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Hi all,

I have a deck that is about 20 years old. Its about 5 feet off the ground in some areas so I can get under it to have a good look at everything. the joists, and beams are all in great shape.

The problem is with the deck boards.. they are beat up, have been painted brown at some point, and I'm ready to replace them.

My question is what i should do with the header joists and outside joists. they are visible and painted brown like the rest of the deck. I want these to match my new deck board colors (brown PT)

I could replace the outside joists, but i was wondering if I should leave everything as-is to maintain the structural integrity and just mount new 2x8's over the existing brown ones. Would there be any problem with that? the deck would be slightly bigger, but i have the room.. and i'm rebuilding the railing from scratch anyway.,

opinions?
 

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Add another rim joist will make the deck stronger and not be an issue as long as you still allow for a 1/2" over hang on the deck boards.
 

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Don't know what you mean by PT. Do you mean pressure treated, and the color is brown? What I know about brown pressure treated is they are ground contact rated and probably more expensive.
Paint does not last on deck. But if you want, you could remove existing boards and see what the other side looks like. You will have the nail holes, but the existing decking may be in great shape underneath. There is solid deck stains which may be a better choice. Stain lasts only a few years, but does not lift and peel like the paints.
 

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If it is the just the exterior joists that will be seen, wrap the outside with a matching fascia board from the same composite material the new deck boards will be made from. Also, put deck joist sealer tape on top of all the joist when old deck is off. When screw penetrate the sealer tape, it seals the hole and also keeps the water from sitting on the top of the joist, makes them last alot longer.
 

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If the structure is sound I would simply double up your perimeter joints with the new lumber remembering to ensure an overhang. Be ready for bad news though. I was in sort of a similar situation last year - decking was shot but structure looked reasonable (turns out it was not). When I started pulling off the decking, I found the tops of many of the joists were shot. I ended up having the whole thing redone right down to the footings which meant permits, money and more money. It sure looks nice now and you could land helicopter on it.
 

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Don't forget that after you replace the decking you will probably notice many old nail or screw holes left in the top of the joists that will hold water and lead to rotting. You can choose to not worry about the problems this will lead to, caulk the holes or flip the joists over if the crowns or sags will permit.
Good luck to you.
 
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