How to Install a Deck Cover

A deck cover is an easy way to update the look of an unattractive, but still structurally sound structure. Far less than the cost of a new deck, an ambitious homeowner can choose to install a deck cover himself, saving even more money.

A deck cover is often made of vinyl. It snaps together and has pieces that will be familiar to anyone who has worked with vinyl siding. A deck cover consists of vinyl planks that fit over the top of the deck, but also over the fascia and any exposed corners. A carefully installed deck cover can be almost indistinguishable from a new deck.

Pick out a deck cover that suits your home in both style and cover. Because they are usually made of vinyl, a deck cover cannot be repainted. You should also keep in mind possible fading over time; to minimize fading consider a lighter color. It is also important before beginning to make sure your deck is completely sound and to check it regularly for signs of rotting after the cover is installed.

Before beginning the installation process, it is important to prepare the old surface by cleaning it thoroughly and taking care of any warped boards or protruding fasteners. It is important to make that the deck is completely flat and that nothing could potentially damage the vinyl planks.

Once any needed prep work is complete, you can begin by installing the vinyl edging. This edging should cover all of the edges of the deck, including the areas that it meets the house. It is important to not that you will need two types of edging to complete this job, one for the corners and one for the area where it meets the house.

No matter what type of edging you are using the installation method remains the same. Measure carefully and cut 90 degree notches on the top and bottom portions of the vinyl edging so it can go around corners while preserving the finished edge around the corner itself. Keep in mind that the end of the vinyl panels will slide into the edging, giving your deck a clean look, so be sure to be careful when installing it.

To secure the edging and the planks most manufacturers recommend using galvanized screws. Using an electric screwdriver for this project will also cut down on the time involved for most homeowners.

With the edging installed you can begin installing the vinyl planks of the deck cover. You should install them perpendicular or at least diagonal to the existing planks. Install them as you would any wood product; by measuring, cutting to size, and then fastening into place. The vinyl planks should have two channels on the top of each board with holes spaced every inch for screws. Plan on spacing the screws 8 inches apart.

Once all of the vinyl planks are installed on the top of the original deck, you can install the vinyl cover strips. These are popped into place with a mallet and cover the screws used to install the planks. Be sure to use a rubber mallet for the job and tread carefully; you can easily scratch the surface when install if you are not careful.

With the planks on top of the deck installed, install the fascia planks. To do this, you should install a plank that is flush with the bottom of the fascia. Keep installing planks until the fascia is covered, but be aware that you might have to cut a plank in horizontally to cover the fascia completely. With the fascia planks installed you can then install the vinyl cover strips over the screws.

Any exposed fascia corners should be covered with a piece of 90 degree trim. Install these pieces by cutting them into size and then using a generous amount of silicone caulk on the corner to set them into place.

Installing a deck cover is an easy project, but only for a meticulous homeowner. If you are not comfortable completing this project, consider buying the materials and having someone do the job for you. This will ensure that you will have plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful deck this summer.

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