Do you use treated wood?
Yes, I use all treated wood and in addition to that I brush every cut edge with preservative.
Do I have to paint or stain treated wood?
Yes, you should. The preservative prevents rot and mildew but it does not prevent the wood from turning gray in the sun or from developing cracks as the wood dries over time. A waterproofing compound such as Thompson Waterseal, a stain or paint will help keep your wood product looking great for years to come.
How long should I wait before applying paint or stain?
You should wait a minimum of 30 days or preferably up to one yearbefore applying any coating to treated wood. The wood has been soaked in a vat of preservative and that moisture must dry out of the core of the wood before applying any coating.
Should I use wood or composite decking?
The main advantages to composite decking are that it never needs paint or stain and it lasts longer. The main disadvantage is that it costs about 3 to 4 times as much. Plus, if your deck requires a handrail you would likely not want to use treated wood for the same reasons you would not want a treated wood surface. The other options are aluminum and PVC, which are in turn considerably more expensive than wood.
Do I supply the materials?
I am quite flexible and can go either way.
Do you haul away the old deck or fence?
Again, I am quite flexible. You can save a few hundred dollars by removing it yourself or you can hire me to do it for you.
Can I just replace the surface on my old deck?
Every old deck I have taken apart has always had considerably more rotted wood than was originally visible on the frame and beam. You can expect to change more than anticipated.