Planning to remodel? You’re in good company.
2016 is shaping up to be a good year for home improvement.
Recently, the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University released its updated Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA). The indicator was developed to predict short-term trends in national home improvement spending. According to the latest LIRA, “annual spending growth for home improvements will accelerate from 4.3% in the first quarter of 2016 to 7.6% in the third quarter.” In fact, by the latter part of 2016, the JCHS expects annual spending on remodeling projects to surpass the previous high set in 2006.
What’s behind this optimistic outlook? The owner-occupied housing market continues to grow stronger. Rising house prices mean more homes are being brought to market and increasing sales. This in turn drives home improvement activity. Increasingly, this activity is including larger, more discretionary projects.
Whether selling or staying put, homeowners are sprucing up their spaces
While simple improvements generally provide a positive return on investment, they might not be sufficient to dazzle a potential buyer – or even entice someone to visit the property in the first place. Conversely, many people simply can’t afford to move, no matter how much their house might be worth, notes realtor.com. For these folks, investing in projects that will enhance the long-term enjoyment and comfort of their homes just makes sense.
Increase the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space
One improvement to consider: replacing a worn-out wood deck with attractive, low-maintenance composite decking. If your deck boards are splintered, warped, or peppered with nail pops, you’re probably not using your outdoor space very much – and with good reason. Decaying wood decks (and shaky wood railing) can be hazardous as well as unattractive. Install smooth, splinter-free composite decking and sturdy composite railing, and you’ve instantly improved the appearance and usability of your outdoor space. Incorporate some deck lighting and you can enjoy easy outdoor living any time, day or night. How’s that for positive ROI?
And while composite boards may cost a bit more upfront than pressure-treated lumber, the truth is, the overall project costs for composite versus wood might not vary that much. Plus, the long-term savings on maintenance as well as the longer lifespan of composite decking makes these boards worth serious consideration. Here’s why.
- Fiberon offers composite decking across a wide range of price points; meaning, there’s no need to settle for the hassles and headaches associated with wood decking.
- If the existing deck’s substructure is intact and up to code, the cost to upgrade may be far less than you think. When there is no need to level the yard, pour concrete footings, build the substructure, and so on, you can realize serious savings on materials and labor.
- Consider installing your deck during the spring or fall. Summer is busy season for most contractors; labor charges usually reflect this fact.
- Maintenance on a composite deck is minimal, usually $20 or less annually. Wood decking requires significant, often expensive maintenance. How expensive? Take a look:
- We took a modest 120-sq. ft. deck size, a range of U.S. zip codes, and then plugged the numbers into a vendor-neutral online calculator to estimate deck refinishing expenses. The cost estimates ranged from $370 to more than $900 – for a one-time service.
- Of course, you could opt to do the maintenance yourself. At a minimum that entails renting or buying a pressure washer, cleaning the deck, allowing ample drying time, purchasing and applying the stain or sealer … you get the idea. Not the most fun way to spend your weekend. And let’s be honest, are you really going to be diligent about adhering to a maintenance schedule, year after year?
- Wood decking is prone to splintering, cracking, and warping. That means more time and money spent replacing damaged boards. Plus, even with proper maintenance, most pressure-treated decks last 10-15 years at most. Fiberon decking lasts 20+ years. In fact, it’s backed by a 25-year limited warranty (Or a lifetime limited warranty, in the case of Paramount PVC Decking). Wood? Not so much.
Get the facts on wood versus composite decking.
Make 2016 the year you finally upgrade to composite decking.
Our website features plenty of tools to get you started. Here are a few tips:
1. Browse the Fiberon photo galleries for inspiration.
(Built by Fine Decks, Inc., Owings, Maryland)
2. Locate product-specific information by clicking on “Decking” under the Products tab. This section includes a handy chart for at-a-glance comparisons of our various boards.
3. Design your own deck (or two or three) with our easy-to-use Deck Design Tool.
4. Order samples of your favorite boards (and railing, too). You can test colors against your home and compare textures and grain patterns.
5. Find a qualified Fiberon Partner contractor or nearby Fiberon dealer by clicking on the “Find a Deck Builder” or “Where to Buy” tabs.
And don’t miss our newest decking, Symmetry. Introduced at the International Builders Show, this new line was a huge hit with homeowners and building professionals alike. It’s easy to see why. The rich, earthy color palette was inspired by natural elements and pigments: Warm Sienna, Cinnabar, and Burnt Umber. The varied grain patterns add to the distinct look and feel of the boards. And, since Symmetry Decking is produced using a low-gloss formulation and unique micro-texturing process, the decking has an elegant matte finish more commonly seen on exotic hardwoods. If you want to instantly transform your outdoor space, you owe to yourself to check out Symmetry Decking.