In today’s home market, one of the most popular trends in outdoor living and outdoor entertaining. Regardless of where you live, these beautiful outdoor spaces allow you to get closer to nature and enjoy the sights and sounds (or peace and quiet) afforded by a deck chair and the great outdoors.
Adding a deck is not only a great way to increase the value of your home; both current value and potential sale value-but also to increase your living space and open up a host of opportunities for at-home entertainment and enjoyment.
why you should consider adding a deck to your home
1.) A deck adds value to your home
As noted above, a deck is a beautiful and functional way to add value to your home. This value add can benefit not only you as the homeowner but you as the home seller. Many experts and appraisers agree that a deck is one of the few home additions that offers nearly a 100% return in value. While you are living in your home, the value of your home will be increased, which could make obtaining financing for more considerable equity-based improvements (such as a garage, new roof, or addition) possible. However, one of the most significant value adds will come should you decide to sell your home. Buyers look for features such as decks when they are comparing potential purchases. If they are considering two homes that are mostly the same in every other manner, the one with the deck is likely to win out, and you as the homeowner will realize a return on virtually everything you invested in building the deck.
2.) A deck adds outdoor entertaining area
If you like to host parties,barbecues, or get-togethers for family and friends, then a deck is an excellent addition to your home. This extra outdoor living space allows you to entertain while not feeling the pinch of trying to fit everyone into your home. Inside seating space, cooking space, and just space, in general, can be in short supply. Also, consider the damage that could result from spilled drinks and food on your carpets or floors. On a deck, these things are not a problem. You can grill outside and place plenty of seating on your deck for everyone. At the end of the night, the mess is quickly cleared away, and you can retire inside without worry.
3.) Outdoor enjoyment
Parties aside, a deck affords you a place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. You can relax, read a book, or take in the stars all from just outside your home. There are few things more enjoyable than relaxing in a deck chair while reading a book and listening to the sounds of birds or a backyard stream.
4.) A deck changes the look of your home
Gone are the days of simple wooden decks that you need to paint or stain. In today’s’ home improvement market, there are more options available for decking material than ever before. Of course, wood is still an option, but you can also find composite materials designed to look like stone floors or geometric patterns. There are also additions such as outdoor fireplaces or even outdoor kitchens that can further enhance the possibilities of your deck.
5.) Increased living space
Many homeowners look to their deck as summer kitchens. Be it just a simple grill or a full-fledged outdoor kitchen complete with a refrigerator and a smoker; these outdoor spaces are retreats that can be enjoyed by all. Additionally, decks make a great place to plant small herb or container gardens. This is especially useful in situations where gardens cannot easily be planted in the ground due to animals or poor soil.
So, what if you already have a deck?
It is essential to ask questions about how long ago it was built and what it has been through in terms of weather, use, and damage. Below are a few important reasons you may want to consider repairing (or, in some cases, replacing) your existing deck. Where safety is concerned, it is wise to call in the assistance of an experienced contractor who can help you identify potential dangers or concerns.
Deck Damage and Weakness
Over time, your deck will be exposed to the elements, foot traffic, and other forms of damage that can lead to (often invisible) damage, such as rot and structural weaknesses. There is also the possibility that building codes were quite different when your deck was first constructed, and therefore, your deck could have integrity issues that need to be addressed. Your existing deck should be examined for these issues. A contractor will look at the structure under the deck and see if there are signs of rot or other problems with the material or structure itself. They will also look at the connections where the posts and deck surfaces meet, joist hangars, and ledger boards to make sure there isn’t any damage, and everything is intact and safe.
Weather and general wear and tear are not the only dangers to your deck. Parasites such as termites and ants can also cause rot and structural damage by degrading the wood as they eat their way through it. The holes created through the process are places where water collects, and rot begins to set in. Other sources of water retention include planters, which can cause boards to warp (along with stains and damage). If you have excessive water accumulation, it makes it even easier for pests to cause damage to your deck. If the wood is rotted, it is already soft, which makes the job of the pest easier and your deck damage more noticeable.
Your deck does not meet code
As noted previously, building codes change. A deck that was once up to code could reasonably be outdated and, in some cases, dangerous depending on how long ago it was built. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, you are responsible for the safety of visitors to your property. If someone gets hurt or has an accident related to your deck, you could be held financially liable in a lawsuit.
A short blog is not the place to go over current building codes in detail; however, a contractor such as Crighton & Cooper could help you to understand whether your deck meets code or if there is work that should be done to make it safe for years to come.
People have been hurt-already
If your deck is wrought with rusty screws, cracked or weak boards, shaky handrails, or protruding nails, it is an accident waiting to happen. These situations increase the risk of cuts, trip and fall injuries, or penetration injuries, which could lead to tetanus. As noted above, you, as the homeowner, could be held liable for the medical bills and associated costs attributed to these injuries, especially if you are aware of the potential problem. Old decks are victims of wear and tear from many different sources. If you find yourself needing to replace boards, fix handrails or crawl around your deck on your knees, knocking nails back in, you may want to consider what you can do to reduce the risk of injury.
Whether you are considering a brand-new deck or repairing your existing one, a contractor can help you make sure your project is built to code and safe for your friends and family. A contractor such as Crighton & Cooper can help you understand what options are available for your deck project. If you are ready to build a deck and live in the Anchorage area, contact us, and we will work with you to build the deck of your dreams.