By HHr Staff ~ Colbyt
Building a deck to add on to your home is a worthwhile addition for a variety of reasons. Not only will you be able to enjoy more time outside grilling out or having parties with friends and family, but you will also improve the value of your home. To make sure you get the most value out of your deck, without sacrificing too much in cost, have a look at this list of functions and features that are sure to make your deck more useful and attractive to future buyers.
The first design requirement to consider is the type of material you use to build your deck. Obviously, a deck that is made of inferior materials that fades or warps over time will have more negative impact than positive for potential buyers. You'll also want to choose a material that matches the rest of your home. If your home is rustic, then a stained wood or composite material might be the way to go. If you have a contemporary home with a white picket fence, then a white vinyl deck might be perfect. Make sure you build a deck that adds to your house, rather than detracts from it.
When looking at potential value, you may also want to consider the size of a deck. Sure, it might be nice to build a cheap deck to put the grill on, but if you can afford to add a little more size to the deck in a few months, it might be a good idea to hold off until you are ready. A large deck has a much greater impact than a small deck would, and there is no reason to do it more than once.
Tiered decks are also a great way to add value to your home because they offer functionality that single level decks cannot. I've seen a lot of houses with decks high off the ground only accessible by a huge staircase or a door inside. The best option is to create a multi-leveled deck that gradually descends to the ground and maximizes your use of the air space around your home. This way, you can use multiple levels for different activities. You could put the grill on top by the kitchen, and put a hot-tub or porch swing down below. There are a variety of options you can use when you build a tiered deck, so I would at least consider the possibility.
Lastly, consider the railing that you use in order to meet the needs of your family and of future families. People with small children will want sturdy railing that doesn't allow them to squeeze through, while others may want a lattice style to completely hide a certain level. If you have a hot-tub on one level, you'll need to find a way to conceal it, that is, unless you want your neighbors to watch with jealousy. Consider all the options when planning for your deck railing system to make sure you can accomplish what you need to in regard to functionality and value.
Building a deck is a wonderful way to increase your home's value, but only if you do it right. A functional and sturdy deck will reap huge rewards for both your family and that of potential buyers. By simply adding a little extra planning, you can be sure that your deck is only built once.
This article posted Jan 1, 2009.