Get a Good Return on Building a Deck

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Repair your home's value
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If you’re debating whether a deck is a good investment, take a close look at your home and the neighborhood. Here are a few good questions to ask:

  • What are your outdoor entertainment options?
  • Do you have a dedicated space for chairs and a grill?
  • Do your neighbor’s have a deck, patio, or other outdoor area?
  • How much space do you need to make it functional and appealing?

Pay attention to the norm in your neighborhood. If everyone has stone patios then a two-tier deck might seem out of place. If large decks are the norm, then a small one without decorative posts and lighting might make your house less marketable.

Glance at this year’s Home Builder’s Show to see some of the possibilities.

Hiring a Deck Contractor

Next step, the contractor. Look for a contractor who specializes in decks and can add a little design flair, such as:

  • Curves around a tree (versus tearing the tree down)
  • Lighting along the handrails on the stairs
  • Raised lattice panels as a privacy screening where needed

Make sure the contractor explains the decking layout and how it will be attached to the house, as this Hometime story notes. The contractor also should pick out all the lumber personally and make sure the wood is not warped or damaged.

Budget for Building a Deck

Decks are relatively inexpensive when compared with other home improvement projects. The price can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or so, based on the size, configuration, and type of material. Here’s more on costs from Better Homes & Gardens.

Another important factor in a deck’s “value” is how much you use it. If you spend $10,000 and you use it almost every night of the summer, then it quickly pays for itself in “value.” It’s all relative, in the end.

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