Guide to Decking Costs & Prices

Decks and porches can elevate your quality of life several notches. Done right, they add to the look and value of your home and create outdoor spaces for parties, stargazing or just hanging out, cocktail in hand, watching the world go by. Decks are usually open air and built in the back or on the sides of the home. Working out a budget before you start is essential, and before you can nail down the costs, you'll want to make some decisions about the direction of the project. Consult with a decking contractor about every step of the process so you're sure to get the best product for your budget.

Table of Contents:

  1. Calculating the Cost of Your New Deck
  2. Which Decking Material is Right For You?
  3. Decking Prices
  4. Uses for Your Deck
  5. Deck Maintenance - Extra Costs

Estimating the Cost of Your New Deck

Knowing what kind of deck you want will help determine your budget and total cost. The cost of your deck is broken down into many small parts, and if you can plan ahead, your budget will be better cushioned for any unexpected costs. Here are some of the cost factors involved in the construction of a deck.   Continue Reading
  • Build a Deck Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $4,000 - $10,000
    Average cost:
    $6,408
    Low
    cost:
    $2,500
     
    High
    cost:
    $15,000
  • Seal a Deck Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $500 - $1,100
    Average cost:
    $800
    Low
    cost:
    $350
     
    High
    cost:
    $1,500
  • Repair a Deck Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $700 - $1,900
    Average cost:
    $1,100
    Low
    cost:
    $400
     
    High
    cost:
    $3,500

Cost Factors

There are various factors that play into the total cost of a deck. Some major factors that contractors will discuss with you and use in the calculation include:
  • Height
  • Shape
  • Number of levels
  • Railing length
  • Steps and benches
  • Built-in features
  • Whether you need to remove an old deck
These are only some of the factors that may affect the cost of building a deck. In addition to the deck itself, there's also the cost to purchase a permit. You will have to pay a fee for the contractor to acquire the necessary permit and the cost varies from city to city. You may also have see an increase in your homeowners insurance premium because of the new structural addition to your home. Finally, labor fees could add an additional $500 to $1,000 to your total cost depending on the contractor and extra work involved.

The cost to construct a deck varies depending on the material used. Some of those prices include:
  • Pressure-treated wood: $2,500 - $15,000
  • Cedar: $6,000 - $25,000
  • Redwood: $10,000 - $25,000
  • Hardwood: $13,000 - $26,000
  • Composite decking: $8,000 - $23,000
These prices will vary by square footage and whether you have other features added to your deck that involve more materials. Learn more about decking materials and which one is right for you in the section below.

Return to Top

Which Decking Material is Right for You?

There are various types of materials you can use when constructing a deck, and you don't have to use the same material throughout the build. You might use different materials for parts like:
  • Framing
  • Flooring
  • Roofing
  • Screening
Natural woods are among the most popular choices for deck construction and there are different kinds of wood to choose from, each with their own pros and cons.

Pressure-treated Southern yellow pine is affordable and durable if treated every two years. Otherwise the pine splinters when it dries out. It usually comes treated with anti-rot and insecticide agents and is available in colors like tan or brown. You can enhance its color with stain and it will last for decades. Some other features include:
  • Will not swell, split or warp if maintained
  • Needs treatment to prevent shrinkage
  • Lasts 30 years
Redwood, cedar and tropical hardwoods cost more than pine, but look better. You will need to refinish these on a yearly basis, but they should last 15 to 20 years. These materials are lightweight, easy to install and durable. Some versions of redwood and cedar are naturally rot-resistant, while others will require special stains and treatment to last. Other aspects include:
  • Simple to paint and stain
  • Resistant to fire
  • Can be dented
  • Will require regular maintenance
  • Maximum life expectancy is 30 years
Plastic-wood composites are strong, don't rot, and are easy to install. Many can be made to look like natural wood, but can't truly shake their plastic appearance. Since it's wool fiber combined with plastic, composite material is a low-maintenance decking option. There are various colors and textures to choose from. Other features include:
  • Cleaned with soap and water
  • Doesn't need staining or painting
  • Darker varieties will show weathering
  • Can last up to 50 years depending on the variety
  • Could come with a lifetime warranty
Vinyl decking is almost maintenance-free as it has no wood material in its composition. It comes with a 25-year warranty, and you can choose from white, gray, brown or tan when installing the deck. It will not require staining or sealing to survive climate conditions and can last up to a lifetime. The decking panels also interlock and are slip-resistant, which makes for an easy installation.

You can also consider concrete for the flooring of your deck. Modern concrete is affordable, durable and can be textured to fit any kind of deck design.

