In addition to patios and front porches, summers in suburbia are frequently spent on the deck in the backyard. Decks can take advantage of summer breezes and provide enough space to host gatherings and grill dinner, thanks to their size and elevation. They also provide privacy since they’re not facing the street and create a private oasis.
When looking for a home, you may wonder how much value a deck can add to a house. If you’re a homeowner looking to add a deck, will it pay for itself if you sell the house, adding more value than it cost to build it?
Let’s dive in.
Remodeling Costs vs. Added Value
Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report looks at projects by cost, region, and city. The report estimates costs by surveying contractors and real estate agents on the added value of specific projects to sales prices.
Remodeling Magazine estimated in their 2021 report that, on average, homeowners spend just over $16,000 to add new wooden decks. At resale, the added value to their homes increased by $11,000, which is about 66% of recouped costs. Though, if restoring a wood deck is an option, it can be a smart investment.
Generally, repair costs for wooden decks are about $1,500, which means homeowners can see over 600% of their costs recovered compared to the average resale increase. To get the best return on your wooden deck, remember these simple dos and don’ts:
- DO: Add outdoor lighting and seal your deck to increase its life expectancy.
- DON’T: Take up too much space on the deck or let it overtake your yard. Balancing entertaining space on the deck and providing a good-sized yard is crucial.
The 2018 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors indicated that patios could recover 102% of their building costs on average. That was the most recent report with decks as one of the exterior remodeling projects studied.
Wood vs. Composite
Wooden decks are less expensive than composite and did offer a higher cost vs. value ratio in 2021. The cost vs. value report showed 65.8% for wood and 63.2% for composite. Regionally, there was a higher added value in areas where outdoor activity is more popular.
The Joy Factor
Financially, there’s a handful of scenarios where a deck will pay for itself on resale. However, people aren’t likely to add a deck just for financial reasons. For most homeowners, adding a deck is all about the joy it will bring.
The 2016 NAR study looked at this factor and measured it with a “joy score.” When asked about decks, most homeowners said they were looking to add features for livability. The second-most common reason was to upgrade the worn-out surfaces and finishes of existing features.
Three out of four homeowners (77%) said they have a greater desire to be home since completing the project. Some 51% feel more enjoyment when they are at home, and 77% feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think of the project. These responses earned decks a “joy score” of 9.7%.
A Few Caveats about the Value of Decks
If you want to install a deck to improve your home’s resale value, remember that building costs and recovered value vary depending on where you live. Homeowners in areas with long, harsh winters tend to get a little less bang for their buck. However, many believe it’s still worth it to enjoy that outdoor space when they can get outside in the spring and summer months.
You should also be aware that investing a large amount of capital in a luxurious deck won’t necessarily pay off when it comes time to sell. For instance, suppose you use a more costly material such as capstock and add bells and whistles. In that case, you may over-value your house, hurting you when it’s time to sell. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install features that you think you’ll enjoy. You’ll just need to be aware of the fact that there may be a limit to the value that you can recoup.
Even with those caveats, wood decks are one of the nation’s best value-adding home improvement projects.
Add Square Footage Correctly
According to the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey, the demand for decks and patios is increasing. As residential real estate lots grow smaller, increasing livable outdoor space can make the house more desirable.
Choosing the deck material and sizing is crucial when planning to build a new deck or upgrade an existing outdoor space. Make sure you ask about the most economical fasteners, materials, and add-ons. You should also ensure your deck is done professionally with the right features to keep people safe and sound.
How much will a deck affect taxes and resale value?
According to IRS guidelines, building a deck is a capital improvement and may increase your local property taxes. Taxes differ from city to city, so check with your local tax assessor before starting deck construction or repair.
Building a deck with safety and durability means homeowners can relax in the outdoor space or enjoy it with family and friends. If you’re interested in installing a wood deck in your home, contact Northwest Decks Plus for the best service around. We’ll make sure you get something beautiful, long-lasting, and economical. You can give us a call or reach out through email to get started on your deck construction quote today.