Thinking of putting in a deck? If you live in the San Diego area, you’ll be making a smart investment in your home. According to home improvement cost data from Remodeling magazine

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, adding a wood deck to your San Diego-area home costs an average of $10,857, but when you sell your home you’ll be able to recoup slightly more, $10,944 on average. The 101 percent return on decks is the best-performing $10,000+ remodel you can do in the San Diego area, outperforming a minor kitchen remodel and an attic bedroom remodel at #2 and #3.

The lowest return on investment came from sunroom additions, which cost an average of $81,461 but only improved the sale price of homes an average of $43,750, a return of just 53.7 percent. Other poor investments include a adding a backup power generator (54 percent return) and a home office remodel (57 percent return).

Nationally, homeowners can only expect about a 77 percent return from adding a deck. So why is the return on investment for adding a deck so much better in San Diego? San Diego’s mild year-round climate and ocean views make outdoor entertaining a more popular option than much of the rest of the country. Compare the 100 percent return in San Diego, where average winter temperatures are in the upper 50s, to the much-less-impressive 57 percent average return on investment from adding a deck in Manchester, New Hampshire, where the average temperature falls into the 20s through most of winter.

Adding a deck is a great way to add “free” square footage to your home without the hassles of a major remodel, but it’s not a project for the first-time DIY-er. Building a good, sturdy foundation, attaching the deck properly to the house, and expertly dealing with drainage can get complicated if you’re not an experienced pro.

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Top image credit: Ultrarock Builders