Return to Top

Decking Prices

Cost of Decking & Lumber Boards

Once you determine what kind of decking materials you'll need to build the structure, it's time to get down to price. While the average cost to build a deck averages between $4,000 and $10,000, that doesn't account for the materials. Here is the average cost of each decking material, broken down by average price range per board:
  • Cedar: $10 to $20
  • Redwood: $5 to $20
  • Southern Yellow Pine: $10 to $20
  • Composite Decking: $20 to $30 (**includes vinyl decking)
It's important to know what board sizes you'll need to purchase for your deck. Here is a table of board sizes, to help determine the different lumber sizes available for your deck floorboards, framing, railings, stairs and so on:
Nominal SizeActual Size
1 × 43/4"×3 1/2"
1 × 63/4"×5 1/2"
2 × 21 1/2" × 1 1/2"
2 × 41 1/2" × 3 1/2"
2 × 61 1/2" × 5 1/2"
2 × 81 1/2" × 7 1/4"
2 × 101 1/2" × 9 1/4"
4 × 43 1/2" × 3 1/2"


Return to Top

Uses for Your Deck

Thinking about how you're going to use this outdoor (or semi-outdoor) space will help you and your contractor determine a design, location and materials needed. So why do you want to build a deck onto your home? Some of the many uses for a deck include:
  • Outdoor dining room
  • Second living room
  • Party space
  • Outdoor sleeping area
  • Play area for the kids
  • Greenhouse
  • Firepit area
These are only some of the many uses for a deck. You might also consider adding a hot tub, gazebo, wood deck railing, flower boxes, benches or a swing. So how much do these extra pieces cost to transform your deck into something more? Some feature costs include:
  • Landscaping: $5 to $20 per square foot
  • Patio warmer: $150 to $400
  • Fire pit: $500 to $5,000
  • Seating: $500 to $1,500
  • Playground:$350 to $650
  • Swing: $100 to $200
  • Outdoor dining: $1,000 to $2,500
Ask a landscaper about the best way to decorate your deck, depending on how you're going to use it. You might need additional decking materials to finish out the space.

Return to Top

Deck Maintenance - Extra Costs

Sealing, Staining & Waterproofing Your Deck

To keep your deck in good condition so that it lasts for a long time, you will need to maintain it. There are some types of decks that do not need to be treated with stain, sealer or waterproofing agents. You will need to check with a decking professional to understand if your deck needs maintenance before proceeding.

So what kind of treatment should you apply to your deck? The two most common types are stain and sealer. Both protect wood by repelling moisture while allowing the wood to breathe. The general rule is that the more color in the pigment of the agent, the more UV protection it has. However, your deck runs the risk of turning gray with too much pigment. Both sealer and stain cost about the same price, but one might be better for your deck than the other depending on your location and climate conditions.

There are four types for you to choose from (two sealers, two stains), and they are:
  • Clear sealant: It has no stain, protects against UV radiation, mold and mildew, and can last for up two years.
  • Tinted sealant: It has some color, protects better against UV radiation, and its color can help to bring back the original look of the wood.
  • Semi-transparent stain: This is used most commonly on decks, with some pigment for coloring the deck so its grain stands out.
  • Solid color stain: Solid has the most amount of pigment and the most protection for a deck. It's used for wood that is exposed to inclement weather often. It lasts for up to five years or more. However, it tends to show wear more quickly and will need touch-ups.
Stains and sealants are sometimes interwoven because you can get stains that have sealant properties. You can sometimes use a non-sealing stain and cover it over later with a sealant. Both are used to protect the deck against UV radiation and inclement weather conditions, along with mold and mildew. Which you choose is just a matter of which fits your conditions better.

Waterproofing

This is another approach to protecting your deck -- particularly a wood deck -- and is usually done by applying a sealer, not a stain. This is done when a deck is particularly susceptible to damage like:
  • Swelling and warping
  • Degradation
  • Mold or mildew
  • Freezing and thawing
  • Washing out the natural wood resins and color
If you don't apply a sealer to the wood to handle this potential issues, your other two solutions are waterproof membranes or rubberized coatings. Waterproof membranes are made of vinyl and applied over decks where water can run off the edges. They're useful mostly for rooftop or elevated decks. This is also the term given for EPDM sheets and decking tiles. Rubberized coatings are applied as rubberized paint to the deck. They increase protection against moisture like rain.

Covered Decks & Awnings

If you decide to cover your deck, it will cut down on maintenance and the effects of inclement weather conditions. This will increase the lifespan of the deck and open up the possibilities of what you can do with the it during less than sunny conditions. The different cover options and their costs include:
  • Screened-in: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Covered roof: $900 to $1,500
  • Awning: $1,000 to $2,000
The cost of these different coverings will vary by materials, square footage, climate conditions and the professional.

Awnings are probably one of the cheapest options because you could potentially add them as a DIY project. They come in different materials, styles and sizes at local home improvement stores, though it's not usually recommended to install them yourself.

A covered roof will cost a bit more to install because it requires additional decking materials, adding on to the framing, attaching the covering onto the structure of your home and potentially getting a permit from the city. The decking professional will be able to consult on how the calculated cost will be affected by such factors.

Screening in the deck is the most expensive because of the additional materials and labor involved. Not only will you have to cover the top of the deck, but then you have to cover all three sides with screening material. That means adding a door to access your yard, plus the tools and time involved to add the screen material onto the frame of the deck. It's intensive, but it protects your deck from pests and climate conditions better than just a roof.

Return to Top