Decks serve as an extension to a house’s living space. It provides homeowners with a new place to relax and to gather with their loved ones in a serene setting. Decks are perfect for the gathering because it gives the guests a space that the interior of the house can’t provide.
With a deck, you can set-up a barbecue grill to enjoy dinner, place sleeping mats to sleep with kids or sit there in the morning to read the newspaper with coffee. There are things which you can’t do inside due to the limited space of your house, which can be done on the deck. For that reason, a house with decks becomes appealing for home buyers. Once it catches the eyes of the home buyers, the value of your house will increase when you put it into a sale.
Whether you are planning to put your house up for sale or not, it is always good to add value to your house. There are many ways to add value to a home. One of the most common ways of doing so is by remodelling and renovating your house. However, you must be practical with the changes you make because not all home makeovers can add value.
If you want to work your way up the property ladder, make sure that the renovations and remodels are not too costly. A small renovation project, minor remodelling of the internal layout, adding extra rooms, and extending the outdoor spaces such as the porch, garage, garden, and deck will raise the value of your house.
Many home buyers prefer outdoor living spaces like decks and porches. Since home sellers want to make sure that they will receive a higher return of investment, they opt to add decks since it is easy and cheaper to build compared to porches. As a result, adding a deck becomes a must for home projects due to its demand in the property market. And it doesn’t have to be that expensive. There are great backyard deck ideas on a budget that can help add value to your house!
Deck Improvements Can Recoup 100% of Their Cost.
While many home renovation projects only recoup anywhere from 50% to 80% of their Cost, multiple studies have estimated that the ROI for patios and decks can exceed 100% based on the size and materials used.
According to 2018, Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtor’s patios can recover 102% of their building costs on average. The 2016 version of this report found that the recoup rate was as high as 106%—Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost Vs. Value Report found in 2007 that adding a wooden deck is the most cost-effective home improvement project for a mid-range home.
Other Factors to Consider
How a deck impacts your home resale value will be largely based on the region where you live. Homebuyers are willing to spend more on a home with a deck in a geographical area that experiences warm, deck-friendly weather year-round. In areas that experience long winters the impact on your home’s resale value won’t be as substantial.
Some studies estimate that completing a new deck will only recoup a percentage of the Cost. However, if you eliminate the labour costs from your budget, you can earn significantly more than your investment when you put your home on the market. Obtain the proper permits and build a DIY deck to minimize your deck building cost and maximize your return.
Wood vs. Composite
Wooden decks cost less than those made of composite material and also had a higher cost vs. value ratio. For a mid-range deck (16-by-20-foot deck) made of composite material, the national average construction cost was $17,249, which increased a home’s resale value by $11,252, for a 65.2% cost vs. value ratio. For a mid-range wooden deck, the average Cost was $10,707, and value-added to the home averaged $7,652, for a cost vs. value ratio of 71.5%.
More expensive decks faced worse recovery regarding recouping construction costs. An average high-range composite deck cost an average of $39,339 to build, increased the average home sales price by $22,171, but the cost vs. value ratio fell to 56.6%.
Regionally, decks recouped more of their costs in regions where outdoor lifestyles are more popular. For example, Cost vs. value ratios for a mid-range wood deck ranged from in the 81.8% in the Pacific region and 81.4% for the Mountains vs. 56.9% for the East North Central (upper Midwest).
Five Building Materials Commonly Used in Construction
The construction industry uses a variety of building materials for different aspects of a home build. Architects consult with structural engineers on the load-bearing capabilities of the materials with which they design, and the most common materials are concrete, steel, wood, masonry, and stone. Each has different strength, weight, and durability, which makes it right for various uses. There are national standards and testing methods that govern the use of building materials in the construction industry so that they can be relied on for providing structural integrity. Architects also choose materials based on Cost and aesthetics.
Building materials are usually categorized into two sources: natural and manmade. Materials such as stone and wood are natural, and concrete, masonry, and steel are manmade. But both must be prepared or treated before they’re used in building. Here is a list of building materials that are commonly used in construction.
Steel is a metal alloy of iron and carbon and often other alloying material in its composition to make it stronger and more fracture-resistant than iron. Stainless steels resist corrosion and oxidation because of the additional chromium in their make-up. Because it is so strong compared to its weight and size, structural engineers use it for the structural framework of tall modern buildings and large industrial facilities. Some of its qualities include:
- Steel has high strength-to-weight and strength-to-size ratios.
- It’s high-cost relative to other metals. Structural engineers can consult on choosing the most cost-effective sizes to use in a house to support the actual load on the building.
- Steel is less time-consuming to install than concrete.
- It can be installed in any environment.
- Steel can be susceptible to corrosion if improperly installed or maintained.
Chrome, gold, and silver are generally used for finishes or decoration because they lack the tensile strength of steel.
Concrete is a composite material made of fine and coarse aggregate (think gravel, crushed stone, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates) bound together by a liquid binder such as cement that hardens or cures over time. Portland cement is the most common type of cement and is a fine powder, produced by heating limestone and clay materials in a kiln and adding gypsum. So Portland cement concrete consists of the mineral aggregate, bound with Portland cement and water. After mixing, the cement hardens or cures into the stone-like material we think of as concrete.
- Strength varies depending on the mix. Suppliers to the concrete industry usually provide the materials used for their concrete and test the concrete mix for its strength.
- Concrete can be poured into a form to take virtually any shape and harden into a material similar to stone.
- It takes at least seven days to cure, so engineers and architects must factor in that hardening time when they devise building schedules for concrete construction.
- Its versatility, Cost, and strength make it the ideal material for a house foundation. Since it can carry a heavy load and withstand the forces from the surrounding environment, a concrete home foundation is common.
