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» Pool or Deck: Which Home Improvement Projects Right for You?

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Pool or Deck: Which Home Improvement Projects Right for You?
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Every summer once the weather heats up, many homeowners begin thinking about heading down to the local hardware store to start putting a dent into their home improvement to-do list. Considering the cost associated with most home improvement projects, homeowners need to choose carefully when selecting which jobs to dedicate their resources towards.

While picking the right project for your home depends on a variety of factors, some projects offer a larger return on investment than others. Those looking to increase the value of their home should focus more on projects that offer long-term value, such as energy efficient windows or a new heating and cooling system, rather than cosmetic additions. However, occasionally homeowners can feel tempted to splurge on a project that offers more entertainment rather than practical value.  Two such projects, adding a pool or backyard deck, both come with hefty price tags, but which is worse the expense?

Pool

Just the thought of installing a backyard pool is enough to stir the imagination about one of the best and most relaxing ways to beat back the heat. However, whether or not a pool justifies the expense depends on the individual homeowner.

A pool is a massively expensive undertaking that can range anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 for an in-ground installation. While the National Center for Real Estate Research (NCRER) estimates that an in-ground pool could add eight percent to a home’s overall value, that number can shift dramatically from 11 percent in the Sun Belt to just six percent in the Midwest.

Any value a pool adds to your home may be offset by maintenance and upkeep costs that typically range into the thousands of dollars annually. Most states also require fences be placed around any home with a pool, and you can also expect your homeowner’s insurance rates to go up as well.

While you could save by installing an above-ground pool, the money you save on the front end will actually be lost on the back. According to the NCRER, above-ground pools actually add no value to a home, and could cost you two percent of your home’s value should a prospective buyer consider the pool an eyesore and ask that it come down.

Deck

If your home doesn’t feature a deck, but has the room for one, you’re actually subtracting value from your home. According to a Cost vs. Value Report conducted by the National Association of Realtors in 2011, a deck of any kind ranks as one of the best investments a homeowner can make. Even more appealing, the cost of a deck is significantly cheaper when compared to other major home improvement projects, and it offers a much larger return on investment.

A composite deck that won’t warp or fade due to the sun, snow, or rain will cost around $16,000, which you can recoup 66 percent of in resale value, according to the NAR. Conversely, the $21,000 spent on a new roof yields a 59 percent return, while the $40,000 spent on a bathroom addition only yields a 53 percent return. You can even increase your return on investment by going a little cheaper and installing a wooden deck- roughly $5,000 less expensive than composite- and receive a whopping 73 percent return.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of API/AMS, a CNC machining Hillsboro shop.

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