Most wooden decks need to be re-stained every couple years to prevent fading and moisture penetration. Homeowners can re-stain a deck themselves, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Depending on the size of the deck, it can take days to do it right. Deck maintenance companies are experts in deck cleaning, staining and sealing. Most companies will want to see a deck before giving an estimate to re-stain it. Cost factors involve square footage, the level of sanding required, type of stain used and more.
Most contractors charge by the square foot. Average prices to re-stain a deck range from 50 cents to $2.50 per square foot. It will cost more to also have the underside of the deck stained. Some contractors will include sealing the deck in their quote, but some don’t—be sure to make sure. Rails and spindles can also be sanded or washed, stained and sealed, usually for a separate cost.
Contractors generally clean every deck before re-staining it, usually by power washing. The deck must sit for 24 hours until it’s completely dry before staining can begin. Some contractors include power washing services separately, and some include it in their overall quote. In addition, some contractors use a special wood cleaning solution, which could be charged as an add-on or considered part of the overall quote.
The higher-quality the stain that the contractor uses, the higher the overall cost. Clear stains can work for decks that are in great shape, but solid color stains help conceal the flaws in an older deck. If old stain needs to be removed, the cost will be higher.
Contractors’ prices vary depending on the type of material used to build the deck. Common materials include cedar, pine, redwood, vinyl and composite.
Decks that haven’t been maintained well often require a power sanding before the stain and seal. Power sanding costs more than the light sanding that is generally required when a deck is re-stained.
If a deck has damage such as rotted or decaying wood, the contractor might suggest a separate price for repairs.
Some companies will move furniture and include the cost of labor in the overall price. Others ask customers to move furniture before workers arrive.
Deck stainers are usually busiest in the spring; consider having your deck stained in the fall. Also consider moving your own deck furniture in advance of the deck stainers’ visit if you don’t want to pay for this service.
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