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Overhaul my 40-year-old deck

Which material should stay, which should go, which needs to be respaced?
Published on Sep 12, 2007

Q: I have been contemplating redoing my ancient deck and decided to solicit your comments and advice. I laid this deck down about 40 years ago over a concrete slab at my home in Sunnyvale, Calif. The deck is approximately 30 feet long by 10 feet deep, consisting of extremely straight and relatively knot-free redwood 2-by-4s. I laid "sleepers" about three feet apart to keep the deck off the concrete and provide air space and support. The deck is the usual weathered redwood color, and I like the appearance. However, over the years the sleepers have deteriorated, giving a rather springy feel to the deck, as well as allowing the nail heads to protrude, creating a potential walking hazard. I would like to remedy the situation next spring when the weather is better. In addition, because of my inexperience, I spaced the 2-by-4s approximately 1/8 inch apart, so that when the boards shrank over the next 40 or so years, they allowed an enormous amount of debris to filter down onto ...

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