Deck Building Cost

Wood Deck Design

A new beautiful deck can be a great addition to your home!

While offering all the benefits of expanded outdoor living space, a deck can actually increase your house value.

Deck building costs vary greatly depending a number of factors, such as complexity of design, quality of materials and accessories, contractor labor and your location.

We will discuss the most popular deck materials and building costs, as well as extra features and accessories that will significantly increase your comfort.

Average Deck Construction Cost

Here is a quick reference chart to give you a sense of how much you can expect to spend on building a deck. Keep in mind that these prices are for a deck of basic design (materials and labor ONLY). It does not include the cost of any additional materials, sealants, stains, etc. Moreover, there will also be additional costs for building permits and blueprints (if you choose to custom design a deck).

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.

Deck Construction and Design Costs

Deck Construction

When it comes to pricing the cost of labor to construct a deck, complexity of design and functionality are key factor. The average deck size is 10×12 feet (basic design), and you can expect to pay $35 per sq. ft. for construction. This price includes excavation and site preparation. (all deck building projects require leveling and insertion of fiber form tubes for the concrete footings.

If you want more than a standard design, rectangular deck to sit on, you can expect to pay a premium price for construction.

There are four common designs to consider:

1. Platform Style Deck (cheapest option): this deck 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 deck design, it is important to ensure that all materials are treated for direct exposure to the ground to prevent rot and decay.

Platform Deck Design

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

Raised Deck Design on Modern House

3. Two-Story Deck (very expensive): this deck 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, these decks can be very expensive to construct.

Two Story Trex Deck

4. Free-standing (detached) Deck (cost varies based on complexity of design): this deck is ideal if your home does not have a natural location for an adjacent deck. Construction requires sufficient outdoor space, but designs 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.

Detached Platform Deck

Deck Materials Costs

Here is a detailed breakdown of the costs for different deck materials. Note that these prices 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 wood’s grade and board thickness (thicker boards will cost more).

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) $1.00
Bamboo $3-4
Cedar $3.75
Redwood $7.75
Tigerwood $20
Ipe $22.50

Materials Options

One of the biggest factors that impact the total cost, longevity and durability of your deck is the material you choose. An average deck is made up of three parts: planks, framework and railings.

The two most popular types of materials are composites and natural wood (different species).

Composite Deck

Composite Deck

These virtually indestructible materials are made from a blend of 30 to 50 percent recycled plastic with real wood fibers. Composite materials are growing in popularity because of superior durability and resistance to warping, rot, mold and UV rays. 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 composite decking manufacturers include Trex, Timbertech, and Fiberon.

On the down side, these materials 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. Lastly, if you live in a hot climate, composite materials may not be the best for comfort, as they tend to trap and emit heat when the ambient temperature is high.

Wood Deck

Natural Wood Deck

A wood deck is a classic option with a wide range of species at different price points to choose from. Budget species include Bamboo and Cedar. Popular species that are average price include Redwood and Douglas Fir. Exotic species that are most expensive include Ipe, Tigerwood, Lacewood, and Cumaru. If you are on a very tight budget, you can consider building your deck out of Pressure Treated Wood(PT), most commonly Southern Yellow Pine.

On the downside, wood decks require 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 about Pressure Treated Wood, as being wood of the lowest quality, it will tend to warp, crack and split.

Cost of Additional Decking Materials

In addition to the material and labor costs we have already listed, you need to budget for other common costs of materials required for successful construction of a safe and functional deck. Here is a quick rundown:

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

Cost of Extra Accessories and Features

Designer Luxury Outdoor Deck

If you love to spend time outside with your family and friends, you may want to consider paying for additional deck accessories and features. 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
Published/updated on: March 22, 2016

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