One of the few things I consider to be an all-around excellent investment in a house or property is an outdoor seating and entertaining area. Having a beautiful deck or patio adds so much value.. not only monetary value, but adds value to your everyday life. Spending time with family in the early evening hours eating and enjoying each other in a well set-up space that is just inviting and relaxing makes us treasure life even more.
Some of the best earliest memories I have are of my Dad and I hanging out together on our big backyard deck. This was the kind of deck that was only about 6 inches above the ground level, or what they call a “floating deck”. Built out of wood, and with no railings on any side, it was a kind of platform that spanned most of the length of the back of our small ranch house. I remember being out there almost every summer night, and even when it started to get colder, we set up a warmer so we could still have a couple beers out there when the leaves started to change color. It was the most inviting spot and so easy to have friends over to chill there for awhile and get into our deep conversations and discussions on every topic from the meaning of life to how to best grill a piece of fish. My sister played guitar and would sing to us on that deck, creating an ambiance of nostalgia for years to come.
When my folks sold that house, I think I was most sad about not being able to sit out on that deck any longer. They took great care of it over the years, and I remember helping my Dad stain that deck more than a few times to water proof it and keep it resilient during the long New England winter months. One time after a big storm a tree had fallen in our yard and broke one of the wooden planks in the deck. We ended up hiring a professional deck repair service to fix it, which was a tough call for my Dad who was always a DIY kinda guy, and thought that a real man always knew how to fix anything. But this was a bit out of his range. They did a great job though, and after a few years the newer planks blended right in and you could never tell that they hadn’t been there from the beginning.
But probably because of the fact that I grew up knowing how great an outdoor hang out space can be, I made it my mission that any house I would own had to have some kind of deck, or nice stone patio area for people to gather. I love the outdoors (if you can’t tell) but I also love the finer things in life. So having a lovely manicured and landscaped yard that is so refreshing to look at, and also having a space to sit and relax and enjoy that yard together with family and friends is a must-have for my and my wife and 3 kids that are now getting to develop their own memories enjoying family time on our deck.
So all in all, even if you don’t have much of a yard (like many of the overstuffed housing situations available these days) if you take some time and money to invest in a deck or patio, you can still enjoy the outdoors and fresh air and have a space to entertain a few friends, all while adding value to your property and life.