For those who are lucky enough to have one, a deck is a wonderful extension of the home that ties the outdoors and indoors together. They can be transformed into outdoor oases, perfect for entertaining, socializing, or just relaxing after a long day. In the past, having a backyard deck depended on having enough space. However, thanks to new and innovative technologies in the construction of backyard decks, this is changing.
Industry trends are showing that more homeowners are asking for decks in their yard, which is great news for decking pros. To help you stay on top of your trade, we’ve compiled an overview of the current deck trends and what you should be seeing in the next year.
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What Homeowners Want
If a homeowner is looking at remodeling to improve lifestyle and their return-on-investment, adding a deck is the right choice. The Wall Street Journal reported that even homeowners who already have decks are looking to expand and improve. So why the sudden resurgence in deck building?
Homeowners are starting to see the value of an outdoor living space and view the outside as an extension to the interior. Having a place to host gatherings outdoors or relax in the warm weather has become a huge draw. Additionally, a deck adds space for the homeowner without having to create an entirely new room in the home.
Lastly, deck installations or expansions have a high return on investment, especially if high quality and sustainable materials are used. A deck adds living space for the current homeowner and future homeowners alike, meaning the owner can get more money when they’re ready to sell.
The American Institute of Architects conducted a survey that revealed 69% of architecture firms have seen an increase in demand for decking projects. With the news of an increase in decking projects, we had to refer back to our own data to see how this was impacting pros.
Our data shows that homeowners are ready to create an outdoor expansion on their home. Thirty-three percent of decking service requests in the last year were ready to hire and 83% of those projects were deck installations or replacement.
When it comes to timing, it’s true that decking installations are most common throughout the summer months. According to our data, nationally, June is the most popular decking month after analyzing it against all service request submissions. The next most popular month is May.
So what’s popular for new decks? The following are a few trends that deck building contractors are seeing this year.
Currently, contemporary design is popular for new deck construction. This breaks away from the traditional, rustic deck of the past. Instead, people are opting for cooler colors, sophisticated and sleek lines, and minimalist design. One feature that fits with this trend is cable railing, which gives homeowners clear views of the area around them.
Heaters and Fans
People want to make use out of their deck year round, so many are choosing to add ceiling fans for hot summer months and heaters for chilly winters. Strategically placing a few fans around a deck area will keep air flowing through the space, and modern heaters can put off enough heat to keep everyone comfy. Nowadays, there are numerous designs and features to choose from with fans and heaters, making them just another way to show off style and decor.
While neutral colors will likely continue to dominate the deck space, contractors are seeing more and more homeowners that want a splash of color incorporated into their deck. Colored finishes and accents are a great way to make an outdoor space stand out.
Simple porch lights used to do the trick on outdoor decks. Now, homeowners prefer aesthetic lighting that adds to the ambiance of the space. Lighting should be seamlessly integrated, functional, and creates a mood in the space.
Decks are becoming the new living room, and no living room is complete without a television. Especially for those with smaller homes, outdoor televisions allow folks to entertain on game day, season finales, and more. A weatherproof television set makes a great addition to an outdoor space.
As homeowners continue to realize the value of decks, contractors can expect to see more desk installation requests. According to a Freedonia Group forecast on wood & competitive decking, there is a 1.8% increase prediction every year through 2020 in the decking industry. They also predict that other materials, such as wood-plastic composite, will become more popular, due to the focus on creating and building sustainable homes.
Homeowners will also be looking for customization of decks to fit their lifestyle and backyard size. Even those with small backyards are seeing the potential a deck has for increasing their square footage, but will need a perfect fit to make the most of their yard.
What This Means for Pros
In any industry, it’s important to pay attention to current news and trends. Decking pros this season have likely been seeing some of these trends in their business. Along with an increase in business, customer demands may be changing as decks expand and become a more sustainable part of the home. Here are few things to remember as you look ahead:
- Pay attention to trends in your area to better serve your customers.
- Customer service matters for referrals and loyalty.
- Deck installation requires dangerous equipment, so have safety protocols available.
- Prioritize your projects and call a customer if you’re running late.
- Work with your customer to help create the deck of their dreams.
This recent swing in decking projects means great things for pros. Not only do customers see the value of a new deck, but they also see the value in a job well done.
If you’re a decking pro, do you see any of these trends reflected in your area? Share with us in the comments below!
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