to remove the damaged stair or deck treads with a pry bar and hammer. Pull out any nails that might remain after removing wood.

A woman's guide to deck repair - c4a.bc9.myftpupload.comSome of the boards might take a bit of effort to remove and you just might have to put yourself in awkward positions to get the job done. I’ve found a few guttural grunts help in the process…

if you’ve given birth, then I’m sure you are quite aware of the power behind the Guttural Grunt! (wink)

Just try not to scare the neighbors, ok?

Girl Power!

For the decking stair treads, I feel it is important to purchase premium pressure treated deck boards. These usually come without knots, which means they will be less prone to crack and split. It’s worth the extra few dollars. Deck boards also have nice rounded edges. Measure the width of your stairs. Mine were 4 feet wide. Measure and mark 4 feet on a deck board. Measure, mark and cut only one step at a time. Like they say, measure twice, cut once. 
Measure and mark

Always be sure to don on your stylish 3M™ TEKK Protection™  eye wear and ear wear. When I’m outside in the sun I love my sun glass style eye wear and when in the garage or house I switch to my clear 3M eye wear. But my favorite new ear protection is my 3M™ TEKK™  Work Tunes Ear phones.

They are awesome!

Not only does it block out all exterior sound but has a built in radio and iPhone connection!

I’ve found them quite useful around my 4 screaming children also. 😉

Now I can dance, DIY, AND embarrass my kids all in one shot!

It’s a mother’s DREAM!

Sand and Sisal jammin' to her 3M Tekk Work Tunes Ear Protection

Cut your boards to length and sand any rough edges with a 3M Advanced Abrasives sanding block.

Deck Repair - c4a.bc9.myftpupload.com

Were you aware there is a proper way to lay deck boards?

Take a look at the end of the board. See the direction of the wood grain?

You want to lay the boards down so that the wood grain on the ends look like a rainbow.

As the boards age they will have a natural tendency to curl just a bit. You do not want the edges to curl up which leads to puddling water. How to lay deck boards

Lay your cut board on your stair treads or deck and with 2 inch decking screws, screw into the support beams below.

Why decking screws vs. nails?

I always like to use decking screws, because not only is any future board replacement easier to remove, but screws also hold the wood in place far better than nails which tend to pop up over time.

Use 2 screws where ever the support beams are. Place the screws at least one inch in from the outsides and ends of the boards. If you are too close to the end or edges, then you might split the board.
Drilling stair treads

When replacing stair treads, replace the back treads first. This way you can easily see the support beams underneath. How to lay stair treads

 Then repeat the process with the 2nd stair treads. Push the boards as close together as possible and then screw into place. Because we are using pressure treated wood, no spacing between boards is needed. Pressure treated wood comes rather moist and as it dries out over time, the boards will shrink. If you leave a space between your boards now, then later on you will have large gaps that heels can easily get caught in and cause a hazard issue.

How to replace deck stair treads

Spruce up your posts with a decorative finial or post cap. I added these beautiful copper solar post cap lights. They easily attached with 2 simple screws.

copper solar cap light

Give the wood a nice coat of deck stain to protect the deck from weather and UV rays and to create a rich color.  The stairs are safe now and look better than the original!

I completed this entire stair tread replacement in just a few hours.

If I can do it ladies, so can you!

Kick that workman to the curb! Girl, You Got Skills!

How to Replace Stair Treads


You might also like these other DIY projects:

Installing Hardwood Floors

Installing Hardwood Floors

How to Install Board & Batten with Decorative trim

How to Install Board & Batten

3m tekk protection, 3m tekk, safety, respirator, tekk protection, safety projects

This post is a collaboration with 3M™ TEKK Protection™ Brand, but all words and opinions are my own.

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  1. Great job, Kim! Love how you’re smiling while cutting the wood! With the effortless use of power tools you displayed? You’re my hero!

  2. Wow what a great job, the finished product looks beautiful!

  3. Great info. Didn’t realize the grain of wood mattered in a deck, totally makes sense. Those copper light caps look great and will be so nice in the evening with subtle light, but be so great for added safety. Thanks for a great post!

  4. Karen Buck says:

    Great tutorial! I knew some of this stuff but learned too…However I want to say how much I love the Jasmine growing on your rails It is beautiful!

  5. Mrs. Vallejos says:

    Nicely done! I’m wondering if the decking on the stairs was failing because it’s 1x material and not 2x? Or, it needed treating more often for sun damage?

    Now – could you please give a link for the solar cap fixtures – those are such a great idea! I could use that at my garden gate. Thanks!

  6. You are one handy woman! 🙂 Great tips and love the one about the wood grain! Totally something I wouldn’t have thought of! — pinning!

  7. Angela @hickorytrailblog.blogspot.com says:

    Wow, you’re great with those power tools 🙂

  8. Kim–your deck turned out great! We have the 3M™ TEKK™ Work Tunes Ear phones and love them (and fight over who gets to wear them)!

  9. Fabulous work woman! You sure make it look easy and the result is fabulous. xo Jenna

  10. We need to repair and repair our deck this spring so this is great info! Thank you!

  11. Great post Kim! Lots of great tips and tricks, we need to replace our deck steps, glad to have this great tutorial to follow!


  12. Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

    You go girl!! Great job! Thanks for the info, and I’m definitely going to have to get some of those 3M ear phones!

  13. It looks great and I really love the post caps. I need to work on my deck so bad. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. What a great job! You’re kind of a bad-a$$! Love it! I did not know that about the “rainbow” at the end of the wood. Pinning that tip.

  15. Condo Blues says:

    I like the copper fence caps.

  16. Looks awesome! I LOVE those headphone ear protection things, I would ware those all the time. 😛 Your stairs turned out great, and I love all the tips. Great post!

  17. Melanie Sorensen says:

    Kim, you are amazing!!!

  18. Love this tutorial. My deck needs some major work done and you make it look so doable. I am going to pin this so I can check it out again when I am ready to work on my deck.

  19. This is a great post that we currently need. Going to give it a try!

  20. Giddy-up! Love how you take the bull by the horns and get-er done. Why am I talking like a Southerner? Time to move again–I guess. LOL Nice job on that deck, it looks great. It’s amazing what a difference that makes on the curb appeal. 🙂

  21. Ugh. I need to do this too, but am dreading it. At least now I kind of know what I’m doing! Thanks for sharing. I’d love if you’d link up to The DIY’ers. http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-diyers-and-more-curtains.html

  22. Very good job! The difference is night and day! Love the stain!

  23. Great deck repair and step job!

  24. Kristen Dockery says:

    Thanks for the tips on how to repair your deck stairs. The stairs on my deck are wearing down from the weather and I have been meaning to get them replaced for sometime now. I want to get them fixed before there is an accident with the stairs.


  1. […] to examine your deck for any worn boards. Look for warped, cracked or broken boards that need to be replaced. Just as you did when you built the deck, buy replacement boards of the same pressure-treated wood. […]

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