How much does it cost to build a deck?
Get free estimates from deck, patio and porch contractors near you
Build Deck Cost Guide
Updated: January 11, 2023
Whether it is attached to your home or a freestanding structure, a deck can enhance your use and enjoyment of your property. Decks come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. They can be used for eating, entertaining, or relaxing, and have any combination of built-in benches, bars, tables, and other accessories. With the sizes and materials available for decks today, there is a wide range of costs associated with building them.
In 2023, the cost of raw materials is expected to increase by an estimated 8% to 10% up from current levels. This growth will be driven by four main factors: increasing global demand for raw materials, decreasing production costs, population growth, and increased rates of industrial development. As the cost of raw materials rises, so too could prices for products that rely on them. Companies will have to adjust their operations and budgets accordingly to remain competitive while factoring this projected increase into their expenditures. As a result, homeowners should check the available supply and prices of the materials they need before starting their project.
The national average ranges from $9,000 to $20,000. Most people pay around $14,000 for a 320 sq.ft. deck made with composite decking material and railings. At the lowest costs, you can build a 100 sq.ft. deck using pressure-treated pine for $1,500. At the high end, you can build a 500 sq.ft. deck with exotic hardwood like ipe, an outdoor kitchen, and a roof for $40,000.
Cost to Build a Deck
|Deck Building Prices|
|National average cost||$14,000|
Average Deck Cost per Square Foot
Decks have a range of building costs per square foot. This is because it can be made out of many materials. Various materials have different costs, and some materials can be more difficult to work with than others. This can make the cost to build a deck cost more in labor. The average cost per square foot to build a deck is between $15 and $55, with labor included, depending on the material, type, and geographic location. Costs can be higher for complex builds and materials or lower for simple platform decks.
Cost to Build a Deck by Size
Decks can be built in a vast range of sizes. The most common size is 16’x20’ or 320 sq.ft., but decks can be much larger or smaller, depending on your space and needs. Sometimes, the size that you choose will be dictated by the amount of area you have. Other times, the features that you want or the shape you’re planning on can influence the overall size. Because decks are often priced per square foot, the larger the deck that you build, the higher your total costs will be, regardless of style or material. This means that the cost to build a small deck will be lower than building a large one. The following is a list of average cost ranges for some of the most common sizes:
|Dimensions||Average Cost Range (Installed)|
|8’ x 10’ (80 sq.ft.)||$1,200 - $4,400|
|12’ x 12’ (144 sq.ft.)||$2,160 - $7,920|
|10’ x 16’ (160 sq.ft.)||$2,400 - $8,800|
|10’ x 20’ (200 sq.ft.)||$3,000 - $11,000|
|12’ x 20’ (240 sq.ft.)||$3,600 - $13,200|
|14’ x 20’ (280 sq.ft.)||$4,200 - $15,400|
|16’ x 20’ (320 sq.ft.)||$4,800 - $17,600|
|20’ x 20’ (400 sq.ft.)||$6,000 - $22,000|
8’ x 10’ Deck
A deck measuring 8’ x 10’ or 80 sq.ft. in total ranges from $1,200 to $4,400. At the lowest end, this assumes either a platform or a very simple raised deck made of pressure-treated wood. At the highest end, this assumes that the decking is made of either metal or very high-end exotic hardwood with a roof. Decks this size are small enough to be added nearly anywhere on a house or in a yard.
12’ x 12’ Deck
A deck measuring 12’ x 12’ or 144 sq.ft. costs $2,160 to $7,920. This is still considered a smaller deck that can fit approximately four people with the seating area included. These prices include a range of different styles. This may mean a simple platform deck at the lowest end and an aluminum raised style at the upper cost range. Costs also vary depending on the location, shape and style, and materials used.
10’ x 16’ Deck
A deck that measures 10’ x 16’ or 160 sq.ft. in size ranges from $2,400 to $8,800. This includes different styles and materials. At this size, it is large enough to include built-in benches or an eating area, increasing total costs through different decking layouts and designs. A family of five to seven people can fit comfortably in this deck size. These can also be platforms or raised decks and may have roofs as well.
10’ x 20’ Deck
Decks that measure 10’ x 20’ or 200 sq.ft. cost $3,000 to $11,000. Decks that reach these dimensions may be two or multi-story, or they can be an oversized platform or freestanding deck. This size has many possibilities for adding areas like hot tubs and entertainment areas to the deck, which may require reinforcing the decking. You can also use a range of materials and building styles, which accounts for the varying costs.
