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Deck building cost guide

How much does deck building cost?

Average price range $4,050 – $10,160
Lowest price $1,730
Highest price $17,350

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Adding a deck to a home has several benefits. This space is good for entertainment and relaxation. It enlarges the overall area of the house. A deck is also valuable from the aesthetic point of view and can significantly increase the price of the property when the time comes to sell it. However, deck building is not a simple project with a number of important details to be considered.

Here you will learn about:


Deck building is a process that should be entrusted to professionals since there are a lot of things involved. Although some DIY enthusiasts are good at carpentry and have other necessary skills to be able to erect a decent-looking and functional deck, numerous codes and regulations that exist in this field can make their work useless. If one of the officially accepted standards such as the correct deck height is broken, the homeowner will be obliged to demolish the newly built structure and pay a fine for a “good” measure. On the contrary, deck building contractors know all of the codes and have the right experience and equipment to implement the project as required.

The final deck construction cost is determined by several considerations such as the square footage of the deck, its material, height, and design, as well as such additional features as seating, lighting, and overhead covers. The scope of work – excavation, old structure demolition, concrete footing creation, and other tasks – may also significantly affect the final amount. Most homeowners report spending between $4,050 and $10,160, with the maximum being $17,350 and the minimum being $1,730.

Price-related questions

What key factors affect the overall deck building cost?

Materials

This is obviously one of the most important price-shaping items. The market is awash with all kinds of deck building materials. However, all of them can be divided into the following groups:

  • Natural wood
  • Pressure treated wood
  • Composites and plastics

Each of these categories has its advantages and drawbacks. Some are cheaper to purchase but require a great deal of maintenance effort throughout the year. Others have excellent fireproof and waterproof characteristics but are hazardous when they ignite exuding dangerous gases. Some are easier to install. Others are long-lasting and durable. Read the deck repair cost guide to learn about the benefits and shortcomings of some of the most popular decking materials. Here is what you might expect to pay for them:

  • Cedar: $4.70 – $7.70 per linear foot
  • Teak: $8.00- $42.00 per square foot
  • Mahogany: $8.00 – $10.55 per square foot
  • PVC: $4.50 – $8.50 per square foot
  • Tigerwood: $6.90 per square foot
  • Ipe hardwood: $3.50 – $5.50 per square foot
  • Plastic: $6.30 – $9.45
  • Composite: $5.50 per square foot
  • Aluminum: $10.00 – $11.30
  • Pressure treated wood: $5.50 – $7.20 for one plank
  • Pine: $5.20 – $11.20
  • Synthetic wood: $1,720 – $1,980 per project
  • Redwood: $5.50 – $35.50 per square foot
Size

Another feature that needs no commenting. The larger is the area you wish your deck to occupy, the more you will pay a contractor. The standard fee deck building professionals charge is $36 per one square foot.

Type

If you are not after aesthetics and just want an ordinary rectangular/square deck without anything to drive hordes of tourists to look at, you can expect the price to be lower. On the other hand, if your deck has multiple levels with a long staircase, ornate railings, and other embellishments, you can’t avoid paying more.

Height

How high your deck is located above the ground level can affect the price, too. You can put the joists right on the ground, having prepared the location properly before by making it level and placing paving stone or gravel on the site. A higher structure will cost you more because you will have to use concrete to create footings for support pillars. Expect to pay around $80 for one cubic yard of concrete (you may need 1-2 cubic yards for the project).

Stairs and railings

Railings are a must for any deck as it is mandated by building codes. How much you’ll pay for them depends on their type: standard or custom. The cost of installing stairs, in its turn, is determined by the deck height. While a ground-level structure will most likely require only 2-3 stairs, a higher deck will have a longer staircase. Thus, the price will increase.

If I want some additional features for my deck, how much can I expect to pay?

Many homeowners prefer their deck to be as functional as possible – not just a place for the morning coffee, but also for all-weather parties, BBQs, and even outdoor office work.

Lighting and electrical outlets

Instead of using extension cords for power supply, you can have an electrical outlet installed on your deck. It’s common to have at least one. You will also hardly find a deck without lighting. One light will cost you between $9 and $31. If you want something fancier – lights on posts – prepare more money: from $35 to $105 for one.

Pergola

There’s no arguing: gazing at the star-filled sky sitting on a deck is a pleasant experience. What if you wish to spend some time on your deck in the afternoon, though, with the scorching sun attacking your body mercilessly? Then, you need a roof above your head for protection. The best solution is a pergola. Although it’s not cheap – comfort costs money. A deck building professional may install a cedar pergola (10 feet by 10 feet) for around $3,600. You can also go the DIY way and install a vinyl pergola of the same size for around a half off that price: approximately $1,600.

Heaters

If you wish to continue enjoying your time on the deck even when yellow and red leaves have started falling from trees and the temperature is not comfortable anymore, you can purchase and install heaters. You can find several types of heating appliances including post heaters or table heaters. It’s hard to give an exact price of those, but it normally ranges from $110 to $310.

I know that decking should be stained, sealed, and treated with waterproofing substances to keep it serving longer. How much may I expect to spend to make my deck protected against the elements?

Sealing

Prepare to pay from $22 to $42 for one gallon of a sealing agent.

Staining

One gallon of stain will typically cost you $30-$35 depending on its type (transparent, solid, or semi-transparent).

Waterproofing

Sealing may turn out to be insufficient to keep the deck wood from rotting if puddles form on it and remain there for a long time. That’s why professionals recommend using either special staining or sealing liquids with waterproofing characteristics ($11-$27 a gal.) or add waterproofing liquids separately ($16-$17 a gal.).

Information to check

Contractor

Finding a good, reputable contractor is very important in any project. The contractor must be licensed and insured. To save a little money, consider hiring a deck building company that obtains the required supplies from a lumber yard as those cost less there than in the large stores.

Taxes

While a deck is certainly a home value booster, it also increases the property tax. Ask your tax assessor what additional financial burden you’ll have to carry.

Insurance

Once a new deck is in place, get in touch with your insurance company and inform them about the amount you’ve spent on the project. Then, you will learn how much will be added to your current policy.

Permits

Depending on what services you request, you will most certainly have to obtain permits. The deck building professionals you’ve hired should do that for you. The cost of a permit varies from place to place.

Guarantee

By asking the contractor to give you a written guarantee for the quality of their work, you put yourself in a strong position should anything go awry after the deck is constructed. The validity period varies from company to company, but it’s usually a few years.

Other frequently asked questions

I have an old deck I want to remove. How much does this service cost on average?

The removal service costs from $3 to $4 per square foot. On average, prepare around $750 depending on the size of the structure. You may pay more if the closest landfill is located a long way from your home.

What’s the average size of the deck and how long does it take to build it?

A standard deck ranges from 200 to 300 square feet. Expect deck builders to spend around 3 weeks on the job. This can be shorter if the project is relatively simple.

Bottom line

In the majority of cases, the deck building project is implemented by professionals rather than by homeowners themselves. The final cost depends on such factors as the deck size, type, height, and material, as well as on any additional features such as lighting or heating. On average, it’s common to spend between $4,050 and $10,160.

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