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Decks and home value

 
October 4, 2011


Adding a deck to a home is one of the most efficient ways to increase its value, according to HouseLogic. One survey found that among possible additions, adding a deck returned a home value increase nearly three-quarters of the invested funds, one of the highest ratios for home improvements and upgrades.

In some cases, the return on the investment may be as high as 85 percent. This only factors in the price, not the likelihood that it will attract home buyers in the first place or convince them to choose one home over another.

Unlike many other improvements, a deck increases the available living space. It does so at a low cost per square foot in comparison to other construction. The price tag tends to be lower than the cost of building an additional room, and because it adds an outdoor living space it brings something to the table a new room does not.

Simplicity of construction

One expert told U.S. News and World Report a deck is much less expensive than a room because it does not require the wiring, roofing, supports and other features that a room does in order to be useful. While a few outlets on the outside walls can make it easier to use the deck at night, or make it a better location for purposes like cooking, they are not necessary to use it at all.

For homes which are not designed appropriately for a deck, a patio can serve much the same purpose. With an appropriate design, it can still provide privacy and create a setting ideal for relaxation with friends and family.

HouseLogic notes a deck must meet safety regulations and codes, or else home buyers may expect it to be fixed before buying the property, defeating the purpose of adding it in the first place. This can be a reason for homeowners not to build their own deck, even if they have the needed skills. At the very least, they should research regulations in the planning stage.

Outside factors

The value of a deck varies somewhat depending on geography. Areas with weather more appropriate to relaxing outdoors generally allow greater use of the feature, and as a result will likely show a larger increase in price.

In less hospitable locales, homeowners will need to take particular care to 
ensure the deck is appropriately weatherized, U.S. News and World Report notes.  While this is necessary everywhere, it is more important in harsher environments. 

No homeowner would enjoy completing a beautiful project only to find it ruined months later due to an oversight. Mold, mildew and debris can be harmful, even if damage generally takes time.
 

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