Backyard decks have replaced patios and front porches as summertime gathering spots, especially in suburbia. Large enough for a table and grill, most decks are more versatile than a front porch, while providing privacy from street traffic.

Not only is a deck a great space to relax or entertain, but it adds beauty and value to your home.  We’ve compiled the top five reasons to install a deck this year:

1. Time to Party!

Decks are great for entertaining. They provide the perfect way to add functional space where friends and family can gather and still breathe freely.

Not only are they less claustrophobic than crowded rooms, but spills and other potential damage are easier to repair or clean up.

Add plenty of seating, such as built-in benches and outdoor sofas and chairs, and make sure you allow room for at least one large dining area. Including an outdoor sound system can transform your deck into a party palace!

And nothing says “deck party” like an outdoor bar. A bar is a great way to make your outdoor space more fun and entertaining — and make weekend parties perfect. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like: Install an all-wood rustic-style bar or dress it up by adding tile and intricate designs. No matter your design, an outdoor bar lends an interesting ambiance to your total outdoor living space. Be sure to include plenty of comfortable seating (such as padded bar stools), as well as sufficient lighting. A gazebo or other type of overhang will keep your guests protected from the hot sun.

Add a few tiki torches and strings of lights to your backyard deck, and you can keep the fun going long after the stars come out. There’s no better way to help create treasured memories for your family and friends for years to come.

2. Value Added

Outdoor living areas add more value to your home than just about anything else. Many home improvement experts agree that the return on investment for a deck is estimated to be around 72 percent, while the return in value is closer to 100 percent. Still other experts place the return on investment even higher.

For instance, every year Remodeling magazine conducts a survey of the most cost-effective home improvements in the United States. The results are based on the average cost of a project versus the average amount the project increased the home’s value. According to the magazine’s 2015 survey, adding a wooden deck to a mid-range home resulted in an 80.5 percent ROI. That’s a higher return than just about any other home improvement.

And when it comes time to sell your home, not only will you recoup the money spent on your deck, but the additional curb appeal will help you sell it faster.  Outdoor decks are a much sought-after feature for potential homebuyers. They can visualize themselves living in and using family-oriented outdoor space. In fact, among the growing class of millennial home buyers, an outdoor deck is pretty much a prerequisite.

According to Mike McGrew, treasurer of the National Association of Realtors in Lawrence, Kansas, it’s important for homeowners not to neglect the backyard area when prepping for resale. In today’s housing market, outdoor living spaces are quickly becoming one of the most coveted home features.

“When most buyers see a house with a really nice backyard, they start to envision themselves sitting outdoors with friends having drinks,” McGrew adds. Outdoor areas offer more living space without the cost of a large-scale home addition.

And due to the popularity of renovation TV shows, buyers now envision “everything from a traditional ground-level patio to an elevated deck to a backyard kitchen area.”

3. Give Me Some Space

A deck provides additional usable space for your family. Need space for a grill, furniture and potted plants? You’ve got it! What about additional storage or a container garden? Those are two more great options, especially for smaller homes.

In fact, one of the reasons that outdoor decks increase the value of the home is because of the usable space they add (even though it’s on the outside of your home). A deck creates the illusion of increased square footage without spending the money required for an addition. 

Despite not being considered part of the actual square footage of the home, a deck is often used as if it was. It’s used for meal preparation, dining, lounging and playing with pets and children.

The increased usable space is a big reason why prospective buyers assign such a high value to building a deck over other home improvement projects. Appraisers acknowledge this demand and increase the value accordingly.

In addition, a deck can help you take advantage of otherwise wasted space, such as steeply sloped property. Building a deck on a steep slope will not only offer a great space to entertain, but can provide plenty of much-needed storage below the deck. It’s a win-win! You can create a multi-level deck that eventually leads down to your yard, or a single-level deck that offers amazing views of your backyard.

Needless to say, adding a deck is one of the least expensive ways to expand your usable space without actually adding a room. Later on, you can always enclose it to create a four-season room or sunroom — which will also increase the value of your home.

 4. Quick to Build

Installing a deck is one of the quickest ways to improve your home. Room additions and other indoor renovations can take much longer. When adding a room, for instance, the timeframe is long. On average, a 900-square-foot addition typically takes from three to six months, once all required permits are obtained. And room additions involve many complex details, which can often increase construction time. (It’s not quite as easy as ordering up an addition and waiting for it to be finished.) Additions take months. Not weeks or days. 

Home additions can also be intrusive to your lifestyle, with a steady stream of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC crews and painters invading your home. Not to mention the continual sound of saws and nail guns, even in the evenings, even on weekends.

A deck, on the other hand, can usually be completed within weeks. And deck construction is much less invasive; all of the mess (and the noise) is restricted to the outdoors!

5. Affordable

A deck can be very inexpensive, compared to other home renovations. Are you on a budget but still want to add value to your home? An outdoor deck can be the perfect solution. According to Home Advisor, the average homeowner spends about $7,000 to build a 200- to 500-square-foot deck, with smaller decks costing as low as $2,000.

The following chart illustrates how this cost compares to other home improvements:

  Room Addition Kitchen Remodel Bathroom Remodel Deck
Average $42,070 $21,950 $9,632 $7,082
High End $108,800 $50,000 $23,768 $17,000
Low End $6,000 $4,000 $2,500 $1,800
Source: Home Advisor

Of course, the total cost of your deck will depend on its size, complexity and chosen materials, among other factors. But it’s sure to be much less expensive than most other home renovations. And assuming it’s made with high-quality, durable materials, your deck will last for a long time, providing years of enjoyment for you and your family.

Some Final Inspiration

Need some additional inspiration?  Here’s a compilation of 41 backyard deck ideas, courtesy of Home Stratosphere:

 

The perfect deck for your home is out there, and we can help you find it. Give us a call today…Make this the year you finally install that deck!

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Sources:

BuildDirect.com

Landlord Station

The Fence Authority

Liv Building Products

Kiplinger.com