Boston Install Deck

by Matt Goering

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Installing a deck in the greater Boston area is an excellent way to add to the value of your home, increase your living space, and improve your quality of life. It is not a project that should be taken lightly, however, or without proper planning. Your choice of size, style, materials, and whether to hire a Boston deck builder or DIY can all have a major impact on your final costs, the duration of your project, and, most importantly, how happy you are with the final product. That being said, planning ahead and educating yourself as to what you're getting into is one of the most important paths to a deck that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Boston Install Deck: Final Costs
With any large home improvement project, it's important to find a balance between the money you're going to need to spend to get the desired results, and setting a budget so that the final price tag ends up being something you can afford. With decks that goes double, since the wide range of materials you have to choose from, and the unlimited space you have to work with, can easily end up in a project that runs thousands, if not tens of thousands, more than you anticipated. Based on the data ServiceMagic collects from Bostonians who use our referral services, the average cost of a deck installation in Boston runs $8,875. However, we have recorded jobs that cost as little as $4,500 and others that ran upwards of $30,000. That $25,000 gap should cause you to sit up and take notice. It's a testament to how important it is to plan carefully, and budget accordingly, before you ever consider breaking ground.

Boston Install Deck: Things to Budget for
With those kinds of numbers being thrown around, you're likely wondering how it can cost so much to install deck in Boston. Obviously, there are hundreds of costs, ranging from obtaining proper building permits to purchasing decking screws. All that aside, the choices you make in three areas (materials, size, and hiring a deck builder in Boston) play the biggest role in determining your deck's final price tag.

Boston Install Deck: Materials
Your choice of decking material not only determines the amount of future maintenance you'll have to perform, and how long you can reasonably expect your deck to last, but is probably the single biggest influence on how much your deck is going to cost.

  • Solid wood is the traditional choice for decking material, and includes cedar, redwood, pressure treated pine, and at the top of the list, ipe (a Brazilian hardwood that's rapidly gaining fans in the decking industry). Not all wood is priced equally, however, and for good reason. For materials alone, ipe will cost you almost twice as much the least expensive option, pressure treated pine. If both are properly maintained, however, a deck made from pressure treated lumber can be expected to last about 15 years, while an ipe deck will last a lifetime.

  • Composite Decking Materials are your other option. Cost-wise they're middle of the road: not as cheap as pressure treated lumber, or as expensive as ipe or redwood. The advantages of these products lie in maintenance (you won't ever have to treat, stain, or paint composites), and design possibilities. Composites are more flexible than wood, opening up your deck to designs that are nearly impossible with traditional materials. The labor required for a Boston deck builder to install a composite deck is a little more extensive, however, and should be taken into consideration if you choose composites for your project.

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Boston Install Deck: Square Footage
The size of your deck is another major player in final cost, though in a town as dense as Boston, especially as you get closer to the city center, all those small yards might actually help cut your costs. Nevertheless, an average deck runs between $25 and $35 per square foot to install. Do the math, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that even small increases in square footage can raise the final costs exponentially.

The Cost of Labor to Install Deck in Boston
Though labor costs will vary depending on how complex your deck design is, it's not uncommon for labor to account for 50 percent or more of the final price tag. That being the case, you can cut the costs of your deck install in Boston significantly if you DIY. And if you're not up for tackling a project of this magnitude, make sure you get bids from at least three contractors, and check references, before you sign any contracts. Narrowing it down from a wide field is the best way to get quality service, the best price, and Boston deck builder that you know you can trust.

Deck Installation Project Guide
If you enjoyed this article, check out our free Deck Installation Guide, which features expert advice, design & material comparisons, and custom price estimates for your remodeling project.
Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.