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Angie's List: Building A Backyard Deck

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Looking to spend more time outdoors this summer? A deck is a great way to extend your living space, giving you a nice area for parties and family gatherings. In this week's Angie's List report, Jim Donovan tells us about some things you should consider if you're thinking of adding a deck to your home.

Decks not only give you extra space for relaxing or entertaining, they can also be a good investment into your home.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, says, "When it comes to decks, you are going to get about an 80 percent return on your investment if you invest in quality and have it done well."

So how do you decide which material is best for your deck? It depends on how much maintenance you're going to do.

Hicks says, "If you put a wood deck on, you are going to have to clean it and seal it periodically. The synthetic materials are usually more expensive on the front end, but require less maintenance through the life of the deck."

In addition to material, you need to make sure you choose a builder that has plenty of experience.

According to Hicks, "When it comes to building a deck, it all comes down to how well it's installed. We all too often hear stories of a deck being improperly installed and potentially collapsing. You want to have someone who knows what they are doing, who understands the building code for your area, and also you as the homeowner need to check with your subdivision to make sure if they have any requirements necessary or approvals you need to get before you start building."

Some other things to consider:

The price of adding a deck all depends on the size of the deck you want and the materials you use because there are a lot of choices, but you can spend $5,000 to $30,000 or more. The more elaborate the deck, the more it will cost. A good contractor can work with you to keep costs under control.

Nature can destroy the natural beauty of wood. If a deck is left unprotected, moisture, UV light and extreme temperatures may cause a deck to crack, splinter and warp. You're going to have to maintain a deck after it's built, so talk to your builder about materials.

Reported By Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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