Lazy summer afternoons and sundowners on the deck are seductive.
A deck is a stylish and practical addition to many homes, and chances are you’ve given thought to adding or updating a deck to your home.
So, let’s get real – how much is this going to set me back?
As with all property renovation decisions, cost needs to be weighed against long-term value.
Let’s explore the average cost of a deck for a small home, and what it could do for the value of your home.
First, let’s have it clear in our mind where costs come from.
In a small home, a modest deck may be 12 x 12ft, to accommodate a small dining table. While it should be in proportion to the size of the house, people usually prefer as large a deck as possible.
A larger deck gives you more flexibility in how you use it. People want to be able to entertain outside, and having a larger deck will allow you to entertain more people.
The main costs involved with laying a deck are footings, labor, and lumber.
You will need to check with the local building authorities to ensure that your deck is compliant with local building codes. These codes will set out mandatory depth for footings, considering local climate conditions. Building codes may also dictate what is required for railings if the deck is elevated.
Once footings and posts are solidly in place, then joists can be laid, providing a solid foundation for the deck. Then your imagination is the limit as you and your contractor consider deck design options.
There are many factors that influence the cost of a deck. These factors include the city and state (location of your home) and the materials you use for the deck.
However, on average, a small wooden deck will usually set you back about $16 per square foot for pressure treated wood. This is your best value option. However, it will require ongoing maintenance.
Hardwoods will set you back more. Composite materials are even more costly than hardwoods.
Composites are made from plastic and have the appearance of wood. They come in a variety of styles and are usually $20 or more per square foot, including installation.
This means a small wooden deck 12ft x 12ft – 144 square feet = $2314. That’s not including any embellishments, such as railings, different levels etc.
For a small composite deck of the same dimensions, you’re looking at a minimum of $2880.
It’s important to remember that these prices are for a small deck. Most homeowners look for something much larger, and costs will rise proportionately.
When considering whether to choose wood or composite materials for your deck, it’s important to consider maintenance cost.
Of course, if you’re installing a deck to sell your property, maintaining the deck will be the new owner’s problem. However, prospective buyers will factor this into their decision when considering the property.
A wooden deck is susceptible to the elements. To make sure it doesn’t warp, rot or get damp over the years, the deck will require regular cleaning and treating. Wooden decks stain well and take on a beautifully aged appearance over time.
Hardwoods are more resistant to wear, but composite materials are the best if you’re looking for a virtually maintenance free option. Composites can reflect heat during summer, making them uncomfortable in hotter parts of the country.
When calculating deck costs, it’s important to remember additional features will raise costs higher and higher.
These costs include different levels, stairways, and railings that are for architectural, rather than safety purposes.
Although a deck is an addition to the outside of your home, it is seen as adding square footage.
Decks give you additional useful living area. When someone walks into your backyard onto a beautiful deck, it gives the impression of entering another room. It’s more than just going into the yard.
So, does a deck add value to your home? Yes, a well-executed deck is a great way to add value to a property.
A related, but possibly more important question is this – will you actually recoup all of the construction costs when you sell the property?
A recent national cost versus value report shows that you may not get back what you put in.
The study averaged the cost of installing a wooden deck at $10,950. However, at resale, this only added $9,065. A reasonable return at nearly 83%, however, the study suggests that you won’t get back the value you invested in the deck.
Ironically, the stats are worse for composite deck option. You can expect to only recoup 63.6% of your average $17,668 costs when you sell your property.
From the 2017 report a larger percentage of deck costs were recouped than in prior years. That’s good news! While you may not get all your money back when you sell your home, the study suggests buyers like decks, and are willing to pay more for homes that have them.
There are other garden renovations that can add serious curb appeal and value to your property, and cost less than adding a deck.
If you’re looking to sell and won’t get to use the deck yourself, then these simple updates and tidy-ups may be a budget-friendly way to boost the sale price, without breaking the bank.
For a small home, the cost of an average deck is about $2314. But remember, that’s a small deck for a small home.
Does a deck add value to a house? Yes, it does. However, it may not be as much as you paid for it. So this is a decision you need to seriously consider.
If you’re overwhelmed with selling issues, decisions, and possible renovations, then let us take over your problem.
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