10 Deck Renovation Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Homeowners
With the real estate market still at record highs in the Lower Mainland, many homeowners are opting to renovate rather than sell. In fact, in BC a deck renovation was the #2 most common project for homeowners in 2016. If you’re considering joining the deck do-over trend in 2017, these are some hacks you need to know.
- Timing Saves Money: Having a deck built or renovated outside of the peak summer season can save you thousands. While it may not be possible to pull off in winter months, updating a deck in spring and fall is a great way to make your dollars stretch. Because there is less business at this time, contractors often relax their rates and you are able to get the same awesome deck for a fraction of the cost!
- Cover Up: Incorporate a patio cover or pergola into your plan and make your new deck usable in all types of weather. What good is your new deck if you only use it a few weeks a year?!
- DIY or Buy: Any home improvement project has the potential to include some fun DIY. Colourful décor and twinkly lights are great ways to add a personal, crafty touch. With building codes and engineer’s considerations, its usually best to leave the structural building to a pro who has insurance and offers a warranty – it will be money well spent.
- Light it Up: Lighting can transform a deck. Recessed lighting, up lighting, string lighting, and solar lighting – Pick your style and set the mood.
- Bump the Beats: With all the decisions to make when planning a deck renovation, most people forget to consider something simple that can really make a summer get together – Music. Built-in outdoor speakers won’t be drowned-out by chatting and giggles and they won’t get lost or ruined by the weather. You won’t regret it.
- Privacy, Please: A privacy wall or screen is a great way to make a space that is near a busy street or a little too close to neighbors feel like your own, private retreat. Replace railings on one side of the deck for a smart solution.
- Plan for a Contingency of 15-25%: a recent Canadian survey showed that folks typically underestimate the cost of a renovations by up to 50%. Even the most seasoned contractors can’t always identify all possible complications before starting a project. Prepare for the unexpected and avoid this common mistake.
- Know Your Options of Materials: Hardwood, treated wood, composite, vinyl, aluminum – there are a lot of different options for the type of deck you may want. If you’re doing a renovation, consider what your needs are; maybe your existing material isn’t what makes the most sense. For a young family, a wooden deck that splinters and needs to be refinished annually makes a lot less sense than a low maintenance splinter free vinyl deck, for example.
- Maximize Your Space: With a bit of design, you can incorporate seating and dry, secure storage to most decks – double your functional space with just a little thought!
- The Golden Referral: Find your deck contractor through a non-bias and informed 3rd Take a trip down to your local hardware store and ask about contractors that build decks – who pays their bill on time, buys quality products, and employs happy people?