Deckbuilding is one of those home projects that can add a major value to your home. If there’s one thing that unites this great country, especially once the weather starts getting warmer and barbecue season gets ever so tantalizingly closer, it is our passionate, even obsessive love for our outdoor decks. Truth be told, just about all of us desire a perch from which to survey our backyard (or rooftop) kingdom, lazily hang out, or busily entertain.
One story behind the origin of decks is that they were inspired by boat decking. But unlike new yawls or yachts which will depreciate in value by an average of 24% in just three years—a brand-new wooden deck addition to your home will net you a 75% return on investment when you decide to sell, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. Looking for home deck services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
That’s why in honour of summer’s sweet approach, we take a look at the ROI for decks in our latest instalment of Renovations That Really Pay Off. Whether you are building one from scratch or just want to make the one you have bigger and better, here’s how to get your deck on this summer in ways that will pay off awesomely down the road.
How To Plan Your Deck Installation
Know your limits
A deck is a permanent addition to your home, just like a bathroom remodels or finished basement. Additions must follow local building and zoning codes, such as required distance from property lines, that may limit the size and scope of the project, Wormer said. Upkeep is another limiting factor to consider: Composite decking and other synthetic materials generally cost more but require less maintenance, making them cheaper in the long run.
Make a budget
Start with a list of “wants” and “must-haves,” as well as the amount you’re willing to spend. Then, think about the size and value of your home, as well as how long you plan to live there. A large, luxurious home might look funny with a small, simple deck. And an oversized deck with lots of personal features may not make sense for a small house you might outgrow in a few years. Work with a professional builder to fit as many must-have elements into the design as your budget will allow, Wormer said.
Long-term costs like taxes and insurance belong in your deck budget, too. A call to the local tax assessor’s office and your homeowner’s insurance company during the planning stages can prevent unpleasant surprises.
Balance cost with benefits
When planning a deck, increased comfort and living space should be the main goal. Should you ever refinance or sell, improved home value and marketability may be a happy side effect.
Anything that creates more space outside, where people can envision themselves hanging out with friends, can really help sway the market, says Ryan Lundquist, a certified residential appraiser in the Sacramento, California area. Just don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return on your investment: According to Remodeling’s report, on average, a homeowner can recoup around 67% of the cost of a composite deck or about 72% of the cost of a wood deck.
Find the right contractor:
Peace of mind and a workmanship warranty are usually worth the added cost of hiring a pro. Still, some homework is required to find the right one. Make sure to:
- Compare quotes from three or more deck contractors to ensure a fair price
- Read credible reviews of all potential contractors as well as the materials they use
- Request pictures of past deck projects, and don’t be afraid to ask whether the initial timeline and estimate were met
- Ask the contractor’s previous clients if they are satisfied with the service and finished product
- Confirm that contractors are bonded, licensed and insured (if required) by contacting your local building department or state consumer protection agency before hiring them
Tips to reduce deck cost
Keep it simple
Eliminating curves and other fancy design features will make a difference, but reducing the overall size of the deck is where you’ll likely find the biggest savings, Wormer said. Matching deck dimensions to standard lumber lengths and using premade concrete piers, or footings can also reduce cost. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne services.
Choose the wood, but carefully.
Untreated wood decks are generally the cheapest to install but don’t forget long-term costs. Wood decks require yearly maintenance and deteriorate quickly if they don’t get it. Investing in pressure-treated wood or a composite deck could save time and money later, especially if you plan to stay in the house for a long time.
Time it right
The warmer months are most popular for deck building, so scheduling your installation in the offseason could be a way to save. Contractors with fewer jobs competing for their time between November and March may offer reduced labour rates and faster scheduling to gain your business.
DIY if you dare
Pulling permits, interpreting building codes and properly installing foundation supports are above the skill level of many DIYers. In most cases, paying a pro to install a deck is worth the peace of mind. But, if you’re confident in your carpentry skills or have friends who are experienced builders, doing it yourself can significantly reduce the cost. There are many resources and how-to videos available online, especially if you’re content with a simple, rectangular design.
In some cases, it could make sense to have a professional handle the harder parts of building a deck, while leaving the easier tasks to you. For example, a pro could install an unfinished wood deck, and you could do the sealing, staining or painting. It’s fairly easy for any homeowner and would save some money.
Adding a Backyard Deck: Worth the Investment?
In a time when staycations are the norm, more homeowners are looking to transform their backyards into an extension of their living space. If you want to get the highest sale price for your property, it’s time to add value with a backyard deck.
Why install a deck?
