Share of New Homes with Decks Remains Stable

Of the roughly 850,000 single-family homes started in 2017, 23.8 percent included decks, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and partially funded by HUD).  This is little changed from the 23.7 percent recorded a year earlier.

From 2005 to 2008, the share of new homes with decks was consistently over 25 percent—as high as 27 percent in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, the share dropped to under 25 percent and continued to decline, reaching a trough of 22.2 percent in 2012.  Since then, the share of new single-family homes with decks has been edging upward, but often in extremely small increments.

There are major differences in the share of new homes with decks across the nine Census divisions.  At the high end, 62 percent of new homes in New England, and 51 percent in the East South Central were built with decks.  Perhaps counter-intuitively, the East South Central lies adjacent to the division where decks on new homes are least common.  In 2017, much as in previous years, only 4 percent of homes started in the West South Central Division were built with decks.

The SOC data show how many new homes have decks but not much about the nature of the decks.  Some detail on this topic is available from the Annual Builder Practices Survey (BPS) conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs.

For the U.S. as a whole, the 2018 BPS report (based on data from 2017) shows that the average size of a deck on a new single-family home is a little over 250 square feet.  Across the Census divisions, the greatest departure from the national average is in the Mountain states, where the average size of a deck on a new home is over 320 square feet.  The most common materials used to build new home decks are composite (a mixture of wood fibers and plastic).and treated wood (species of wood commonly used in construction do not withstand outdoor use unless treated with preservative chemicals).  Use of cedar, a species that doesn’t need this type of treatment, is also relatively common, especially in the Middle Atlantic and Mountain divisions.  Plastic materials like PVC are also used to build new home decks, but this practice is largely confined to the New England states.

The above discussion has dealt exclusively with decks on new homes.  Decks, of course, can be and often are added to a home after it is built.  In a post from earlier this year, 25 percent of NAHB remodelers reported that adding a deck to an existing home was a common project for them in 2017.



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