Exterior wood finishing and restoration can be like a swamp. It pays to have a goal and a guide. If it is completed in steps with the right “attitude” the job is done, thus making maintenance easier, saving you time and money. Half-heartedly attempt it without planning and you may end up lost in the swamp of “fixing” your efforts, over and over.
You have a reason to build a new deck, log, timber frame, or cedar home. You either love the warm, massive beauty of wood or you just inherited the wood as part of the house. No matter. You still need to take care of it. Wood provides warmth, and a feeling of being connected to something that lived large. However, when it is exposed to nature there is little debate that the wood must be finished and maintained to help protect it and make it last and last.
Recoat or Restore?
You (and probably your spouse) will want to determine if another coat of stain will provide you with the look and appearance you can live with before you coat the whole house again. Simply put some on the wood in a couple places and see how it looks. If you like how that sample looks then you really only need a maintenance coat to freshen up the surface. If that is the case then the next step is to think about getting the surface ready for another coat. If not, restoration is probably the other option.