Before you list your property for sale, be it in St George, Sutherland Shire, or the Western Suburbs, it’s worth considering that additional living space is bound to increase your selling price. Home stagers, including those who specialise in property styling St George, assure us that money spent on improving or enhancing your outdoor living space is a sound investment which improves the sales price of your home. Nevertheless, when it comes to such investments, let caution be your by-word. That such an improvement makes the property more valuable needs to be balanced against the cost of the improvement.

If you don’t already have a deck or patio for entertaining, adding one can net you more money at closing of the sale of your home. Millennial buyers, who make up the largest pool of potential buyers in today’s real estate market, tend to be more budget conscious, and for them a deck represents both added living space and the ability to enjoy entertaining at home.

Such a project must be carefully planned in order to make money for you in the end. Depending on the materials you use to construct your deck, it could cost from $1,500 to $10,000 and upwards. Timber deck additions are the most economical way to go, but steel construction or deck kits can also add appeal at an affordable construction cost, whereas a similar project built from composite materials can run to about 50 percent more. Before you decide to add a deck to your property, talk to the property styling St. George expert you’ve chosen, as the rate of return fluctuates.

As you plan the addition, remember that built-in bells and whistles, such as an outdoor kitchen and built-in planter boxes and/or seating can up the cost of the project considerably and may not add to the value sufficiently to justify the expense. Again, your property stylist will offer sound advice on this matter.

If your home already has outside living space in the form of a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen, your first job is to make sure the space is in good shape. A rickety deck is worse than no deck at all, so if your deck needs repairs or reinforcement, consider those to be priority projects. Potential buyers want more space, but they will not be inclined to buy an insurance liability.

• Make sure the structure and framing are solid.
• Be sure railings and stairs are well secured and sturdy.
• If you have your deck or outdoor kitchen wired for electricity, make sure that all wiring is up to code and meets safety standards.

If your additional living space is certified safe, then consider things that might improve the area. From the top to the bottom, make sure there are no eyesores. If the roof leaks, fix it. If the concrete base has cracks or damage, fix those. Consider applying a resurfacing coat in one of the new stamped concrete finishes for a totally new look. If your patio floor is made from pavers, replace broken ones and call in a paving expert to evaluate whether or not the paving needs work.

Will adding a kitchen area raise the value of your patio or deck? Yes, probably. What about adding built-in seating? Will adding ramps for access make the space more appealing to buyers? Much will depend on the market and the demographic information about your most likely buyer. People with handicaps are not always older, retired folks, for example. Again, your property stylist will have information to help you make these decisions.

In some areas, patios and decks can be made more available for year-round use by enclosing the area with screening. This helps keep bugs out and guests more comfortable, making it more appealing to more of those budget-minded millennials.

At the end of the day, when you are thinking of improvements for your home prior to placing it on the market, the most critical factor is the investment to return ratio. It makes no sense to spend a bucket of money on an improvement that will only increase the value and the sales price by half a bucket. Having a member of your sales team who understands construction costs and can balance those costs with the value added will make your decisions about property styling St George much easier, and far more certain to earn you money in the long run.

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