According to 2009 Census data, last year was the first time in nearly three decades that the average size of new homes decreased – by almost 100 square feet to 2,438. A result of the economic downturn? Yes, but housing experts say the recession is not the only reason home sizes are shrinking. Growing consumer interest in more energy-efficient homes and smaller floor plans is also having an impact.
As a result, much of today’s new construction focuses more on architectural techniques to create spaciousness than on maximizing square footage. Varying ceiling heights, and strategically placed windows and lights are used to enhance the scale of a home’s interior, while decks are added to extend living space and make smaller homes feel bigger without increasing energy costs. An added benefit of deck additions is they cost significantly less to build – a fraction of the price per square foot required for typical indoor living space – and they tend to have a high ROI at resale.
With many decking materials and accessories to choose from, contractors and homeowners can create decks in many shapes, colors and sizes to fit their needs. Due to their long life spans, durability and some brands’ use of recycled materials, many are opting for composite decking - the fastest growing segment in the decking market.