One of the hottest trends on the housing market today involves bringing your indoor lifestyle out. Creating a beautiful outside living area is a great investment – you’ll typically realize a 100% or more return on the work you put in. As an added bonus, a well designed deck will make your neighbors green with envy…and what’s better than being the envy of the neighborhood?
The key to building a great deck is planning. Drawing a deck plan does not require a professional. An experienced handyman can plan the space and sketch up a plan that will work to estimate material needs and get a permit. Bear in mind that there’s no substitute for a workable plan. If a professional plan is within your budget and you don’t feel comfortable drawing up your own, the extra money is worth it.
What is the primary goal for your deck? Will it surround a pool, or provide a cool retreat next to a lake or a garden vantage point? Will it be freestanding or attached to your home? Will it be elevated or ground level? Today’s decks are more than simple platforms. They serve as extensions of the indoor living space, providing room for a luxurious planter garden, a private place to relax, or an outdoor party room. The only limit to your deck’s purpose is imagination. You may even consider walling off a section of your deck for use as an outdoor shower!
With all the options on the market, designing a deck that meets your needs and enhances your house and grounds is easier than ever. The more limited the budget, the more creative you should get. Even inexpensive building materials can be arranged in interesting patterns, stained, or painted for added interest. Decorating can involve a huge variety of deck accessories, found objects, planting, seating, and lighting.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Here’s a checklist to help you make sure your bases are covered.
- Make a working budget. If you know how much you can spend, you know where to spend – and where to save.
- Draw up a plan. Include measurements, and use the plan to estimate costs.
- Apply for a building permit.
- Purchase tools and materials.
- Have the city mark off underground utilities.
- Grade land if necessary.
- Dig holes and cement posts or pour a slab.
- Build deck, rails, and stairs.
- Add lighting, accessories, furniture, and plants.
- Enjoy your new outdoor living area.
If you’re looking to sell in this tough economy, building a deck is the perfect way to raise the value of your home with an interesting architectural feature and set your home apart for a relatively small investment. If you’re not, a deck offers a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.