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Easily Recoup 82% of Your Next Home Project Using Exterior Wood Balusters

Homeowners long for renovation projects that wisely recoup costs. Simple details like exterior wood balusters, galvanized nails, and pressure treated lumber that has been kiln-dried after treatment help to recoup up to 82 percent of the project when proprietors go to sell.

It’s time to make smart decisions on your next home investment.

Spend money where it adds value while maximizing curb appeal.

According to Home Advisor, homeowners spend between $727 and $2,411 on deck repairs. The average recoup yields $1,526 in 2018.

Unfortunately, some builders don’t follow best practices which can increase the amount of money a homeowner will need to spend to fix what should have been created correctly the first time. Decks decay quickly when proper outdoor materials aren’t used. Poor material and labor choices lead to instability, rotting, discoloration, broken boards, rot, termite damage, and slippery floors.

Great quality materials, on the other hand, save money, time, and maintenance. No one wants to deal with an expensive problem that could be prevented in the first place.

The secret is to use exterior grade products to ensure more than a decade of wear and tear.

Discover three options to improve your home’s resale value. 

Invest in Proper Exterior Wood Balusters, KDAT Lumber, and Galvanized Fasteners

KDAT lumber with galvanized fasteners

No deck wood is completely immune from rot, insects, and decay just like no nail is exempt from rust; but exterior building products have greater longevity than interior ones.

Pressure treated pine is an excellent water-resistant lumber choice as is Western Red Cedar.

Treated lumber is a low maintenance option but lacks the same aesthetic appeal as Cedar. It is a premium choice for locations with consistent weather and because the pine is kiln dried after pressure treatment it makes the wood less likely to warp.

Western Red Cedar, on the other hand is known, for its distinctive smell and rich color. It is best for above ground applications. The hardwood is great for people in extreme climates because the wood produces its own oils years after being pressed into lumber. This helps that keep the wood in good shape and is more visually appealing than pressure treated pine. Western Red Cedar will need diligent cleaning and resealing, or it will most lose its rich color after a few years. The wood itself will withstand nearly 15 to 20 years but it may deteriorate faster on ground floor and shaded areas.

Pressure treated wood is designed to withstand the elements because it is saturated with a copper rich preservative like Copper Azole (CA). This chemical, and others like it, help the wood resist fungus and microorganisms, but the Copper also reacts chemically with some nails. KDAT lumber offers greater fastener holding power when used with the right nails. Use galvanized or stainless-steel fasteners on pressure treated wood.

Galvanized stems the corrosion process by protecting steel nails with zinc. The zinc corrodes first, and the steel is spared.

Galvanized nails will rust but it takes a long time. The most durable nails are hot dipped (HD) and coated with molted zinc. The electro-coated galvanized is thinner and is often used for building the substructure of the porch.

However, zinc will react with Western Red Cedar. Use stainless-steel to avoid blackening the wood or causing it to rot. Regular zinc coated screws and hot dipped galvanized steel fasteners will turn cedar black.

Remember all nails are exposed to moisture and will eventually rust.

Paint won’t prevent it from eventually rusting because the nail head will bleed through the top coat. This part of the nail is most susceptible to corrosion due to oxidation-reduction. The steel gives up elections to the oxygen and the iron ions react with water. These form rust or iron oxide. Decks near the ocean at a quicker rate because salty air makes oxidation-reduction occur faster.

It is important to use quality materials because maintaining a deck through the next decade costs significantly less than replacing one.

Refinish and Repair Your Wooden Deck with Exterior Products 

Wooden deck made with exterior products

Now that you know the basic materials it’s time to make a smart decision for your home investment.

According to “Remodeling,” a construction magazine, the 2018 Cost vs. Value report advises refinishing a 10- x 12-foot deck with sealer paints or stains. This will cost between $350 to $750 but sealers preserve the wood’s look. Semi-transparent to semi-solid stains bring out wood grains and add a tint of color. Stains and sealers work on Western Red Cedar and pressure treated pine when applied to dry wood.

If a deck is structurally intact, and the wood is healthy, only minor repairs may be needed.

Working with a handyman for minor repairs may save additional money; some contractors add up to 15 percent to the cost of materials as a handling fee. Save money by choosing your own materials. Larger contractors and architects may be a better option for remodeling a deck.

A handyman will guide you to fix the deck by looking for instability, rotten wood especially on ground contact areas like the frame, support posts, and stair stringers, discolorations, broken deck boards, deck rot, termite damage, and slippery spots.

A handyman’s price will vary depending on whether the rail needs replaced, a trim rail, post end caps, exterior wood balusters or something else.

The estimated labor costs may be $100 to $500 for labor plus a fee for mileage depending on the area being serviced, as well as the intricacy and quality of the previously used materials that need replaced. Some handymen price by the hour; some by the job. Some will insist on being paid when each milestone is complete.

The costs of repairing individual fixes like replacing busted exterior wood balusters or spindles, top and base trim, deck boards, newel posts, deck screening, hand rails and guards, cost significantly less than replacing an entire deck.

Wood Decks Recoup More Value Than Composite Decks

Wood deck with basket weave pattern

Refinishing or fixing a wood decks will recoup more than composite decks.
According to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report, home owners that choose wooden decks recoup 82.8 percent; as opposed to composite deck owners which recoup 63.6 percent.
Consider updating the front porch by adding a 16-by-20-foot- wooden-deck. All parts from the exterior wood baluster to wood railings should be made from pressure treated lumber that is kiln dried after treatment to stay within the estimation. Assuming these materials are used, the average cost to construct the deck would be $10,950. This would add $9,065 to the resale value of the home.
Pressure treated decks retain 82 percent of its value and can still be customized to account for individual preferences. For example, pressure treated floor decking can be installed in the following fashions:
  • Angled board patterns
  • ATX Pattern
  • Chevron with transition board
  • Deck with cross pattern
  • Standard pattern
  • Diagonal or double diagonal
  • Herringbone 
  • Multiple patterns
  • Nested square patterns
  • Patchwork or basket weave pattern
  • Picture frames
  • Transition boards
  • Wood patio tiles

Painting and Staining Wooden Exterior Decks

Front porch with white exterior wood balusters

All treated lumber needs to be completely dry before it can be painted. All products from S&L Spindles come ready to paint or stain right out of the box.

If painting appeals to you, consider adding color without the kitsch.

Look at the existing colors on what you can’t change around your house like the brickwork, timber joinery, aluminum window framing, roof and driveway. These are large areas that impact color. 

Many homes are improved with a simple black and white color scheme, or a dramatic monochromatic scheme, or even a pastel inspired pallet to give it a Hampton feel. Color choices may be down-to-earth, grey on grey, sunburned or all white with layered neutrals. The trick to picking a color scheme is to choose exterior grade paints that have greater longevity than interior paints and pick a timeless scheme. 

It will be costlier up front, but the hope is for the project to last for a decade. 

It is advised to prime everything before it is assembled. Mold and decay will mount up quickly if you fail to use exterior grade products. Don’t sandwich moist pieces of wood together. Doing so holds water and causes decay.

Use vertical gains, prime everything, and bevel rail caps so water sheds off on all sides.

Stainless steel screws and pressure treated materials like exterior wood balusters, post caps and finials all done together in best practices, create a long-term quality wooden deck that stands the test of time.