Tips for Extending the Life of Your Fence and Deck

Cedar deck with Adirondack chairs

Creating a durable and beautiful outdoor space requires thoughtful planning, suitable materials, and proper maintenance to maximize its functionality over time. Read on to learn how to make the most of your outdoor project through proper planning, choosing the right materials, maintenance and upkeeping, and finding the right people for the job.

Plan your outdoor project

Design for your lifestyle

The first step in any successful deck or fence project is knowing what you want out of it. Are you looking for privacy, something nice to look at, or to boost security? Each goal might influence different aspects of your project, from the layout to the height and materials used. Setting clear objectives at the beginning helps steer all subsequent planning and ensures that the final product aligns with your needs and lifestyle.

Budget wisely

Creating a realistic budget is crucial and should include the costs of materials and labor and potential hidden costs like permits and maintenance. Exploring financing options, such as loans or flexible payment plans offered by contractors, can also help manage the financial load without sacrificing quality.

Extend project life with additions

One way to extend the life of your project is to include additional features in your plans. Additions such as a patio cover can help protect your deck from the elements, allowing your materials to last longer before they need replacement or repairs. Consider the weather of your region and whether or not any additions could help protect your project or increase its durability.

Choose suitable fencing and decking materials

Whether your long-term project goal is durability, maintenance, or appearance, selecting the right materials is critical, and every option has its pros and cons:

  • Wood: Offers a classic look but requires regular maintenance to prevent decay and termites.
  • Composite: Mimics wood but is more durable and requires less maintenance, albeit at a higher cost.
  • Vinyl or Acrylic: Extremely durable and virtually maintenance-free, though some find it less aesthetically pleasing.
  • Metal: Offers durability and stability, particularly stylish aluminum, which is rust-resistant.

Keep in mind that the material you select will impact the long-term satisfaction and upkeep of your project. In many cases, using more than one type of material may be best.

Maintenance and upkeep

Keep a routine

The longevity of your deck or fence largely depends on regular maintenance. Wood may require annual staining and sealing, while composite materials only need periodic cleaning with soap and water. Vinyl and metal will need occasional checks for any signs of damage or wear.

We recommend sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. It will help extend your project’s life and ensure nothing gets missed or forgotten over time.

When planning your project, Rick’s recommends asking contractors and experts if there are simple ways to extend its life. Many will have tips or other valuable methods, such as preferred stains or sealants, to help you care for your deck or fence.

Handle repairs and upgrades

Eventually, your outdoor structures will need repairs. It is essential to know when and how to address these, whether it’s replacing worn-out boards or fixing loose fence posts. Also, consider future upgrades or additions, such as integrated lighting or privacy features, which can enhance functionality and increase value.

It’s also crucial to be aware of warranties. A solid warranty can significantly extend the life of your outdoor structures by ensuring that materials are of high quality and installation meets professional standards. However, it also can help you save costs if materials need repairs while still under warranty.

Hiring the right decking and fencing professionals

Finding a reliable contractor is as important as selecting the proper materials. Look for professionals with valid licenses, good reviews, and a strong portfolio of completed projects. Their expertise can be invaluable, from initial design to final construction, ensuring your project is built to last.

By following these detailed steps, your decking or fencing project will meet your immediate needs and stand the test of time, providing lasting value and enjoyment for your home.

Rick's builds to last

No matter the size of the project, Rick’s prioritizes quality and longevity when planning and building. If you’re ready to begin your next outdoor project and hope to use it for years to come, we’re here to help. Reach out to our team to see how we can help you make your decking and fencing plans last for the future.


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