The Quick And Easy Beginners Guide To Decks:
Thinking Of Building A Deck? Start By Reading This Article

Everyone has a happy place–and many find theirs on the back deck, grilling burgers, sipping drinks, or relaxing in the sunshine. 

But adding a deck to your home isn’t a walk in the park. There are lots of things to think about, such as: 

  • How to come up with an attractive shape and design 
  • Building to code 
  • Ordering materials, finding a contractor, and the hours of labor it will take to build the structure 

That list could look a little overwhelming! But the good news is that there is nothing wrong with asking for some assistance to build your deck. To get you started we have utilized our years of experience at Fortress Construction to put together this article on decks. 

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents
  • “Deck” Defined

    1. “Deck” Defined

  • 5 Benefits Of A Deck

    2. Five Benefits Of A Deck

  • Deck ROI

    3. Deck ROI

  • 3 Steps To Getting Started With Your Deck

    4. Three Steps To Getting Started With Your Deck

“Deck” Defined

To start us off, let’s set straight a common misunderstanding: Are decks the same as porches and patios?

Technically no. Here are the differences between a deck, porch, and patio: 

A patio is built of stone or masonry on the ground level. Think low, flat, and hard. Patios are great for those who have one-story homes and like privacy. 

The difference between a deck and a porch is a little more blurry, but they are not the same thing. 

The main difference between the two is their usage. Porches tend to be an extension of your entryway, and while they are often used for recreation they aren’t designed to be the ideal hosting spot. They are often used for welcoming guests, low-key relaxing, or occasionally storage. 

Decks are normally built in the backyard to serve as entertainment and relaxing areas. They might be used for grilling, sunbathing, hosting parties, or jacuzzi nights. 

Now that we know exactly what we are talking about, let’s look at some of the benefits you gain by having a deck.

5 Benefits Of A Deck

A deck is a pleasurable addition to any home, but there are more reasons to build a deck than just having a lovely relaxation spot! 

Here are 5 reasons why decks are a great addition to any home.

Mini Text Graphic 1

1. Adds value to your home

A deck is more than a pretty place to eat food and enjoy the sun. It’s an investment that can make you money if you ever want to sell your home. 

For some homebuyers, a deck is essential, and even if it isn’t a deal breaker it’s still attractive. Many homebuyers would be willing to pay more for a home with a nice deck.

We will talk more about how much ROI a deck can provide in the next section.  

2. Extends your hosting space

When was the last time you wished you could host more people but weren’t able to because you didn’t have enough space? 

A deck is a wonderful hosting space, particularly if you have a smaller home and would feel cramped hosting a crowd inside. Instead, you can have friends and family over and have a grilling party on the back deck, with all the breathing room of the great outdoors! 

If you love to host but don’t have a lot of space indoors, a deck would be a lifesaver for you. 

3. Provides a relaxing space

If you want some quality relaxing time, it’s hard to find a better spot to relax than the deck! It’s peaceful, quiet, and outdoors where you can get some sunshine and alone time while you relax. 

It’s also a great place for a quiet dinner for you and your spouse, or family game nights on summer evenings. The options for relaxation are endless!  

In fact, according to one study, three out of four homeowners (77%) said they have a greater desire to be at home since completing their deck. 

4. Improves aesthetics

A well-designed deck adds to the beauty of your home. The decking and railing colors can complement your home’s color scheme, and a deck gives a house an overall completed look.

The increased curb appeal you gain with a deck can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers if you ever want to sell. But even if you never want to sell, the increased aesthetics are nice for your own personal enjoyment! 

5. Helps you get outside more

We could all stand to get outdoors a little more, right? 

The good news is that having a deck gives you the perfect excuse to be outside. Think about it for a second: If you want to relax, you have options: you could lay on your sofa and watch TV, or you could sit on your deck in the sunshine and read a book. Which sounds healthier for you? 

If you have a deck, you will probably also use it to eat meals, host people, and spend one on one time with family and friends–all in the great outdoors instead of inside your temperature-controlled house. 