12’ x 20’ Deck
Decks measuring 12’ x 20’ or 240 sq.ft. in size range from $3,600 to $13,200. These decks are large enough to wrap around the side of a building, have two or more levels, or be a large platform-style deck that encompasses a large part of a yard. These decks often fit entertainment areas and handle different decking patterns to define separate areas. These can include simple decks built from metal and more elaborate decks built from wood.
14’ x 20’ Deck
Decks that measure 14’ x 20’ or 280 sq.ft. in size cost $4,200 to $15,400. These decks have varying levels or wrap around the side of the house. At this size, it is common to have at least part of the deck covered or roofed for shade, such as in eating or entertaining areas. You may need to have larger footings to hold the weight, particularly if you have many built-in areas or include entertainment options like a hot tub. The costs range depending on the material and style.
16’ x 20’ Deck
Decks measuring 16’ x 20’ feet or 320 sq.ft. in total size are the most popular size in the U.S. They have a total cost range from $4,800 to $17,600, depending on the material and style. These decks can be configured to have separate areas for relaxing, eating, and entertaining. Because of this, it is common for decks of this size to have at least partial covers or roofs, as well as to be raised or have two or more levels. They are most commonly made of wood or composites at this size, but they can be metal as well.
20’ x 20’ Deck
A deck that measures 20’ x 20’ or 400 sq.ft. is large enough to wrap the side of a home, have a large expanse for entertaining, or have different levels. This size has a cost range of $6,000 to $22,000, depending on the style and material. At this size, if it is raised, it may need reinforcing or to have additional footers put in for stability. If you plan on adding a hot tub, you need additional reinforcement. Platform decks of this size can be good options for housing an outdoor kitchen or living area.
New Deck Cost by Material
When choosing deck material, you have a few options, ranging between $3 and $20 per sq.ft. for the material and $15 to $55 per sq.ft. installed. Many people opt for wood or composite, but many materials fall into those two categories. You can also use other materials, such as metals, fiberglass, or vinyl. Each material has costs and attributes influencing the appearance and long-term performance. Below is a table with the most common materials used for decking and their costs:
|Material||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Pressure-Treated Wood||$3 - $8||$15 - $25|
|Natural Wood||$3 - $20||$15 - $55|
|Vinyl||$5 - $13||$17 - $33|
|Metal||$6 - $20||$21 - $35|
|Composite||$8 - $20||$28 - $40|
The cost of a pressure-treated wood deck is around $3 to $8 a square foot for materials or $15 to $25 a square foot installed. Pressure-treated wood is one of the least expensive materials used to build decks. The wood is usually pine but can be other softwoods. The wood is soaked in a preservative - usually CCA (carbon copper arsenate) - and put under pressure, driving the chemicals inside and preventing wood rot. Pressure-treated wood requires galvanized screws and fasteners to prevent rusting. The wood may have a greenish tone to it from the treatment. It needs to be painted or sealed during installation.
Natural Wood Deck
Expect to pay between $3 and $20 per sq.ft. for wood decking material and $15 to $55 per sq.ft. to have it installed. Several materials are used for wood decking, including bamboo, cedar, mahogany, redwood, and ipe. Bamboo decking is durable, affordable, stands up to the elements, and requires little maintenance. It is softer on bare feet than hardwood or composite decking and has a warmth that cannot be replicated with other materials. Cedar is naturally rot and insect-resistant. It is easy to work with because it does not need to be stained or painted, but if you do, you need a primer first because cedar “bleeds” through the paint. Redwood is also popular for decking that is rot, insect, and water-resistant, so it does not require chemicals to make it last. It ranges in color, durability, and price. Mahogany is also a dense and durable hardwood with a rich color that holds up well long term. However, cutting, nailing, and fastening mahogany takes longer than other woods, so the installation cost reflects that. Ipe is a popular exotic hardwood with a rich, dark color that is prized for its longevity. It can last for years with little maintenance and is so dense that it resists burning nearly as well as concrete. Because it is so incredibly hard and dense, it can be very difficult to work with, so the installation cost is higher. The table below shows the most common natural woods used for decks and their cost.
|Material||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Bamboo||$3 - $8||$15 - $23|
|Cedar||$4 - $9||$19 - $29|
|Redwood||$7 - $12||$27 - $38|
|Mahogany||$8 - $15||$35 - $50|
|Ipe||$10 - $20||$30 - $55|
The material for a vinyl deck costs between $5 and $13 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $17 to $33 a square foot. Vinyl or PVC decking is a subtype of composite decking. Vinyl decking usually has a vinyl exterior around the standard composite interior, but some decking planks may use one material throughout. Vinyl decking is very low-maintenance, water-resistant, and does not need painting. It does not get hot underfoot, making it good for sunny decks.
