Monday, April 30, 2012

Survey Shows What Deck Owners PINE For


   'Tis the season to use your deck! AK found this newswire piece about decks very topical; it suggests a shift from the "luxury" of outdoor kitchens toward the "practicality" of decks. (These definitions of luxury and practicality of course depend on the individual kitchen or deck! Outdoor kitchens CAN be practical and decks CAN be lavish) What has not changed is how important a deck, or other outdoor living space is to a family's enjoyment of a home.
(/PRNewswire via COMTEX/) For many homeowners, the deck of their dreams is just that: still a dream.
That's the finding of a recent survey conducted on Facebook. More than 2,000 people responded to the query, "What would you do if you won $15,000 to spend on your deck?" Fans were asked to rate how strongly they felt about 11 different options, with one being least interested and 10 being the most interested. The number one answer, with 47% giving it a 10, was to tear out the current deck and start over.
The survey found that alterations that improve both beauty and functionality were the most popular choices. Next in line, chosen by 43% of respondents, was to add lighting. Improving the landscaping and adding built-ins, like benches and storage, tied at 41% each. Rounding out the top five improvements, at 40%, was the choice to enlarge an existing deck.
Outdoor kitchens have been a popular project, but only 28% of those taking the survey would spend their dollars here - possibly underscoring a shift toward practicality over luxury. Other possible ways to spend the windfall were to get new furniture (34%), change to composite or exotic wood (29%), repair damaged wood (25%), change the color (24%) and add a water feature.
"Overall, the survey findings reinforce how much people love their decks, and how important the deck is as a place to spend time with family and friends," said Jeff Wilson, HGTV/diy network host and a consultant for The Thompson's Company. "I think that's why people want to add lighting, furniture, and storage, so that they can do more of what they already do - sit back and relax."
The last question asked participants to list anything else they'd add to the deck of their dreams. While many named hot tubs or fire pits, others asked for shade and enclosures, reinforcing the finding that homeowners want their decks to be a comfortable outdoor living space that can be used as often as possible. Many people stated simply that having a place for friends and family to gather would be enough. (Of course, some took dreaming to a new level, asking for spaceship launching pads, a Prince Charming to preside over the grilling of steaks and a giant chess board with alternating color stained squares and life-size movable pieces.)

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