Easy Deck Upgrades Before Your Summer Party

Whether it's a graduation party, a family reunion, or a Fourth of July extravaganza, hosting a party on your deck will require some preparation. As the party day approaches, you don't have to worry about cramming a massive deck project into a short time - instead, check out these easy deck upgrades you can complete in a few days or less!

A wood deck, upgraded and ready to host a party

7 Deck Upgrades You Can Finish Fast

#1: Add or upgrade your post caps

Time required: A few hours

A wood deck railing with modern metal balusters

Post caps are a small detail that make a huge difference to your deck's look - and they're easy to install quickly. You can make an old wood railing instantly look more modern and distinguished by adding sleek metal or vinyl post caps, or stick with traditional wood caps.

The best thing about upgrading your deck's post caps? They ship very fast. When you factor in the time you spend shopping and installing compared to the visual difference to your deck's style, post caps are some of the best bang for your buck you'll find among deck upgrades.

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#2: Swap out your balusters for a modern metal deck railing look

Time required: A day to a few days

Many older decks have worn wooden balusters. They warp, they fade, and they can really make your deck look dated. Swapping out wood balusters for sleek metal ones is a great, quick upgrade that can radically transform how your deck railing looks.

A wood deck railing with round balusters and baluster connectors

You can also choose different types of balusters depending on how quickly you need your deck upgraded. If you're a few weeks out from a Fourth of July grillout, you can opt for traditional round or square balusters that attach to your rails with baluster connectors, as shown above. If you're scrambling before a fast-approaching grad party, choose face-mount balusters (shown below) that won't require you to take your deck's top rail off to install.

A wood deck railing with face-mount balusters
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#3: Add style and function with post cap lights

Time required: A few hours to a day

Beautiful lighted post caps illuminate a deck

You can take a post cap upgrade a step further by adding lighting at the exact same time. Lighted post caps offer all the style appeal of traditional post caps - but they also add to the hours you can use your deck. If you want to extend your party into the evening, light up your space for an amazing ambience and a safe environment for your guests.

Pro tip: if you're looking for the quickest installation, focus on solar post caps, which typically install exactly like traditional, unlit post caps. If you'd like lights you can manually turn on and off, low voltage lighting is easy to wire and can feature built-in timers and dimmers.

Lighted post caps create a cozy deck space
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#4: Add an entirely new outdoor room with an underdeck ceiling

Time required: A few days

Underdeck ceiling makes a big difference as a quick deck upgrade

If you've got a second-story deck, the space underneath doesn't have to be dark, wet or dirty. An underdeck ceiling is an upgrade you can add easily, and it effectively doubles the usable space you've got outdoors.

An underdeck ceiling is perfect for both style and function. Systems like ZipUP Deck Drainage or UpSide Deck Ceiling look crisp and finished for a cozy, put-together underdeck space. They also funnel rainwater away to keep your space dry and protect your deck frame.

Note: deck ceilings like ZipUP or UpSide install really quickly and can work with existing decks. The Trex RainEscape system needs to be installed before you fasten down your deck boards, so it's not an ideal quick upgrade unless you're already in the midst of a bigger project.

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#5: Get stylish deck chairs and tables

Time required: A few hours

A seafoam green NewTechWood Adirondack deck chair

One of the quickest upgrades you can make is to refresh your patio furniture and decoration. A stylish Adirondack chair is a comfortable addition that's very on-trend. More decks, porches and patios are taking advantage of the bright, sunny color options to add some personality to the space. You can even get furniture that's on-theme with your party, like this awesome patriotic chair and table set:

A patriotic Adirondack deck chair sporting the red, white, and blue
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#6: Add or upgrade screens for privacy and bug protection

Time required: A day to a few days

New screens create a luxurious outdoor space

If you've got a porch, adding or upgrading screens can be a quick upgrade that yields huge dividends. With a barrier against bugs, you'll be able to host your event longer and keep you and your guests comfortable.

Check out how nice one of our customers made their space with a screen upgrade:

A bright, modern screen porch upgrade
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#7: Bring in a showstopping, easy-install pergola kit

Time required: A day to a few days

A stylish, lit pergola

If you're looking for an eye-catching enhancement, a pergola can instantly bring a luxurious feel to your yard. Luckily, modern pergolas are easy to plan and shop. We carry STIX Timber and LINX Pergola fittings that you can combine to perfectly fit your space.

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A deck set up for a deck party

Easy Deck Upgrade FAQs

How do you update a deck on a budget?

Upgrading your balusters is a great low-budget way to quickly upgrade a deck. It's also a great first step if you're planning to spread a bigger deck refresh out over a few months or a few seasons. You can call our project planning team anytime to plan out a phased deck upgrade.

How can I update my old wooden deck?

To quickly tune up old wood decks, we've got a few suggestions:

Clean off mold and moss: Wood decks absorb water, which can make it easy for mold or mildew to thrive. Check out our easy-to-follow guide for cleaning wood deck boards here.

Upgrade to metal balusters for a modern touch: As we suggested above, balusters are a great first step to updating a worn wood deck. For the quickest fix, check out face-mount balusters, which you can install without removing your top rail!

Add deck lighting:You can transform your wood deck without pulling up a single board when you add a lighting setup to your deck. Post cap lights, in particular, are a fast, easy upgrade.


Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our friendly team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!