Homeowners are often looking for the next improvement or renovation for their houses. While many people start by fixing up the inside, exterior appearances are a major factor of overall home equity. 

For example, adding a deck is a great way to boost value, which will help sell when the time comes. In order to protect the overall safety of both the house and the new structure, the owners should have a property inspection completed, especially before selling. 

How a deck raises value

Building a deck is an ideal method for owners to add a little something extra to their homes. Not only will it be more attractive, but it also increases living space. This unique area will provide a property with a number of creative entertaining and decoration solutions, all of which may pique buyer interest when the home gets listed.

A deck is a smart investment, according to U.S. News and World Report. Nearly every dollar a person invests into the structure is returned, and it is a relatively safe way to ensure a property remains attractive as the housing market shifts.

Paul Mackie, the western area manager of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, explained to the news source about why a deck is a good idea. To begin with, the extra space it affords is a big plus when entertaining friends and family. Not only will guests not have to hang around the kitchen or living room, but a deck provides an outdoor location where residents can cook, socialize and eat, without dealing with a congested interior. 

Moreover, it is also more cost-effective, Mackie stated. When compared to a room addition, building a deck may cost about half as much - making the decision a reasonable strategy to increase home equity. While it may be a smart move for homeowners, the deck needs to be properly maintained. The area should be winterized and cleaned regularly.

A home inspection could find out any problems with outdoor living spaces, including decks, allowing owners to make repairs before any problems get in the way of a sale. 

Regular wood deck maintenance tips

Regardless of quality, every deck may slip into disrepair if proper upkeep isn't looked after. For starters, wooden decks should be cleaned frequently, according to Angie's List. The surface should be sealed, in order to keep the deck looking great for a long time. But before homeowners take that first step, a simple cleaning should be performed. 

In many cases, dirt and mildew build up over time. A wood cleaner may take care of this problem, the news source noted. Additionally, it shouldn't be harmful to areas around the deck itself. To be safe, a property inspection could spot damage to a house or outdoor living space, but homeowners should take precautions before anything happens. 

Oftentimes, the best strategy is to regularly wash a deck in order to keep it looking great year round. Without dirt covering the wood, it should be fairly easy for people to identify problems with the structure. This will allow for any preventative maintenance to take place, according to Angie's List. 

Common deck concerns

After the outdoor living space is cleaned, smart homeowners will look for a number of potential dangers, and licensed home inspection professional may also be able to help clarify any issues. 

One frequent hazard are nails that are sticking up, HGTV noted. Each one should be removed and replaced. Split wood may also pose a problem, and those should be cut out and fixed immediately. In addition, the sun and insects often wreak havoc on wood, making a good stain and seal a smart step. 

Homeowners should consider building and maintaining a deck, in order to boost home equity. Not only will the space be a fun addition, but it may also be a key selling point for potential buyers.