Yes, in my backyard

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


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

MicroPro Sienna

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.

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