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Tip Tuesday: Choosing and Maintaining Your Deck

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Adding a deck onto your home can prove to be a great factor of enjoyment especially for this time of year.  But which deck should you choose and does it truly add on any value to your home?

Types of Decks:

Wood: A wood deck is a very easy option as the material is easy to get and its the most economical choice.  It also stays cool in the summer so it is an especially good choice if you think you’ll be barefoot on your deck.  However, it does require the most maintenance.  It demands annual cleaning along with restaining and resealing about every 3-4 years.  Skipping out on that maintenance will lead to rot and cracking and even structural failure.

Composite:  A composite deck is gaining popularity due to it’s low-maintenance needs.  It cleans very easily with soap and water and won’t rot.  You can customize it to be specific colors and textures.  Most importantly, it can look just like wood, which many people like.  However, it can get expensive and if placed in the shade is known to gather mildew and mold.

Plastic:  Plastic decks are also gaining popularity due to it’s low-maintenance needs.  It does not need sanding or staining and won’t fade.  It’s also slip-resistant when it rains.  However, it will never look like wood, can be hot on your feet and may require expensive structure support so that it doesn’t sag.

Aluminum: These are the most durable decks.  They won’t rot, prevent slips after rains, and keep feet cool.  However, it is the most expensive, will never look like wood and doesn’t necessarily look appealing next to every type of home.

After you’ve done your personal research and decided on a deck, the question remains; will it truly add value?

In 2016, the National Association of Realtors estimated cost and recovery values for 10 outdoor projects, including decks.  The summary of the findings concluded that decks were the ranked 3rd in terms of cost recovery and more importantly, that the more expensive decks faced worse recovery in terms of recouping construction costs.  For example, a mid-range wood deck faced a higher cost vs. value ratio than a mid-range composite deck.  However, the main reason for homeowners completing the project had nothing to do with value and more to do with increasing function of their home.  After completing the deck, more homeowners wanted to be home and found more enjoyment from home.  To find out more about this study, you can visit this link.

Does your home have a deck and are you curious what it may be worth? Use our seller evaluation tool to find out!


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