When the house was built, a deck was put along the back. The deck was a simple rectangle. The deck faces South; half of it is covered by the roof, half is exposed to the sun. There were stairs down along the house at both ends -- next to the dining room and next to the guest room. It basically consisted of 2x6 lumber, probably treated fir.
Over time, the deck aged, and we noticed one or more boards that were beginning to show more "give" than we felt comfortable with. So we started to consider replacing the deck with a newer deck.
Rather than just replacing it, we felt free to consider changing the design, and talked to a couple of companies, read some books, and so on. Eventually, we contracted with Legacy Custom Decks to take off the existing deck and do a new one in ipe (also called iron wood). We were told that the ipe was sustainably grown in Brazil.
The quote for this work was $10,656. We signed the contract on 18 Nov 2003 and the work was done by 11 Dec 2003.
The first step was to remove the old deck. I removed all the plantings around it. It had been overgrown with a rose bush, as well as having various bushes around it, and some monkey grass. I moved the monkey grass around to the side of the house, by the garage.
The supports underneath the old deck were generally still in good shape, so they were reused. The old deck and railing was removed.
Once the old deck was removed, they put the new deck on. The wood is so hard, that they drilled and screwed, instead of nailing.
After the deck was finished, it needed to be power-washed and sealed. Legacy suggested Deck Masters of Austin. On 16 Dec 2003, they power-washed and sealed at a cost of $655.50.
We refinished the deck in June 2005, and again in October 2010, when we did it ourselves. Since we already had a power washer, the only cost was for the deck stain/sealer. We used Australian Timber Oil Penetrating Finish. We needed 2.5 gallons, plus some lambs wool pads. Lowes carried both ($91.26). It took three days -- one to power wash, and two to recoat. We should have sanded between the power wash and the refinish.