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  1. Stairs: This is perhaps one of the most overlooked items that can raise costs the most. Typically stairs built for wood boards and railings will fall short of meeting both modern building codes and composite manufacturer's requirements. Three key things to look for that will need to be addressed before composite installation can begin: a) Posts attached to outside of stairs are not allowed; b) Not enough stringers. Only three or four stringers supporting stair treads when composite treads require a max joist spacing of 9"-10" on average; c) No solid landing pad at the bottom of the stairs. We often see stairs end on a lawn or asphalt driveways.

  2. Framework: This is another big item. More often than not there will be major framework flaws in the original build. This is mainly due to the lax building code requirements on decks in the past. Many failures causing severe injuries and in some cases even loss of life have occurred from these poorly built decks. Look under your deck and see if your deck has concrete support forms with proper metal structural connectors at the post bases. If yes, then this is a good indication that the rest of the deck would most likely have been built well in a structural sense.

  3. Missing Structural Connectors & Wrong Hardware Used!: This is by far the most common item needed to be upgraded and either missing from your current deck or in most cases installed improperly. With the advancement in deck building technology, new building codes are being implemented every year. Take another look at your lumber connections under the deck. Everywhere one piece of lumber connects to another there should be metal structural connectors.

  4. Blocking: This is extra lumber required to install composite materials. These new manufactured boards are not installed in the same fashion as your pressure treated lumber would have. They also don't have the same structural capacity that PT has, therefore extra lumber will need to be added to your deck. This is required on just about all decks that are being converted to composite.