Building a deck to a Southern California home is one of the best upgrades you can make in terms of return on investment (ROI) at resale. The national average ROI for new decks is 80%, but our near-perfect year-round weather kicks that up to around 100%. It’s a case of quantity-of-use adding quality of life. Outdoor living is one of the great attractions of this region, and a deck is a transition zone combining the best features of house and yard.

A deck can be a simple rectangular platform, scaled to fit in the available space, or with some investment of thought and professional input, decks can be creatively designed to complement the home’s architecture and layout of the lot. A well-designed deck can make a small lot look and feel more substantial, while effectively increasing a small home’s living space.

Larger lots can accommodate destination decks, unattached to the house and positioned in a secluded nook, or in a corner with a view. Breezeway decks can provide alternate routes between parts of a house, enhancing privacy and the feeling of spaciousness. Creative designs preserve foliage by wrapping decks around trees, add features like built-in dining tables, or cut new doorways from the house to enhance access and alter traffic patterns. The possibilities are endless, and new ideas are coming online all the time.

If you’re thinking about adding a deck to your property, your planning should take into account ROI variables. Materials, size, access, and the “wow factor” all contribute to a prospective buyer’s perception of the value added by a deck to the property. It’s worth becoming familiar with deck construction in the comparable properties in your area so you can position yours where you want to be value-wise. Another value relationship to consider is that between your deck budget and the overall value of the property. It doesn’t make ROI dollars and sense to build something too grand for the size and likely resale price of the home. One rule of thumb used by contractors and architects is that a deck should be no larger than the home’s biggest interior space. 

Keep in mind, too, that adding value to your home gets the attention of the assessor and the underwriter, so your property taxes and insurance premiums are like to be increased. Like anything else built by human beings, a deck will inevitably require some maintenance and/or repair as time goes by. Good choices of materials, with expert design and construction, are the ticket to keeping those costs down and your enjoyment and ROI up.