In the age of office jobs and inside work, we could all stand to be outside a little more, and a deck gives you the perfect excuse to spend time outdoors.

Deck ROI

It’s clear that decks have some awesome benefits. 

But if a deck is going to be a terrible long-term investment, you may want to think twice, even if you really, really want a deck. 

So what kind of ROI can you expect from a deck? 

How much ROI a deck provides depends on different factors such as location, size, and material. For example, a deck on a home in a sunny area such as Florida holds greater appeal than a deck on a home in a cool, rainy area. 

However, decks tend to have fairly good ROI and typically fall in the 60-75% ROI range.

decks tend to have fairly good roi

If you want to know more about what ROI a deck might provide in your area, it can be helpful to use an online cost calculator or contact a local contractor or realtor.  

While we are thinking about money, let’s not close our eyes to the fact that even though a deck is a good home investment and brings plenty of bang for its buck, it will also increase your home insurance and taxes. 

If you want to build a deck that provides a good ROI, here are a few tips for you: 


Wooden decks tend to have a slightly higher ROI than composite decks. This is because it’s slightly more expensive to build a composite deck, and it adds about the same value to your home. So the higher upfront costs of a composite deck bring the ROI numbers down a little. 

However, that doesn’t mean that a composite deck is a bad investment. Unlike composite decks, wooden decks require continual maintenance. That jacks up the total cost of ownership for a wooden deck over the long haul.  

Ease of access

A deck is more useful if you can easily access it from the kitchen than if you need to go through the master suite to get onto it! 

When designing your deck, try to keep hosting in mind. The most useful decks are the ones designed to be good hosting spaces. That means they should be large enough to hold a party and have easy access to the kitchen. 


In general, the larger the deck the better ROI it has. But don’t go too wild with it. Your deck should be in proportion to your house instead of dwarfing it.

larger decks tend to have greater roi

You should also take a look at other decks in your area before building. Your deck should mirror those around it in size and lavishness. 

Railings and roofing

It can boost ROI to include railings and some type of cover on your deck. The railings are a nice addition if you want to keep pets off your porch or kids from falling off your porch, and a roof is wonderful in the event of bad weather coinciding with your dinner plans.   

The wow factor

Lastly, there is the wow factor. If your deck is exceptionally beautiful or includes unique features or designs, it carries a little more clout. 

However, don’t go too wild with this one either. Homeowners want their decks to be functional, and designs that are too far out may not appeal to everyone’s taste. When going for ROI it’s best to keep your creativity classic and tasteful.

3 Steps To Getting Started With Your Deck

If you are considering a deck for your home, getting started may feel overwhelming. To help you out, here are a few steps you can take to get started on your deck: 

Decide whether to DIY or work with a contractor

If you have some construction experience, it can save you money to DIY your deck. However, for the best experience and results, we recommend hiring a contractor. 

Plus, don’t forget that even if you have adequate construction experience, building your own deck will cost you a lot of your valuable time and energy.

it is best to hire a contractor to build your deck

Brainstorm ideas

Sites like Pinterest and Houzz can be really helpful when brainstorming what you want your deck to look like. 

You could also talk to a local contractor or designer who has experience with deck building. They can help you come up with some awesome ideas and give you valuable practical advice. 

Set a budget

If you don’t want to overspend, your best plan is to set a budget and make a good plan before you start. There will always be unexpected costs along the way, but it’s good to have an idea of what you want to spend before you start. 

Getting started can look overwhelming at first, but we can assure you that it will all be well worth it when you can finally enjoy your beautiful deck!


We hope this article was helpful for you! 

If you would like to hire a contractor to help you with your deck today, give Fortress Construction a call. 

We offer turnkey processes for various outdoor structures including:  

We make it as easy as possible to work with us: 

  1. Give us a call 
  2. Receive a proposal 
  3. Sit back and watch as we build your structure! 

To learn more, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.