DIY Friday: Deciding on the deck that works for you

Are you considering adding a deck or patio to your backyard?  It’s fairly evident that home improvements almost always  increase your home enjoyment.  Importantly, they also affect your home’s value – adding or upgrading a deck or patio can yield a 50 to 75% return on investment at resale*.

Here are a few  tips to help you plan for your deck with a focus on resale value.

  • Assess – Decide what the main purpose of your deck will be.  For example, is it for entertaining, relaxing, or simply to improve the look and landscape of your yard?  This will help you to determine the size, layout, and need for things like eating areas and built-in seating.
  • Research – Understand whether you require a building permit to meet fire, structural safety standards, and municipal building codes.  You should do this even if you’re just upgrading an existing deck or patio.  Also make sure to contact the zoning department to help locate any underground utilities if you plan on doing any digging.
  • Materials – Determine the right kind of  material for your deck or patio.  Wood is ideal for design flexibility, vinyl is durable and low maintenance, and composites look great and are eco-friendly.  For patios, brick, flags, cobbles, and concrete all offer durable and cost-effective solutions.
  • Shape – Create a deck or patio that looks like an extension of your home.  Right angles convey a strong, sturdy look while soft or round angles help create a casual, relaxed atmosphere.  For patios, allocate space in your design for gardens or flowerbeds.
  • Location – Consider situating your deck adjacent to an entry door of your home.  This will make traffic flow easier when serving a meal or entertaining outdoors, and is a definite plus at resale time!  Remember to decrease the elevation of the deck or patio from the door threshold approximately 10cm to allow for snowfall.
  • Maintain – Replace rotting boards and rusty nails, and treat wood decks with a water seal each year.  Use a polyurethane compound to minimize the appearance of cracks in your patio and apply a concrete sealant to protect against moisture and UV rays.

A deck or patio is like adding another room to your home.  They are a great way to expand your living space, get a little closer to nature, and entertain outdoors. Depending on the quality of installation, materials and maintenance, your new deck or patio carries a minimum life expectancy of 15 years.

*Appraisal Institute of Canada

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