Those who live in colder climates will have two to three days of warm weather than spring fever hits. People start thinking about home renovations and adding decks or patios. Social apps such as Instagram and Pinterest will see an increase in viewers as they look for ideas. Visiting these sites, coming up with ideas, and making plans are filled with fun!
Adding a deck makes your home more attractive and adds more space to your home, but will it be covered under your homeowner’s insurance. The short answer is yes. If it’s attached to your house, then it’s considered part of the dwelling portion of your home. If it’s not connected to your property, it’s likely covered under the other structure’s coverage. So, in most cases, you do have some coverage. The actual amount of coverage depends on your specific policy. The best thing to do is understand your policy and get any questions at the time of purchase.
Although the deck is likely covered under your current homeowner’s policy, you should schedule an appointment with your insurance agent before the patio builders come out. This is so you can go over your policy to make sure that your current policy is high enough to cover the deck or if you need to increase your coverage.
This article was put together by our team of deck specialists at RI Deck & Patio Builders. Please visit our website or blog to learn more about deck replacement.
How Different Types Of Damage Affects Your Decks Coverage
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about homeowners insurance, life insurance, or car insurance. There are limits on what’s covered. As a rule, your homeowner’s policy won’t cover normal wear or maintenance on your deck, such as replacing deck boards or natural shifting or shrinking. However, most insurance companies will include coverage.
- Liability for injuries related to slip and falls. If you have an outdoor patio and are having a gathering, your policy normally includes liability coverage for these types of accidents if someone slips and falls.
- Accidental fire damage. Something out of your control, such as fires. Whether you’re grilling outside or a tinder box falls over, your deck is typically covered.
- Sudden losses such as lightning strikes are typically covered. Whether it’s damage caused by extreme weather or falling objects, your homeowner’s insurance will probably cover it.
Is Your Deck Automatically Covered?
No, your deck is not automatically covered. The best thing you can do is let your insurance company know you’ve increased your dwelling or outbuilding property area before hiring builders. While you may be tempted not to tell your insurance company about the addition, this isn’t a good idea. If you don’t tell them if something happens, you’ll likely won’t be covered, and you run the risk of having your property canceled all together. Most insurance companies advise that you take pictures before ensuring that you have your dwelling and outbuildings properly.
What You Should Do Before Building A New Deck or Patio
Before starting your project, you should contact your city or county to determine what permits you need to build the deck. If you’re hiring professional patio builders, they can also advise you. Once you have the correct permits, you’ll want to have your home appraised if you haven’t previously, and once it’s completed, have it appraised. A deck can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value.
How Much Do Deck Repairs Cost
Depending on the number of needed repairs, it can run anywhere between $100 to $2,500. Simple deck repairs that homeowners can do can cost around $100 as long as the deck is still structurally sound. For decks with more extensive damage, the average deck repair is $1,500.
Common Deck Repairs and Their Average Cost
- Damaged deck boards $1,280 – these can often be done by the homeowner, who can decrease the cost
- Lose Deck stairs $150-$300 – again, if the homeowner can repair, it can reduce the cost.
- Replacing missing deck screws – $5-$10
- Mold, mildew, and rot – $200-$500. The homeowner can sometimes do this type of repair, but keep in mind that mold can cause health issues, so if you’re not sure how to properly deal with it, let a professional do it.
- Damaged deck railing – $400-$500 sometimes, this can be done by the homeowner, and if so, you can save some money. Remember, though, the deck railing is imperative to the safety of your deck, and if you aren’t able to make sure it’s sold or stable enough, have a professional repair it.
- Termites $100-$300. Thermites can quickly spread into the wood in and around your home, so a professional should deal with these pests.
- Staining and sealing – $1.50-$4.00 a square foot. This is a job you can do yourself. If you feel confident, you can make it look good.
- Painting $2.00-$5.00 a square foot. Like staining and sealing, if you feel confident in your ability to do it correctly, this is something you can do yourself.
Deck Removal Cost
Sometimes your deck may become so damaged that you’re not able to fix it. This can be caused by extreme weather conditions, trees falling, fires, or other natural occurrences. If this happens, you’ll want to hire someone to remove it which may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Before paying cash, speak to your insurance agency and get a quote from your deck removal service. Most of the time, you can plan to pay between $5.00-$15.00 per square foot, depending on the amount of damage it sustained.
How to Decide If You Should Replace or Remove Your Deck
Sometimes it won’t be you making this decision but instead your homeowner’s insurance. Normally they will send out someone to inspect the damage or let you have a professional deck and patio builder come out and check it and provide a quote about the cost of repairs. If they determine that the cost of repairs is too much, they may give you a payout.
Will My Insurance Cover My Patio If I Do It Myself?
This is a good question. Many DIY projects aren’t covered by your home insurance policy. However, if you are in the trade or have your work inspected by a patio builder, it may be covered. However, if you want to make sure you’re covered, it’s best to hire a professional.