Decks are an excellent way of turning an outdoor area into usable space for relaxing and entertaining. Whether the deck is a simple wooden platform that can fit a chair or two or it extends for yards leading up to a pool or hot tub, a deck can upgrade the look of any backyard.
While a patio is also a good feature to have in a backyard, it keeps everything and everyone on the ground. A deck, on the other hand, extends out from the house — some even from the second floor — and adds a multidimensional aesthetic to a backyard.
What does it cost to install a deck?
This is a bit of a tricky question, as it can be for many home improvement projects. According to Home Advisor (NYSE: ANGI), the average cost of a deck installation is $7,652, with a range of $4,149 to $11,475. Using a 320-square-foot deck as an example, it might cost around $8,500 for materials, $7,000 for labour, and $500 for permits.
However, as with all home improvement projects, the actual answer can vary greatly. Here are some things to consider when estimating a price for your backyard deck installation:
- How large is the deck?
- How many steps are needed?
- What type of wood or composite materials will be used?
- Will the deck be covered?
- Will it lead up to a pool or spa?
- How much maintenance does it require? How often?
Keep in mind that depending on the materials you use — wood, metal, composite, or a combination thereof — will require some type of maintenance to keep it looking good over time.
Whatever type of deck you choose, it’s important to remember that deck installation will result in an increase in property taxes as well as insurance premiums. Be sure to factor all of these into the cost of installing a deck in your backyard.
What is the value of a backyard deck?
A deck can add around $10,000 to the price of a home, or around 50-75% ROI for the installation. For homes in areas with climates that allow for year-round enjoyment of the backyard, you can likely expect the ROI to be on the higher end of that scale. Check out our Melbourne decking services services here.
Aside from those numbers, if you wonder whether a deck has real value for your neck of the woods, look to the real estate listings. You will often see decks mentioned as part of the backyard amenities of a home. In particular, Trex decks are a particular draw for homebuyers. Trex (NYSE: TREX) is an industry leader in making decking material that looks like wood but is made from an eco-friendly material that won’t warp, fade, or succumb to termites.
What is a Better Investment, a Wood or Composite Deck?
There was a point in time when building a deck meant you would buy pressure-treated lumber planks and not give it a second thought, how times have changed! Since the development of composite decking, adding a deck to your home has become more complicated. Today’s homeowners not only have to decide between lumber and composite decking but which grade of either of these products they prefer. Both wood and composite materials are available in low-, mid-, and high-grades.
Unfortunately for people who like black and white answers, there is no clear-cut response to whether wood or composite decking is the better choice. In the Carolinas, where humidity tends to be high, some homeowners prefer composite materials because they largely resist mould and mildew. Others, though, like the smell of real lumber when they walk outside. In short, only you can decide which decking option is right for your household. The rest of this guide is meant to help you make the best choice for you.
Composite decking, which is usually made from recycled plastic and pressed sawdust, is more expensive than pressure-treated lumber in almost all cases. The only exception is if you intend to buy some sort of exotic wood. Generally, composite decking, which is available in a wide range of hues, runs from $45.00 per 16-foot board to $90.00 per 16-foot board.
If these prices seem out of your budget at first glance, pressure-treated lumber might be a better solution for you at this time. Generally, 16-foot wood boards cost between $15.00 and $25.00, depending on grade. Again, exotic woods are significantly more expensive, typically ranging from $60.00 per 16-foot board to well over $100.00 per 16-foot board.
While composite decking was once advertised as being completely maintenance-free, it is now considered a low-maintenance material instead. You will not have to do much to keep your composite decking looking great. Simply wipe it down or spray it with a hose when you notice grime and pressure-wash it once every year or so to keep it looking new. If mould develops, spraying it with a solution of bleach and vinegar should kill it; try this in a hidden spot first, just in case the bleach discolours your decking.
It bears noting that the colour of your composite decking is the colour it will stay. Painting or staining it could disrupt the protective outer shell, causing the boards to warp or crack. If you do manage to paint or stain this type of material, it may void whatever warranties your manufacturer offers.
Pressure-treated wood decking is more high-maintenance than composite options, but can certainly be cared for without a great deal of trouble. You will probably need to restain and reseal your wood boards once every year or two. Furthermore, wood is more susceptible to cracking and splintering than composite materials are. However, this usually doesn’t happen for years, so it isn’t typically a major concern for homeowners who are planning to put-up new decks.
If you’re still struggling to decide whether wood or composite decking is right for your project, talking to a professional contractor is the best thing you can do. At Hatch Homes, we have years of experience building decks for Carolinians who live in a variety of climates and regions. No matter what decisions you are trying to make, our skilled team will be able to assist you and, ultimately, create an outdoor space that is sure to serve as a haven for your friends and family for years into the future.