By Andy Meredith
Candis and I always have a lot of fun with our old home renovations. They give us a chance to get really creative and to bring these pieces of history back to life with all the updates that modern home buyers want in their homes. Of course, there are some upgrades that always work, and then there are some that just about never work.
A deck can be a major improvement to a home, or it can be a disaster that just looks wrong. So, should you add a deck to your next home renovation, or should you leave it as is? I can’t tell you 100% that you should or shouldn’t add a deck to a renovation, but I can give you a few reasons you might want to go one way or the other.
Decks Add Value – But Do They Add Enough Value?
Statistically, homeowners who add a deck and then sell their house, add about 81% of the expense of the deck to the market value of the house. That number makes sense for people living in a home for a few years, enjoying the deck, and then selling the home when they’re ready to move, but it might not make so much sense to someone renovating a house to sell it.
Basically, this can go either way. You could look at it as an investment in the house that doesn’t make you back the money you put into it, which makes it a bad idea. Or, you could look at it as a feature that’ll get the house to sell faster when you’re finished and ready to put it on the market.
Look at Comparable Homes in the Area
So how do you decide which side to land on? Will spending a little bit more now help you sell the house fast enough to make a difference for your next deal so you can grow your business and keep renovating? Or will it be a waste of time that will cut into your profit margin on the house?
Whenever we’re faced with this kind of problem, Candis and I like to take a look at the comps in the area. Because we stick to renovating old homes, we really only look at the older, historic homes around ours. If those have add-on decks that work and don’t mess with the integrity of the house, then we’ll usually go with adding a deck. If not, then it’s a good bet that our buyers won’t really be swayed one way or another by a deck. In fact, they might even be turned off by an addition that isn’t in the original style of the house.
Can You Do It Right?
Speaking of which, the final thing I think about when considering whether or not to add a deck is when the house was built and whether or not I can add a deck without ruining the house. I know that a lot of our buyers are really into old houses (just like we are), and some of them will take one look at an addition that isn’t in the same style as the architecture of the original house, and they’ll turn right around and walk away.
So don’t just add a normal wooden deck to any old home that you’re renovating. It might add a feature that people like in general, but with an old home it could actually ruin it for a lot of your buyers. When in doubt, always go as original as you can, especially on the exterior of the house.