Back­yard re­treat

Mort­gaged? 2.64%†

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

IF you’re think­ing of up­grad­ing your home, there’s one up­grade that should be top of mind: in­stalling a deck.

There are sev­eral rea­sons why build­ing a deck is a good in­vest­ment. First, a deck al­lows you to add liv­ing space to your home at a frac­tion of the cost of what it takes to put up an en­closed space.

At about $25 to $35 per square foot, decks give you more bang for your buck than an en­closed ad­di­tion, which typ­i­cally costs about $100 to $250 per square foot to build.

Sec­ond, adding a deck to your home will make it much more liv­able and func­tional.

At a low cost, a deck al­lows you to ex­tend your liv­ing space in spring sum­mer and fall, pro­vid­ing a mul­ti­pur­pose out­door space that can be used to grill steaks and burg­ers, en­ter­tain, re­lax or be a play area.

There’s a third rea­son to add a back yard deck to your home: it in­creases your home’s value.

When you in­stall a deck, you can typ­i­cally re­coup 70 per cent of the cost of build­ing it by the amount it will raise the over­all prop­erty value of your home.

A deck adds as much or even more value to your home than a liv­ing room or sun room ad­di­tion. It also trumps the value of a bath­room ren­o­va­tion, too.

Not only does adding a deck to your home out­strip the value of other ad­di­tions, it’s also one of the least time-con­sum­ing projects. En­list the ser­vices of an ex­pe­ri­enced, rep­utable com­pany that spe­cial­izes in build­ing decks, and you can be us­ing your deck in two weeks — with­out a huge mess to clean up.

Then, there’s the pay­off: once your deck is com­pleted, it will add both func­tion and looks to your home.

Be­cause they can be built out of dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als — pres­sure-treated lum­ber, red­wood, cedar, com­pos­ite planks, plas­tic planks, even ex­otic woods — you can choose the look and tex­ture that best suits your style — and then frame it with PVC or alu­minum rail­ing with spin­dles or tem­pered glass in­serts to add the per­fect fin­ish­ing touch.

If you’re on a bud­get, pres­sure­treated lum­ber is a great choice. If you have the bud­get and are more of a purist, red­wood or cedar not only look great, but con­tain tan­nins and oils that make their planks nat­u­rally re­sis­tant to rot, de­cay and in­sects.

Mean­while, com­pos­ite deck­ing ma­te­ri­als com­posed of wood fi­bres and plas­tic make for a durable, weath­er­re­sis­tant and safe (slip-re­sis­tant) sur­face. They are also a great, though more ex­pen­sive choice. Plas­tic lum­ber (re­cy­cled or vir­gin), alu­minum and ex­otic woods round of the list of deck­ing ma­te­ri­als.

No mat­ter whether your deck is small, mid-sized or king-sized (it should be pro­por­tional to the size of your yard), there’s one un­de­ni­able fact: adding a back­yard deck to your home is a great in­vest­ment.

It will pro­vide you with a place to en­ter­tain, in­crease your home’s value, give your home more vis­ual ap­peal and al­low you to ex­tend your liv­able space in a quick, cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner.

Best of all, a deck can serve as a cat­a­lyst to cre­at­ing a back­yard get­away you can en­joy for many years to come.

FOTOLIA

A back­yard deck is the per­fect spot to re­lax on your own — or en­ter­tain friends and fam­ily.

FRANCES LITMAN / TIMES COLONIST FILES

This fancy deck with glass pan­els over­looks a swim­ming pool.

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