In today's housing market, more buyers are interested in outdoor living spaces. One of the best options for current homeowners to spruce up their property and increase its value is with a deck. These outdoor entertainment areas can be the perfect addition to any home, especially if selling is in the near future.

Before any major home improvement project gets underway, a licensed home inspection professional should be consulted. These experts can identify concerning features around a house and offer advice about how to fix them. Also, this step can be a crucial tool during any real estate transaction.

Ideas for an exciting deck

Good, enjoyable decks can have a number of unique features. According to Sunset, they can be the perfect scenic viewpoint or they can increase living space by adding square footage on the outside of a house. Those interested in a home improvement project could keep it simple, or they could take advantage of many innovative design trends.

For example, a deck could include a partly-sheltered area, the news source noted. The exit from the inside could lead into a covered portion, making for a comfortable transition for the residents. If the house has a steep backyard, a deck could transform an unusable space into an enjoyable one. Retaining walls can help support the structure, and a nice deck could become additional entertaining spot for a yard that previously didn't have any.

In addition, a deck could become a desirable living area for homes short on square footage. Sunset explained that a deck off the back bedroom on a smaller house helps residents get the most space possible out of their place. All outdoor living areas can act as extensions of the interior, possibly even boosting up the home's value.

Any home improvement project, especially a deck, should be accompanied by a property inspection. This can ensure that the renovations are completed correctly, and everything is in safe, working order. 

Deck maintenance tips

Decks are an increasingly popular method of adding living space to a house, according to HomeAdvisor. Not only can these additions be attractive solutions, they can also be low-cost and high reward. However, like with all outdoor spaces, the weather can take its toll. A home inspection could help point out damaged areas, and owners should also remain vigilant and proactive when it comes to maintenance.

Once or twice every year, a deck should be inspected and cleaned, the news source noted. Problems often arise with loose boards or nails sticking out. These small issues could become hazardous for residents, and the surface should be swept clean on a regular basis. All dirt and buildup should be removed, and strong garden house or a powerwasher can be a useful tool to remove grime in between boards. Cleaning solutions are readily available, and these could help make sure that the deck is in top condition all year round.

Moreover, all decks should get a great sealant, according to HomeAdvisor. The entire area around the deck should be covered with a tarp to protect it, such as nearby plants, windows, doors and air conditioning units. Sealant can be applied in several ways, either with a brush, paint roller or a sprayer. This last method is the fastest for homeowners, but it can also be the messiest. Afterward, the deck can then be painted or stained. Clear or lighter finishes often look best, because they allow the natural attractiveness of the deck to come through. 

Overall, homeowners should have a property inspection completed whenever undertaking a major improvement project. A deck can be a great addition to any home, but it has to be completed and maintained properly.