In the summertime when the living is easy, there’s nothing quite like a deck for cooking out, entertaining, or simply relaxing. In addition to boosting outdoor living space, a deck can be an asset when you sell your home.
Adding a deck will give you an 80.5% return on your investment, depending on where you live and size of your deck, according to the 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report” from Remodeling.
Planning a successful deck requires careful consideration of your site, your budget, and the features you should — or shouldn’t — include. Here are some planning priorities to bear in mind.
Your deck will be a popular place, so give careful thought to where it should be located. Begin by working out how to access it from the house. The back door to the kitchen probably won't do the job; it will force traffic toward the cooking area, making entertaining a large-group difficult. A better solution is a French door or slider that gives primary access from the living room, dining room or family room. If the doorway can also be positioned to offer an expansive view, all the better.
Next, decide where to locate stairways off the deck so they provide unobtrusive access to the backyard. Also, consider the path of the sun and the location of shade; sunlight may be pleasant in the morning but unbearable later in the day - having a shade tree to the west of your deck will help block the harsh late-day sun. Consider also how to preserve your privacy and how you can screen your deck using lattice or fencing.
If you're considering a deck the size of a helipad, with all the bells and whistles imaginable, better think again. According to the 2015 "Cost vs. Value Report" simple is best. For example, a medium-sized deck (16-foot-by-20-foot) made of pressure-treated wood provides the best return, averaging about 80% nationally.
Composite decking (Trex, EverGrain and Timber Tech are some well-known brands) makes great sense from a maintenance point of view but will be more expensive - a composite wood deck costs about 58% more than pressure-treated wood - and will recoup an average of 68% of you cost.
Although it's hard to put a dollar value on aesthetics, looks count. Give thought to how the deck will meld with the architecture of your house. Railings offer a good opportunity to pull in color and detail that complements your home. Consider how the deck fits in with your backyard; it should make a smooth transition from the house to the landscape. And, of course, if you're having a hard time figuring this all out, call us!