Share of New Homes with Decks Declines in 2018


Of the roughly 876,000 single-family homes started in 2018, 22.6 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 down over a full percentage point from he 23.8 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 low point of 22.2 percent in 2012. The 2018 figure of 22.6 percent is the lowest the share of new single-family homes with decks has been since 2013.

The SOC data allow the share of homes with decks to be calculated for each of the nine Census divisions. As usual, the share varied substantially by division for the homes started in 2018. At the high end, 57 percent of single-family homes in the East South Central and 56 percent in New England were built with decks. The counter-intuitive pattern of decks being least and most common in adjacent divisions was present again in 2018. Much as in previous years, only 4 percent of homes started in the West South Central Division were built with decks.

The SOC data provide information about the number of new homes with decks, but not much detail beyond that.  However, some information about the type of decks built on new homes is available from the Annual Builder Practices Survey (BPS) conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs.

For the U.S. as a whole, the 2019 BPS report (based on homes built in 2018) 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 largest decks were built in the Middle and South Atlantic divisions, where they were slightly over and slightly under 300 square feet, respectively.

The latest BPS report also shows that the materials builders use most often in their decks are treated wood (as species commonly used in construction do not withstand outdoor use unless treated with preservative chemicals) and composite (a mixture of usually recycled wood fibers and plastic). In the Pacific Division, builders use more cedar and redwood (species that don’t need to be treated) than treated wood. In the three most northeasterly divisions (New England, Middle Atlantic and East North Central), builders use PVC or other plastic as a deck material fairly often, but not as often as either treated wood or composite.

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