Investing in Decks

What can improve your home’s curb appeal;
Add to summertime fun;
Add living space to your home; and
Give you a 75% return on your investment?

Decks!  Adding a deck to your home gives you up to 85% of the cost back in a higher sales price for your home.  Not a bad investment for something that also gives you a return of enjoyment and additional living space to your home.

Choosing a Deck

They come in all shapes and sizes, and materials to boot:

Pressure Treated Wood
The most popular choice for decks, and also the most budget friendly, the average pressure treated wood deck costs $10,300 and offers the best recoup value of 85% of the cost.  No wonder it’s so popular!

But pressure treated wood decks do need maintenance, in particular to maintain their looks and keep them  rot and bug resistant, staining is needed on a regular bases, although some stains last for up to five years.

Other Woods
Cedar, Redwood and Mahogany are also choices for deck materials, and can cost big for the upgrade from pressure treated wood.  But they do have their advantages – mainly looks.  But looks aren’t everything, and if you’re watching your budget, consider using pressure treated woods stained to mimic the more expensive hardwoods.

There are some additional advantages to these woods, such as the natural bug and rot resistance that cedar and mahogany woods naturally offer.

The composition of vinyl and wood products makes up composite decking and builders and suppliers called them maintenance free decks that would last forever.  Well, they had to put their money where their mouth was for this statement when homeowners called them on it – they now are termed low maintenance rather than no maintenance.  As for lasting forever, perhaps they last forever in the landfill as well, a problem in today’s eco-friendly environment.

Those who choose composite decking swear by them, as they do not want to stain their deck to maintain the color and condition, as you would with pressure treated woods, and claim the longer life span and non-fade looks are worth the increased cost.

But beware, all composite decking materials are not the same, make sure if considering a composite decking material, you choose one with a preservative with a written guarantee.  Since there are wood products in the composite, they need to protection as well.

Your return on composite decking will not be as high as with pressure treated wood, averaging 77% on an average deck cost of $15,000.

If you’re considering adding a deck to your home and are concerned with the cost, it does help the value of your home, but, if you plan on never moving or selling, this value is also one of the factors of your annual tax burden, so it’s a double-edged sword in this case.