Decks can take a toll due to elements such as inclement weather or just constant use. Over time, they may become worn out, lose their shine, or fall apart. When this happens, one of the most frequent culprits is the deck boards. So, in this article, we will walk you through five simple steps on how to replace deck boards easily and quickly even if you're a DIY newbie. Arm yourself with reliable tools and this comprehensive guide and breathe new life into your deck.

Spotting the Telltale Signs That You Need to Replace Deck Boards

Before you learn how to replace deck boards, you need to recognize the signs that it’s time for a replacement. Some of these signs may include wood splintering, which might make your deck unsafe to walk barefoot. Other signs are clear visual cues, such as board warping, cracking, or clear rotting. In some extreme cases, you might also see insects or pests making these deck boards their home. Once you notice these signs, it's time to start the process of replacing your deck boards.

Materials and Tools Needed for Deck Board Replacement

Replacing the deck board requires having the right tools and materials at hand. Here's a simple checklist:

  • New deck boards - Make sure to measure your existing ones to get an accurate size.
  • Safety glasses and gloves - Safety always comes first!
  • Reciprocating saw - For cutting through nails and screws that might be holding down the old decking.
  • Crowbar or deck demolition tool - These tools can help in lifting the old boards.
  • Cordless drill or screwdriver - For fastening the new deck boards to the joists.
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil - To mark the cut lines on the boards.

How to Replace Deck Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide

Once you have the necessary tools and materials, follow these simple steps on how to replace deck boards:

Step 1: Remove the Damaged Deck Boards

Start by removing the damaged deck boards. Use a crowbar or a deck demolition tool to pry them out. If they're screwed or nailed down, cut through them using a reciprocating saw. Be careful not to damage the underlying joists while doing so.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Your New Boards

Measure the length of the space where you removed the old board then cut your new board to match this measurement. Make sure to account for any overhang or specific styling considerations regarding your deck's look.

Step 3: Fit Your New Board

Once your new board is cut to size, fit it into the space left by the old one. Make sure it is perfectly in line with the other boards, and matches the overall aesthetic and structure of your deck.

Step 4: Secure the New Board

After confirming the fit, secure your new deck board onto the existing joists using a cordless drill or screwdriver. We recommend pre-drilling holes to prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 5: Double-check Your Work

Double-check the entire board for any issue after installing it. Make sure the board is secured tightly and blends seamlessly with the old boards. If not, consider adjusting or re-installing it.

Following these steps on how to replace deck boards will ensure that your deck stays beautiful and safe. The entire process may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation and following these steps, you'll find that it's quite manageable. Remember, it's all about maintaining the integrity and safety of your deck. Happy decking!

Why would I need to replace deck boards?

There are multiple reasons for needing to replace deck boards. The most common reason is general wear and tear. Over the years, boards can warp, turn grey, develop cracks or break entirely. Another common reason is wood rot, which can occur if the deck doesn't drain properly or water sits on the boards for longer than it should. Another common reason is pest damage, from termites or other wood-boring insects.


Can I replace a deck board without removing neighboring boards?

Yes, it is possible to replace a single board without removing neighboring boards. You’ll just need to use the pry bar carefully in order not to damage the surrounding boards. However, if the boards are side-by-side and share a joist, you will need to be able to secure the new board to the joist without damaging the neighboring board.

Are there different types of deck boards?

Yes, deck boards come in many different materials, including pressure-treated lumber, composite, vinyl, cedar, and redwood. Each type has its own pros and cons relating to cost, maintenance, longevity, and aesthetics. The type of board you choose to replace your old ones will depend on your specific circumstances.

How much does it cost to replace deck boards?

The cost of replacing deck boards can largely depend on the type of wood you choose and the size of your deck. Prices can greatly range, but on average, homeowners spend between $5 and $15 per square foot to replace deck boards. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of any necessary tools if you don’t already have them.

Can I replace deck boards myself or should I hire a professional?

This largely depends on your comfort level with DIY projects. If you’re a handy person and you have some time to spare, replacing deck boards can be a doable project. However, if you're dealing with large-scale replacement or if the damage to your deck is extensive, it might be best to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.


After all is said and done, the process of how to replace deck boards is not as daunting as it first appears. With a bit of patience, the right tools and some safety precautions, you can breathe new life into your deck. The important thing to remember is that by regularly maintaining and replacing any damaged boards, you're not only ensuring the longevity of your deck, but also its safety and aesthetic appeal.

Knowing how to replace deck boards is a handy skill for any homeowner. It can save a lot of money on professional repair costs and gives you the satisfaction of a job well done. Equipped with this knowledge, you could have a deck that will not only last for years but also be the envy of your neighbours. Remember, the heart of a well-maintained home starts from the bottom, so put your best foot forward when it comes to your decking.

So there you have it, a simple guide on how to replace deck boards. Now that you know what to do, don't put off those necessary repairs. With just a few skillful strokes, you can restore your worn-out deck back to its former glory. Roll up your sleeves, get your tools out and give your deck the attention it deserves. You won't regret it!

About US Quality Construction of Columbus

Welcome to US Quality Construction of Columbus, your trusted construction partner! Based in Columbus, OH, we take pride in offering top-notch construction services that reflect our commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Our team of professionals possess accumulated years of experience across a wide range of construction assignments, including design, project management, renovation, and home improvement. We believe in quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction in every project we undertake. At US Quality Construction, your vision is our mission!

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