If your deck is looking a little weathered and you're considering replacing the boards, you might want to try this simple trick to see if you can squeeze a few more years of service out of them.
Decking planks aren't cheap. If your deck looks rough, don't rush to replace the wood just yet. Shine a flashlight underneath and see how the underside of the planks looks. Most likely, the side not exposed to the beating rain and scorching sun probably still looks pretty darn good.
It's labour intensive, but prying up the boards and flipping them so that the weathered side is down and the less-aged side is up can give you years more service out of the same old materials. You'll be out some hours of manual labour and—depending on the size of the deck—around $US50-60 bucks for new deck screws and some buckets of stain.
Check out the Flickr pool of frugal deck recyclers, subsixstudios, to see how their deck-flipping turned out and judge for yourself whether a totally new deck is really necessary.