2018 Cost To Build A Deck – Estimate Prices For Top Decking Materials

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This year, it costs about $5,000-8,500, to construct a new deck.

It is important to note that your total price will vary greatly depending on a number of factors:

-complexity of design
-quality of materials and accessories
-contractor labor
-your location

Most popular materials include Composites (Trex), Pressure Treated Lumber, and Wood: Cedar, Bamboo, Pine, etc.

PT lumber is the cheapest option, Cedar Wood is middle of the road, while PVC and Redwood are on the higher end of the price spectrum. Most expensive, however, are exotic wood decks made out of Ipe and Tigerwood.

How Much Does A Deck Cost?

price to build a deck

Homeowners across the US, report spending $20-40 per square foot on building a deck. This is about $6,000-12,000 for a 300 sq.ft. deck.

Here is a quick reference chart to give you a sense of how much you can expect to spend. Keep in mind that these prices are for a deck of basic design (materials and labor ONLY).

Any additional materials, sealants, stains, etc. are not included. Moreover, there will also be additional expenses for building permits and blueprints, if you choose to do a custom design.

Deck Size Average Price Price Range (Low to High)
     
Less than 200 sq.ft. $4,836 $2,888 – $6,870
Between 200 – 500 sq.ft. $8,142 $5,169 – $11,139
More than 500 sq.ft. $14,504 $8,532 – $20,605

It is important to note that your location can have a major impact on the total price you will pay for an average size deck.

If you live in one of the cities on either East or West coast with a high cost of living (ex. New York), you can expect to pay as much as $14,000. The same deck will cost you around $6,800 if you live in a city like Austin, Texas, and as little as $4,350 if you live in a town like Little Rock, Arkansas.

You can get free estimates for your project from local construction pros.



Installation Costs

When it comes to pricing the cost of labor to construct a deck, complexity of design and functionality are key factors.

The average deck size is 10×12 feet (basic rectangular design), and you can expect to pay $35 per sq. ft. for construction. This price includes excavation and site preparation. However, if you want a different design, you can expect to pay a premium price for construction.

Note, that all deck building projects require leveling and insertion of fiber form tubes for the concrete footings.

Design Options

There are four common deck designs to consider:

1. Platform (cheapest option): typically sits low on the ground, adjacent to the house. This location allows for easy and convenient access, and is fast and relatively easy to construct. With this design, it is important to ensure that all materials are treated for direct exposure to the ground to prevent rot and decay.

Cost of Cheap Platform Deck

2. Tiered or Raised (more expensive): is also usually built adjacent to the house. It is ideal for a location with different ground heights, so it can conform to the ground’s contours. This deck is more complex to build and needs to incorporate a number of safety features, including railings.

Raised Deck

3. Two-Story (very expensive): works best for a location with an easy access to the second story of the house, while the bottom portion allows entry to the first floor. Because of the complexity of the structure and additional supports needed for safety, this type of deck can be very expensive to construct.

Two Story Trex Deck

4. Free-standing / detached (cost varies based on complexity of design): ideal, if your home does not have a natural location for an adjacent deck. Construction requires sufficient outdoor space, but it can include features, such as: multiple levels, storage units, gazebos, etc. For example, a free-standing deck with varying elevations, a hot tub and a porch, or pavilion can cost $50,000 to $60,000.

Price Of Detached Deck

Decking Materials Prices

Here is a price breakdown for different deck materials. Note, that these estimates are for materials ONLY, and do not include installation and other extras. Also, keep in mind that the final cost of natural wood species will depend on the grade and board thickness (thicker boards will cost more).

DECKING MATERIAL AVERAGE PRICE PER SQ.FT.
Composite Options  
Polyethylene $7.82
Polypropylene $8.68
PVC (hollow-core) $7.50
PVC (solid-core) $9.48
Natural Wood Options  
Pressure Treated Lumber (Pine) $2.13
Bamboo $3-4
Cedar $3.75
Redwood $7.75
Tigerwood $20
Ipe $22.50

Composite decks are growing in popularity because of superior durability and resistance to warping, rot, mold and UV rays. They are made from a blend of 30 to 50 percent recycled plastic with real wood fibers, and are virtually indestructible. Materials are available in a variety of colors and some can be manufactured to replicate the look of natural wood.

