Learn how building a deck adds resale value to a home. Find out why you should build a deck using composite decking.
LESLIE: Marty in Florida is looking to expand her living space out of doors. And you want to add a deck. Where do you start? Hopefully, we can help you. What’s on your mind?
MARTY: Well, I’m interested in adding a wooden deck  to the back of our Florida room and my husband’s not convinced that that’s a good feature; that it’s not an item that would sell when we get ready to sell our home in the future. But I’m wondering how much value it does add to a home .
TOM: Adding a deck?
TOM: Oh, it adds tremendous value. You know, Remodeling Online  does a cost versus value survey every year, where they look at projects and try to figure out what the return on investment is. And decks usually fair pretty well. In fact, I don’t think it was this year but last year I think the number was 102 percent. Which basically means you’d get all your money back when it came time to sell the house  if you sold the house within a year of completing the deck; which is how they do their standard.
But generally, a deck is a great investment and it’s a very inexpensive way of increasing your outdoor living space. And Leslie, we’ve seen a lot of that. We were at the National Hardware Show not too long ago and they had an entire convention hall just dedicated to lawn and garden and outdoor rooms and things like that. People are really going crazy.
LESLIE: You know, it’s a hot topic right now and I think because people are over-expanding and outgrowing the indoor spaces and they’re just looking to enjoy the outdoors  in the same way that they would indoors. We’re seeing weatherproof carpeting and weatherproof lighting; like a lamp – a table lamp – that you can leave outside. And advancements in outdoor fabrics and even materials that furnitures are being made out of. You know, a synthetic wicker that you can just leave out there and forget about.
So I think it’s nice and I think it really encourages people to want to look into your house a little bit more, if they see that you’ve gone that extra step and created an exterior room, if you want to call it that. And I think if you even thought about using a composite decking material, rather than a pressure-treated lumber, you’ll tend to see that they wear better, they look fantastic and they require far less maintenance. So I think that even ups the value a bunch more.
MARTY: Well, thank you. I was going to ask about the composite material .
LESLIE: And it doesn’t have to be just gray. There’s many companies – Veranda  or Trex  – that manufacture a composite decking that even have planks that look like exotic lumbers and in beautiful colors. So it doesn’t just have to be the gray that you think it is.
TOM: And you can even extend that to the railing system as well. OK, Marty?
MARTY: Certainly. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.