From Marielle Collins on January 29, 2014 in Decks and Patios
Adding a deck is one of the top renovations homeowners are dreaming about in 2014. Along with increasing the value of your home, a deck provides the perfect place to eat outdoors with friends, toast marshmallows by a fire pit, and enjoy valuable time outside while increasing the useful space in your home.
When designing a deck there are many options available to help this addition fit perfectly with your existing home and personal taste. A new outdoor living space should fit seamlessly with your current structure, and decks can be designed with contemporary, traditional, rustic or even coastal themes in mind. The shape of your deck itself will also influence its style and overall look. A basic shaped deck with clean lines will have a more modern feel; a curved shape suggests natural style, and a deck with octagon corners hints at classic charm. Decks can also be designed to include decorative railings and other ornamental elements such as built in benches, planter boxes and appealing features including an outdoor kitchen, bar or hot tub.
Choosing the type of decking you want to use is an important decision, often influenced by budget and design goals. Decks can be built using a wide variety of materials, each with various advantages and disadvantages, purposes and aesthetic results. Some people prefer real wood for a more natural look and feel, whereas others value lower maintenance materials that come in a wide variety of colors and surfaces.
Composite materials used for decking are very durable and useful especially if you live in humid climates since the material protects against moisture. Composite boards are available in a range of prices and quality. Higher quality boards are solid and look more like real wood, whereas cheaper boards are often hollow and not as sturdy. Other features of composite decking include optional UV protection and scratch resistance surfaces. Composite decks are considered more low maintenance than wood as they require less upkeep and are easily cleaned with a power washer.
Wood decking, often considered the best choice material for long lasting decks, also comes in a wide variety of colors, options and price ranges. Although the most affordable choice for wood is basic treated lumber, decks can be build using cedar, a mid-range wood, or mahogany, a higher range option. Most wood decks need to be re-stained and sealed every few years and are more difficult to clean since power washing will strip the wood and should be avoided. Wood decks however are beautiful, long lasting and age well.
Adding a deck to your property can be a big investment, however the cost of this addition will be at least partially recouped with the added value it brings to your home. Outdoor living spaces are very desirable and make a house more appealing to buyers. Research done by HGTV found that homeowners recouped anywhere from 65-90% of their investment in a deck, making deck additions one of the most worthwhile remodeling projects.
Decks can be built to fit any budget and design concept, and meet a wide variety of desires and purposes. Taking time to evaluate different options and decide what best fits your home ensures a perfectly designed outdoor space. It is also important to find a licensed and reputable contractor who can help explain your options and build you a deck to be enjoyed for years to come.
To read more about wood versus composite decking and other customizable options visit the Home Depot deck page. Also, check out HGTV for pictures and videos featuring creative deck designs and decorating ideas.