If you own a home, chances are you’ve dreamt of having your own outdoor deck one day. Maybe you already have a deck. Maybe you’re sitting on it right now, sipping lemonade and enjoying the summer sun. Perhaps you’re even wondering what you can do to improve it.
It’s no secret that many homeowners decide to build very basic outdoor decks in order to save money. After all, a deck is a deck, right? There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s just a place to sit, have a drink, fire up the grill, or even do a little morning yoga.
Basic decks are certainly good for all of these things—but the truth is, many homeowners are taking it much further. Outdoor decks have become showpieces and focal points for exteriors. They’ve become hot spots for entertaining, gathering with family, and increasing the functional square footage of a home. And it’s not just people with wealthy estates who are investing more in outdoor deck configurations. Owners of moderate and even small-sized properties are also exploring ways to make better use of the green space beyond the walls of the house.
There’s one wrinkle, however—some outdoor deck features are expensive. If you’re wondering where all those dollars are going, here are some of the most expensive amenities driving up the cost of decks today.
1. Outdoor kitchens
Perhaps the most expensive outdoor deck amenity is the kitchen—and for good reason. Adding a full range of kitchen features (oven, propane stove, refrigerator, ice maker, storage space, etc.) is highly desirable, but the cost adds up. A very basic kitchen might cost $2,000 – 3,000, but when you start customizing and adding features, the price can easily skyrocket into the tens of thousands. For some people, the luxury of a quality outdoor kitchen is simply worth the money.
2. Hot tubs
Sure, you could go for one of those portable hot tubs—but if you’re serious about soaking, and you want a truly luxurious setup, a built-in hot tub can be a desirable (and expensive) amenity. Experienced outdoor deck builders will have no problem handling this feature, as long as you can afford it!
3. Composite surfacing
This is arguably not a “luxury” feature, but it does drive up the cost of an outdoor deck. Traditionally, decks have all been constructed using natural wood. Composite materials have gained popularity in recent years because they are highly weather resistant and durable. In the long term, composite surfacing may actually save you money—but it will increase the upfront costs of your deck, especially if you choose one of the most expensive varieties of composite decking material.
4. Custom finishings
Specialty detailing on your railings, multi-tiered design features, built-in seating and fireplaces—these are all examples of custom finishes that tack dollars onto your final bill. For the homeowners who make these investments, however, the payoff is well worth it.
What kind of deck are you dreaming of?
Even if your budget for an outdoor deck is relatively modest, you might be surprised at what you can achieve with the help of a reputable, qualified outdoor deck specialist. You might not want to spend a fortune on kitchens, hot tubs and custom details, but you can surpass expectations by budgeting carefully and finding the right contractor.
Best of luck on building your dream deck! Feel free to leave questions or comments here.