How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?

In this article we will be looking at all the variables, to work out how much does it cost to build a deck.

Deck prices can involve a large variety of parameters, which can affect how much it costs to build a deck. Things like the cost of lumber, if your tastes and wallet are more inclined to pursue the finer things in life, you will find a deck can be quick expensive. On the other end of the scale homeowners can get relatively cheap lumber and build the deck for a very low price.

Material Cost

The first thing you want to consider is what material you want your deck to be made of. Decks come in all different materials these days.

how much does it cost to build a deck


If your looking for the economic choice, then you want to look into pressure treated lumber. Despite the choices that are abundant today, the good old green wooden deck planks are still the number one seller.

This isn’t surprising when you see how available the stuff is. It’s a simple material to use and can be fixed with nails or screws. PT decking is treated with chemicals such as alkaline copper quaternary or copper azole to resist rot, wood eating buts and fungus.

This reliable classic comes in at the low average price of just 90 cents per linear foot.

Redwood and Cedar

Redwood and Cedar decks are the next step up the decking ladder. With gorgeous red colors and natural oils that prevent all the nasty bugs and rot, these are the decks of the purist.

They come with a little bit more maintenance then the cheaper PT lumber though, you will find yourself power washing a Redwood/Cedar deck at least once every 3-4 years and will need a new coat of finish at the same time. Plus, to keep the woods natural colors you will have to apply a Stain of your choice. After the years pass the wood will turn into a silver grey.

Price-wise your looking at about $3 per linear foot.

Composite Decking

The 21st century has arrived, and with it came the dawn of the composite deck board. Made from mainly wood fibres and recycled plastics, these new age boards come with high weather resistance and due to how they are made, they won’t stain, splinter, warp, rot or split!

Low maintenance comes with a price though. Those purists I mentioned earlier will be having a few things to say about this new modern, man-made decking! But who cares what they say? It looks great and you won’t spend much time maintaining it!

$2.50 on average is what you’re going to pay for a composite linear foot of decking.

Size Of The Deck

The size of your deck is really when things get expensive. If you are looking for a huge deck, say 20 x 20 foot you are looking at roughly $1000 just for the decking, you still have to buy all the struts, nails, posts and anything else you want for your deck.

Wrap-around decks are more expensive as well, due to the intricate joining work that will need to be completed. Don’t try that unless you are experienced with fitting decks.

To work out how many square feet of decking you need you simply times the linear width of two sides of your desired deck area together.

For example, a 10-foot by 16-foot area will work out as 160 square feet in total. Always measure twice to ensure you have the correct dimensions.

Contractor Costs

Another thing to thing about is who is going to build your deck, if you have never hit a nail with a hammer in your life. Either get someone you know to build your deck for you, or hire a contractor.

By using a general rule of thumb, contractors can averagely triple the price of the deck once they have worked out labour costs and tools. So your $1000 for a basic deck turns into $3000 just like that.

Always put in the due diligence when it comes to hiring a contractor. If your deck takes 6 years to complete and cost’s 8 times what they originally quoted you for, then you’ve been scammed my friend.

Use the internet to research a contractor and make sure your getting the real McCoy. Alternatively, you can ask friends if they recommend anyone, but make sure you get a decent quote before you hand over any money. You can also normally save some dollars by sourcing all the materials yourself.

Additional Expenses

Now, your deck. Do you really want just a flat deck? No of course not, you want a raised deck with handrails, balustrades and stairs right?

Having a gas line installed for your new super massive BBQ is something else that is going to cost you somewhere in the region of $300. Plus, you want built in speakers as well, who doesn’t? That’ll be another $250. An old deck which is going to be removed will cost between $1000 and $3000 just to dispose of!

The Final Tab?

Well this really does depend on your tastes and specifications. By looking around the web and shopping around you can find deals for a standard 10 x 12 deck installation for as little as $3000.

If you’re going to use the pressure treated lumber, then you’re looking at about $2500 for materials and labour. Redwood and cedar will set you back between $3000-$4000 and the composite decking will sit somewhere in the middle.

If you have deep pockets than you can afford the full whack, Jacuzzi and all. Price tags for luxury decks can rise into the $10000 and beyond mark so do your homework!

Make sure you check your local building regulations, you may be required to have an engineer come and visit the property to check for any problems hiding underground! Plus, the additional permits which will set you back a further $75 on average.

Author: John Clax

Share This Post On