- To increase the tensile strength of concrete, engineers often plan for it to be reinforced with steel rods or bars (rebar).
Choosing building materials is one of the myriad aspects of a construction project. Learn more about the building process in MT Copeland’s online classes, taught by a professional builder and craftsman Jordan Smith.
Among the oldest, or perhaps the oldest, of building materials, wood has been used for thousands of years and has properties that make it an ideal building material—even in the days of engineered and synthetic materials.
For construction use, wood pieces are machine-planed and cut into standard dimensions, such as 2”x4” (1.5”x3.5” actual) and 2”x6,” (1.5”x5.5” actual) so that their measurements can be accurately factored into building plans—this is known as dimensional lumber. Wood in larger sizes is usually referred to as timber or beams and is often used to construct the frames of large structures like bridges and multi-story buildings.
Some tree species are better for some uses and for use in some climates than others. Structural engineers and architects can determine which type of wood is ideal for a construction project.
- It is readily available and an economical natural resource.
- Wood is relatively lightweight and easy to standardize in size.
- It provides good insulation, which is why many architects and engineers like using it for homes and residential buildings.
- Wood has high tensile strength—keeping its strength while bending—and is very strong when being compressed vertically.
- Because it is lightweight and needs to be pressure treated to come into contact with the surrounding soil, wood is a less popular choice for foundations or basement walls. (However, permanent wood foundations, known as PWFs, are gaining traction among builders thanks to the warm and inviting wood basement living space they offer.) More often, wood-framed homes usually have a reinforced concrete or pier and beam foundations
The longest-lasting building material available is the one that’s been here for thousands of years: stone. In fact, the most ancient buildings still in existence in the world are made of stone. It has many advantages, though engineers and architects must make some special considerations when planning a building using stone.
- Dry stone walls made of dense rock have been used for thousands of years. Different forms of mortar were later used to hold them together.
- Because it is so dense, stone can be difficult to work with because of its weight and the difficulty in moving it.
- Stone is not an efficient insulator, since it is difficult to keep warm.
- Various stone types are best for different uses. For instance, slate is fire-resistant. Granite is one of the hardest stones and one of the most durable products available; the Incas used limestone or granite to build their incredibly strong buildings.
Masonry construction uses individual units (such as bricks) to build structures that are usually bound together by some kind of mortar. Historically, clay bricks were formed in a mould and kiln-fired. The strongest and most commonly used masonry unit now is a concrete block, which may be reinforced with steel. Glass, brick, and stone can all be used in a masonry structure.
- Masonry is durable and fire-resistant.
- This method of construction is able to resist compression loads, which makes it a good material for load-bearing walls.
- Reinforced with concrete, or in combination with reinforced concrete, masonry can support multi-story buildings and can be an economical choice.
- While it is a strong method to use in many types of construction, lasting masonry installation can depend on the quality of mortar and workmanship.
The Best Materials for Decking Construction
If you’re thinking about building a deck, you should make sure it will last for many years to come. Choosing the proper decking construction materials is not only an important design choice but a functional choice as well. It will determine the level of care you’ll need to keep up if you want your deck to maintain its integrity and look.
So where do you start? What materials should you consider when building your deck? We discuss the pros and cons of each common deck material so you can make the best choice for your project.
A Common Decking Construction Material: Pressure-Treated Lumber
One of the most popular choices, pressure-treated lumber is easy to find in most outlets for decking. Pine is usually the basis for this kind of material, but there are other options out there. This lumber is affordable and chemically treated so that it’s resistant wood-boring bugs, wood rotting, and fungus.
However, it’s been known to crack, warp, and easily get stained. To prevent this from happening you’ll want to thoroughly clean it once a year and re-stain or put on new wood preservative every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you want a decking construction material that will wow based on looks, the rich colours of both redwood and cedar make them classic choices for decks. These particular types of wood also have natural properties that make them resistant to common decking issues like rot and insects. That being said, this resistance depends on how much heartwood (the wood closest to the centre of the tree) is in the lumber.
Like pressure-treated lumber, redwood and cedar decks need to be power-washed annually, but they only need a coat of finish every three to four years. To protect the wood further, it’s recommended that you apply a clear, water-repellent wood preservative.
Grand Irish Construction also offers deck maintenance to help repair and fix any damage your deck has received. Plus we can install additional outdoor amenities to your deck like an outdoor fireplace as well if you want to get more out of your outdoor space.
A mixture of plastic and wood fibre, this material comes in a wide array of colours to choose from. Some types can even be stained as well. If you still want a wood look to your deck, but want it to be as weather, bug, and rot-resistant as possible this is the best choice.
It does contain wood fibre though, so while it’s a very low-maintenance material, it does require some upkeep. It’s also often a heavier material as well so keep that in mind during your planning and construction.
Lightweight and extremely weather-resistant, plastic has its own set of advantages as a decking construction material. Because there aren’t any wood fibres, bugs, rotting, and fungus aren’t issues you’ll commonly have to prepare for or deal with.
While there are options that do look great, plastic isn’t always the most attractive material, and in some cases can be slippery or sag over time.
Metal seems like it would be problematic as a deck material, but aluminium’s properties actually make it a great pick. Most options available won’t rot, rust, warp, splinter, or crack. Plus, it’s weather, mould, and slip-resistant so you can enjoy your time outside on your deck comfortably.
As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about it catching fire, and you’ll be surprised to learn it stays cool during the summer due to aluminium’s superior heat dissipation properties.
Out of all the aforementioned materials, aluminium is the least affordable. While the properties it has been fantastic, depending on your home, it may not be the look you want.
Ultimately, how you build your deck will depend on the look, functionality, and resistance to the elements you want. Each of the above materials has cases to be made for why they are the right choice, but it’s up to you as to how you want your deck to turn out.