The Luxury Deck Becomes Latest Must-Have

The average size of decks and patios is expanding, as luxury home buyers even in cold-weather markets are paying more attention to these outdoor spaces.

For example, a home for sale along the shores of Lake Michigan boasts a 6,000-square-foot deck, which includes an outdoor kitchen, resistance-swimming pool, spa, fireplace, lounge areas, and even a traffic lane. The 8,114-square-foot home in Montague, Mich., is for sale at $10 million and the owners say the lavish deck is the main selling point.

Crown Pointe Estates, a developer in Malibu, Calif., is selling a 13,814-square-foot contemporary home for $22.0 million that features a 10,000-square-foot deck and patio. The deck includes an infinity-edge pool as well as two heated cabanas with TVs. The upstairs also offers a deck off the master bedroom with a six-hole putting green.

Nearly 70 percent of more than 500 residential architecture firms surveyed in the first quarter of this year say they saw an increase in demand for outdoor living space, according to the American Institute of Architects.

“It seems to be coming back stronger than in the boom,” says Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist. Baker attributes the higher demand for outdoor space to a cultural shift away from formal living spaces.

A survey of 1,300 builders by the Home Innovation Research Labs shows the average size of decks on luxury homes is growing. Notably, the biggest growth in size was in the Northeast. The average deck there measured 406 square feet, which is up 53 percent from 2014.

Indeed, decks aren’t just for areas that boast year-round warm weather either. Toll Brothers, based in Pennsylvania, is offering new options for decks and patios in all 19 of the states were it builds, including in Colorado and Minnesota. Home owners in colder locales are adding fire pits, heated floors, snowmelt decks, and even infrared heating fixtures so they can use the deck all yearlong.

Source: “Luxury Homes Gain Over-the-Top Decks,” The Wall Street Journal (July 8, 2016)

“Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission”

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