You might have heard that adding a deck is a great investment. Not only can you enjoy it while you own the home, but when the time comes to sell, a deck will make your home more marketable and you will recoup most of your initial investment. While this is true, keep in mind that not all decks add to the value and curb appeal of your home. If you are building a deck with an investment mindset, be sure to follow these recommendations from our Maryland deck contractors.
Hire a Licensed Contractor
This may go without saying, but you won’t believe how many people hiring deck builders in Maryland fail to check their license. An unlicensed contractor, although not necessarily a scammer, may not be as knowledgeable and experienced as someone with a license. If it is a scammer (or someone who is clueless or ignorant about proper deck building practices), they may not obtain proper permits for the proposed deck addition. A deck built without a permit is more of a liability to you than an asset, as this issue will likely come up during home inspection.
Customize With Care
You can certainly build a custom deck that doesn’t look like anything your neighbors have, but don’t go overboard with special features. Stay more or less traditional with your materials, color scheme and deck design to make sure your deck appeals to most buyers. You can add your style and personality through furniture, lighting and decorative accents—items that are easily removable or replaceable. On the other hand, if you have your railing posts carved in the shape of chess figures, this may not click with the majority of house hunters and will be costly to replace.
Multi-level decks are all the rage these days. They offer versatility and space, allowing you to have several designated areas for different purposes. You can have a deck platform close to the kitchen for grilling, and then a lower platform overlooking the pool for sun-bathing. Two to three levels is all you need; any more than that and you risk having your deck engulf and overshadow your home. So the advice here is to go bigger than a simple platform deck but mind the overall proportions of the structure in relation to the home.
Make it Functional
In order for your deck to become a great bonus feature for the buyer, it has to be designed with a purpose. If it doesn’t directly connect to the kitchen, then grilling is problematic. If it’s located on the south side and no shade solutions were implemented, then it’s basically unusable most of the day. Don’t just add a deck because everyone has decks in your neighborhood—build it to create extra functional and usable outdoor space that both your family and buyers will appreciate.
Scout Your Community
One of the biggest dilemmas you will face when building a deck is whether to use wood or composite materials. Wood is cheaper, but it’s also high-maintenance, while composite decking is easy to maintain, but it doesn’t offer the same look and feel. When it comes to your potential home buyers, you will have some that prefer wood and some that would rather have a composite deck. At this point, it’s largely a matter of personal preference. But you can only pick one material, so what should you do?
Drive around your neighborhood and check out what other people have their decks made of. If it’s an upscale area with expensive homes, composite decking might be the right choice. Remember that when you put your home on the market, these are the houses it will be competing against. So make sure your deck looks just as good or better than the rest in your community.
Need help designing or building a deck that will increase the value of your home? Talk to our Maryland deck building specialists at North American Deck and Patio.