No matter what the housing market looks like, adding a deck to your home is an almost foolproof way to improve its value. Even in today’s uncertain climate, decks can add as much as (and sometimes more than) 75 percent of the cost of their construction (including decking, railing and other materials) to the value of your home. A deck can add square feet of floor space to your home, and looks great during the dime tour. Decking can be a great summer home improvement project, and the result is a great spot for you to relax with family and friends decks builder near me

The first step in any decking project should be a phone call to your municipal coding office – often, local zoning boards set guidelines as to how broad or high a deck can be, as well as how deep builders may sink post holes. Thankfully, zoning boards rarely (if ever) set guidelines as to what kinds of decking materials homeowners may use, so don’t feel pressured to go with one material over another.

Before designing , you’ll also need to ask yourself some questions about what kind of deck you want. What will its primary uses be? Which doors will exit from your home onto the deck itself? Can you build a diverse deck that will be as useful in winter as it is in summer? Consider the placement of your deck in relation to any trees you might have near it – trees provide shade, but if they’re too close they can litter a deck with leaves, berries and twigs.

Composite wood decking products — as opposed to wood — are maintenance-free, meaning there’s no need to treat your deck with cleaning products or wood sealants. But even the most scientifically advanced decking planks won’t keep the trees in your backyard from dumping leaves, berries and bird wastes on your deck. What we can do, however, is prevent the scratches and stains that come with those types of litter. Many types of composite decking feature dense, stain-free surface grains that resist scratching. All that’s left for you to do is sweep your deck up and hose it off.

When you build your deck, be sure to create firm, level foundations to allow plenty of room for drainage (particularly if you’re using wood decking, which is more vulnerable to standing water). Most decking products on the market resist rot and decay, but if you don’t keep your deck a sufficient height from the ground, you could end up standing in a puddle if a heavy rain comes along.

Finally, make sure your deck is a good visual and aesthetic match with your home. The wood and composite wood decking materials come in a broad variety of colors, grains and patterns, so it should be easy to find the right complement to your home.

Kevin Ott is a freelance copywriter who lives in California and writes on a variety of topics, including home improvement, food, travel, marketing, and a variety of other topics. One of his clients is Sequoia Supply, the premier supplier of composite wood decking material (to both contractors and do-it-yourself homeowners) in the Northeast.