Mega Decks – The next Big Thing in Outdoor Living Spaces
No matter what you call it — a Mega Deck, Year-Round Deck, or All-Season Porch / Deck — these combination outdoor living spaces allow you to bring the outdoors in. Whether simple and functional or luxurious, spacious design, these additions are for every budget, with a return on investment that can’t be touched with interior designs.
These beautiful outdoor living spaces are for people who want to extend their backyard living beyond the summer months and our Minnesota climate is the perfect place to create an amazing all-season addition to your home. With eye-popping outdoor cooking and entertainment space, these combination living spaces can provide an upgrade you can’t get indoors.
Minnesota Home Improvement Trends
This article is the first in a multi-part series where we will be exploring:
- Home improvement trends in Minnesota
- The growing popularity of Mega Decks
- How to plan for a Mega Deck or Four Season Outdoor Living Space
- Features, options and building materials for Mega Decks
- How COVID is shaping home improvement trends
What is a Mega Deck?
If you haven’t already seen the show, we encourage you to check out an episode of Mega Decks on the DIY Network. Every episode features customized indoor / outdoor living spaces with unique features like custom fire pits, sliding glass walls and state-of-the-art outdoor kitchens that rival some 5-star restaurants.
What options are available in a Mega Deck?
When it comes to the concept of “mega deck” the available options are really only limited by your imagination and budget.
Just as no two houses or backyards are the same, no two custom outdoor living projects will be identical.
The topography of your yard, the shape of your house, and the outdoor views you want to highlight will all play a role in defining your new, custom four-season outdoor living space.
The right Mega Deck project for you and your family can consist of any combination of the elements that work for your lifestyle.
How to start planning for a new Mega Deck
In order to understand how a new Mega Deck will work for you, your home, and your property, start by gathering some basic information. Once you know the answers to the questions outlined below, you can narrow down your options and prioritize your budget.
Start with a yard assessment
Look around your yard, what do you like? What do you dislike? Is there an obvious focal point, like a lake view, golf course, swimming pool, nearby woods or a beautiful garden area?
Will you need to remove trees to add a new outdoor structure or patio?
If you have a steep slope, will you need or want a retaining wall? Do you have existing structures already in your yard or attached to your home that could be removed or possibly converted?
What outdoor activities do you enjoy?
Will your new space be used for lively parties full of neighbors and their kids? Or will it be a quiet, private oasis just for you and your spouse?
An outdoor living space can provide a place to relax, read a good book, or can be geared toward activities such as swimming, gardening, barbecuing, entertaining, or outdoor sports. What activities do you, your family, and your guests enjoy doing outdoors? What types of space or features are required for these activities?
Will a Mega Deck work in your neighborhood?
Look around your neighborhood. What types of outdoor living projects have your neighbors recently completed? Are the homes in the neighborhood spaced close to one another? Will you require some screening or fencing for privacy?
If you have a homeowners’ association, be sure to check the rules before you get too far into the planning phase. Be aware that your town or municipality will also have building codes and setbacks to consider. We can help you better understand how local regulations and common HOA bylaws can impact your plans and options for a Mega Deck.
What is your home’s architectural style?
Your new Mega Deck should look and feel like a well-planned extension of your home.
Roofing, siding, and trim should be compatible with the architecture of your house. You’ll need to consider the height and shape existing rooflines and how they’ll blend with the new addition.
During the design phase, we can present 3d renderings of your new project so you can visualize how the final design fits into your home’s exterior.
Create a wishlist
Successful projects begin with a wish list. The simple act of building a list will help you identify the things you need and want in your outdoor living space.
You wish list can be a collection of clipping from your favorite magazines, photos of your friends’ and neighbors’ homes, or a Pinterest board.
Consult with a professional.
An experienced professional will consider how your new outdoor living space connects to your house, your family’s traffic patterns, and all the ways your new space can help you enjoy, and withstand, the Minnesota weather.
MN Contractor Pros is an experienced deck contractor and we have the tools to help you design and visualize your new project.
How has COVID changed the way homeowners think about their living spaces?
None of us can confidently say what the long term impact from COVID will be on the way we live, work, and play. But, some clear trends are already emerging — especially with home improvement.
Recent research from Consumer Specialists shows that investments in home improvement projects have dramatically increased in 2020. And, it makes sense. Not since the pandemic of 1918 have our daily lives been so impacted by a health crisis. We’re all spending more time at home and looking for ways to make that experience more fulfilling.
American’s desire to create better living spaces at home is reflected in the numbers*:
- Home centers, hardware stores, garden centers, and building material suppliers have seen a 22.6% increase in sales compared to 2019.
- Houzz reports a 58% annual increase in demand for outdoor living space projects; a 52% increase home extensions and additions; and interest in deck and patio projects have doubled
- A recent Porch.com survey showed that over 75% of homeowners surveyed are planning a home improvement project in the next 12 months
Other factors are at work, too.
According to CNBC, homeowners saw their equity rise far and wide throughout the US during the second quarter of 2020 in yet another sign of the housing market pushing back against the Coronavirus pandemic. Just over 15 million residential properties were considered equity-rich in the second quarter, meaning mortgages on those properties was 50% or less than the value of the home, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. That is 27.5% of all mortgaged homes in the U.S., up from 26.5% in the first quarter.
And then there’s the money people aren’t spending. Vacations have been canceled and families are eating out less.
All those factors have clearly influenced the way people think about their homes. Maybe you’re one of those homeowners?
If you’re stuck at home and thinking about improving your living space — either indoors or outdoors — we’d love to hear from you.