Many can be installed with concealed fasteners, similar to dense hardwoods. Popular manufacturers include Trex, Timbertech, and Fiberon.

On the down side, these decks will release highly toxic chemicals in the event of a fire. If you select hollow-core decking, it is will be more prone to deterioration over time, than solid-core. If you live in a hot climate, composites may not be the best for comfort, as they tend to trap and emit heat when the ambient temperature is high.

Wood is a classic material. There is a wide range of species to consider, at different price points. Bamboo and cedar are budget friendly, while Redwood and Douglas Fir are moderately priced. Exotic species that are most expensive include Ipe, Tigerwood, Lacewood, and Cumaru.

On the downside, deck wood requires staining, weatherproofing, sealing and regular maintenance to maintain both their looks and durability. You need to factor in these additional costs into your budget.

Additionally, wood that is not properly treated is susceptible to rot and mold. You should be especially careful with Pressure Treated Wood. Since it is wood of the lowest quality, it will tend to warp, crack and split much faster than other types of wood.



Additional Building Materials

You need to budget for other common materials required to construct a safe and functional deck.

Material Average Cost
   
Concrete $75 per cubic yard. Typically 1-2 cubic yards are required to build an average size deck.
Standard Stairs (labor and materials) $15 -18 / sq. ft.
Safety Railings (including pressure-treated wood posts and balusters) (labor and materials) $14 -16 / ln.ft.
Build a flat bench (labor and materials) $20 – 25 / ln.ft.
Build a bench with back (labor and materials) $34-37 / ln.ft.
Seal a wood deck for waterproofing (250 sq.ft.) $300 – 500
Stain a wood deck (250 sq.ft.) $150 – 350
Pressure Washer $50 – 200
Removal of an old deck $1,000 – 3,000


Accessories And Luxury Features

Cost of a Luxury Outdoor Deck

If you love to spend time outside with your family and friends, you may want to consider paying for additional accessories. These will make your deck a lot more fun to spend time on, both during day and night.

Deck Accessory Average Cost
   
Install electric outlet (requires licensed electrician) $300-425
Lighting $175-460
Gas line for barbeque $300
Built-in speakers $250
Pergola or Awning $250-500
Built-in seating and storage $340-675
Furniture $200-500
Misting System $1,500-3,500
   
Total $3,065 – 6,610

Is A New Deck A Good Investment?

While offering all the benefits of expanded outdoor living space, a deck can actually increase your house value. On average, you can recoup about 70-80% of your investment into a high quality natural wood deck.

Despite the fact that there are other durable decking materials, real wood sill offers the best ROI. However, this figure largely depends on where you live, and how much time people in your area spend outdoors.

Most builders and realtors would advise against constructing a deck just to boost house value, as most homeowners view it as a nice extra, rather than a necessity. If you have an existing deck that is in poor condition and is not very user friendly, it is worth to remodel it. This type of update usually bodes well with prospective buyers.

However, if you do build a deck for your personal pleasure, you will likely get back a large chunk of the money you spent, if you decide to sell your home withing 3-5 years after completing this project.



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4 thoughts on “2018 Cost To Build A Deck – Estimate Prices For Top Decking Materials

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  3. Jack

    I’m building a 400 sq ft deck in pt wood, and here in ill. Its a lot more then a dollar a square foot, with what your estaming here, total cost of material should only cost me $400 for 400 square feet, ? Really , please correct

    Reply
    1. Leo B

      Jack,
      I’m not sure where you got $400 for 400 s.f. for materials. I ran 400 s.f. in the calculator, and get a low end price of $5941 for Massachusetts, pressure treated wood, leaving old frame in place. That is almost $15/foot.
      Please specify the section where we may have made a mistake.

      Cheers, Leo

      Reply