Yes, in my back­yard

City­line ex­pert Car­son Arthur dishes on how to get the best ROI from a deck ad­di­tion

North Toronto Post - - Homes - CAR­SON ARTHUR

The num­bers are in for 2018, and the home ren­o­va­tion mar­ket is go­ing through an­other shift!

Every year I ea­gerly await the Cost vs. Value re­port put out by Remodeling Mag­a­zine (www.remodeling.hw.net), and even though this re­port is an Amer­i­can study, the na­tional av­er­ages are an ex­cel­lent in­di­ca­tor of what is hap­pen­ing in the Cana­dian mar­ket­place.

A big sur­prise this year is the con­tin­ued trend to­ward out­door ren­o­va­tion projects.

Build­ing a deck ad­di­tion continues to grow in value, up to an 82.8 per cent re­turn on the in­vest­ment.

So why the shift in val­ues from in­door to out­door ren­o­va­tions?

A lot of this has to do with the buy­ers and, specif­i­cally, the mil­len­ni­als who now, ac­cord­ing to re­al­tor.com, rep­re­sent 35 per cent of the hous­ing mar­ket.

Many mil­len­ni­als are just as happy with a fin­ished home as they are with one that needs to be com­pletely gut­ted and re­mod­elled.

We are see­ing an in­crease in DIY and how-to videos on home ren­o­va­tions, paint­ing kitchen cab­i­nets and even sim­ple things like hang­ing wall­pa­per.

With homes in ur­ban cen­tres still com­ing with a high price tag, most of to­day’s buy­ers have to set­tle for a lit­tle smaller than they would ide­ally like.

If you are in that cat­e­gory and are try­ing to make the most of your space, why not look to your back­yard for that ex­tra living space you des­per­ately need.

Many experts (my­self in­cluded) have spec­u­lated that these deck ad­di­tions are seen as ex­tra living space. Ba­si­cally, if buy­ers can’t af­ford a huge home, they are ac­cept­ing a wood deck on the back as a summer op­tion for living space.

But there are a few sim­ple ques­tions you should an­swer be­fore you rush out to the lum­ber yard for those deck ma­te­ri­als.

First, what are you cur­rently us­ing your out­door space for? Will a deck im­prove your time out­doors?

Some home­own­ers re­ally do love to garden or need their yards for the fam­ily (or even the fam­ily pet). Make sure that the de­ci­sion to add a deck is life­style ap­pro­pri­ate for ev­ery­one who is go­ing to use the space this summer.

Next, is there an in­door fea­ture that you wished you had, like a fire­place, a din­ing room or even a big­ger kitchen? Build­ing some­thing out­doors to com­ple­ment the in­side of your home is the best way to en­sure that you are go­ing to use the space.

Deck ad­di­tions seem to be the an­swer for a lot of peo­ple based on the growth of the in­dus­try. Com­pa­nies like Mi­croPro Si­enna that spe­cial­ize in out­door lum­ber are show­ing growth across the coun­try as it in­tro­duces new mar­kets to pre-stained boards.

Apart from out­door living space, an­other out­door ren­o­va­tion with big re­turn on in­vest­ment (ROI) is the ad­di­tion of win­dows and doors. With an ROI of over 98 per cent, these fix­tures have a fantastic re­turn.

Per­son­ally, I think the idea of putting in new win­dows or doors in­tim­i­dates many first-time home­own­ers, so hav­ing the job al­ready done for them is very ap­peal­ing.

Wher­ever you choose to re­model this year, spend your money wisely by in­clud­ing some ren­o­va­tions that in­crease the value of your largest as­set, your home.

An out­door eat­ing space is a great way to ex­pand your home’s din­ing area

Car­son Arthur is an out­door de­sign and life­style ex­pert and TV per­son­al­ity on shows such as City­line. He’s work­ing on a new book, set for re­lease in 2019.

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