Transitions: How Decks Can Change The Way You Feel About Your Back Yard

How do you increase the square footage of your living space without building an addition to your home? It sounds like one of those crazy questions floating by on your Facebook feed. You’d like to know, but instead of getting an answer, you’re offered a free trip to the Bahamas in exchange for attending an investment seminar.

Adding living space to your home is an investment – and we’ll get back to that in a while. First, let’s solve the mystery of how you can add living space without doing anything at all to your house.

Add a deck!

Most of us don’t have the luxury of a manicured lawn stretching across a gorgeously landscaped back yard. It may not be an untamed jungle, but let’s just say the last time we gazed upon the back yard was when we looked at it through the window.

A deck can change the way you feel about this often-underutilized space. It does two interesting things simultaneously.

A deck expands your indoor living space by extending it’s comfortable characteristics to an outdoor setting

This new transitional element can balance the aesthetics of a back yard that…just doesn’t give you a reason to spend time out there.

Room to stretch out

Families and their belongings are subject to an interesting sort of osmosis. No matter how much indoor common space your home offers, certain members stake territorial claims.

Nobody but Sis can camp out in that quadrant of the living room while she processes her blossoming teenage angst and blocks out the world with her headphones. She’s become one with the easy chair, and her piles of magazines are strategically placed to clearly mark where all others should fear to go. You’re not getting that part of your living room back until she’s off to college.

Enough picking on Sis. It’s a natural thing we all do as families. And if you’re truthful, you’ll admit that every member is in various degrees guilty of a similar land grab. Only the dog is brave enough to wander freely.

A deck can fix this in an instant. If it’s built off the family or living room, a deck can be made to feel as if it is a continuation of the inside…outside.

Entertainment value

Homeowners are looking for additional space to entertain. Why is it that dinner guests always seem to end up bunched in the kitchen? Ever notice that? It’s as if there’s some kind of magnetic force thing going on.

Depending on the layout of your house and back yard, you can add a deck that runs its entire length. A single step up elevates and designates an area for outside dining, and another one is perfect for your grill – which finally gets the attention it’s been longing for. Don’t be surprised if your hamburgers mysteriously start tasting much better.

An evening or weekend of entertaining on the new deck has your guests enjoying a dramatically increased space that allows them to break up into several smaller natural groups where animated conversations occur. You can say goodbye to the big noisy clump of humanity always managing to knock something off the kitchen counter as soon as they are captured by the weird magnetic anomaly. Maybe it’s coming from the stove.

A deck gives you additional dining opportunities, too. It’s the house you’ve always lived in, yet suddenly you feel as if you’re someplace warm and sunny, drinking your morning coffee al fresco.

It’s a nice daydream. But who can afford that?

You can!

The cost of adding a deck is relatively inexpensive, especially when you compare it to the cost of construction or renovation needed elsewhere in your home to claim that much space.

Need more reason to dream big? The real estate authority website houselogic.com invites you to look at it this way:

  • It averages $85 s/f to add space to an existing room in your house
  • It averages $35 /s/f to add a high quality deck
  • Adding a deck generates an 85% long-term return on investment

Talk to us about decks. We’ve recently seen some new composite materials that create amazing transformations – not just in the look of your back yard and the living space it adds. It transforms a deck into a magical place where you’re not quite outside, but you’re definitely not inside.