Expect to pay between $6 and $20 per sq.ft. for materials for a metal deck or $21 to $35 per sq.ft. installed. Steel and aluminum are the most common metals that can create modern-looking decks. Steel tends to be hot underfoot, making it uncomfortable on sunny days. It can also be difficult to work with, requiring a steel decking specialist. For those who want a metal deck that does not get as hot in the sun as steel, aluminum is a great idea. Aluminum is easier to work with and install. However, it makes echoing and pinging noises when walked on or struck. It also dents easily. Metal is a long-lasting option that is flame and insect-resistant and does not rot. Here are the costs for both materials and their cost when installed.
|Material||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Steel||$6 - $15||$21 - $35|
|Aluminum||$15 - $20||$25 - $30|
The material for a composite deck costs between $8 and $20 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $28 to $40 a square foot. Composite decking refers to any blend of materials that may include plastic, wood, wood pulp, fiber cement, or vinyl in a deck plank or railing. Composite decking is a popular alternative to wood, as it looks like wood decking but does not require the same level of upkeep, and can hold up well under harsh weather. But most composite decking is easy to install and can last for years with little-to-no maintenance. Trex is a brand of composite decking with a high degree of recycled materials. It has a realistic-looking wood grain and is a popular material for both looks and longevity. The total cost to build a Trex deck is higher than regular composite, depending on the build complexity and type and location. Fiberglass decking is another subtype of composite decking that contains fiberglass particles in the outer wrapper or core. Fiberglass decking is considered low-maintenance and durable but may get hot underfoot, depending on the manufacturer.
Price of a New Deck by Construction Style
Decks can be built in many styles, with prices ranging between $10 and $100 per sq.ft. installed. Most people install their deck attached to their homes, but this is not the only way. Decks can be installed at ground level, raised, or have multiple levels and be covered for protection from dust and the elements. Because of the many types of decks, they range in costs. The table below shows the average cost ranges to build each style of deck per square foot.
|Style||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Platform||$10 - $30|
|Freestanding||$20 - $40|
|Raised||$25 - $50|
|Two-Story||$30 - $60|
|Multi-Level||$30 - $75|
|Covered||$40 - $100|
Platform decks cost around $10 to $30 a square foot to build, depending on the material. Platform decks are built on the ground without raised pillars or footings. They are raised up, about the height of a single step, to increase the elevation and area definition, but they do not attach directly to the home. Platform decks are a nice alternative to a patio and are ideal for holding hot tubs and entertaining. They can be made of any decking material but are most often built of wood or composites.
Floating deck costs are similar to other platform decks, $20 to $40 a square foot, depending on the material. Freestanding decks or floating decks are a type of platform decking. They are not attached to the house and are often slightly away from the home. While some platform decks are in the patio area, freestanding decks are usually located farther away. They may have a path or no link to the home at all.
The average cost to build a raised deck is between $25 and $50 a square foot, depending on the material. Raised decks are the most familiar type. They are raised up to the second story on pillars and are attached to the house. This type usually has concrete footings beneath the pillars for support. They are also physically secured to the house, usually with support brackets. This makes this style more complicated than a platform deck.
Two-story decks cost between $30 and $60 a square foot to build. Two-story decks are uncommon, but they can be beneficial for those who host often. This type may start at ground level with a platform or one story up like a traditional raised deck. The stairs connecting the two levels are usually on the exterior or one side of the deck. There is usually an entrance to the deck at each level directly from the house. Because this type requires more support and stairs, it costs more to build.
The average range to build a multi-level deck is $30 to $75 a square foot, depending on the material and size. Multi-level decks are also less common and can include two or three-story decks. They usually follow the same basic styles and designs as a two-story. Each level you raise the deck increases the amount of support needed and cost. So, there is a wider range of associated costs.
Costs to build a covered deck range from $40 to $100 a square foot, depending on the material and style. Decks can be vulnerable to weather damage, especially if they are not properly protected. Covers provide an important layer of protection against sun, rain, snow, and ice. There are many ways to add shade or rain protection to your deck, including a cover or roof. Decks can be topped with a pergola, which adds dimension, definition, and varying degrees of shade, or you can build a full roof with various roofing materials. If you build a full roof, you can also finish the underside like you would a porch or leave it bare. By installing a deck cover, you can extend the life of your deck and keep it looking new. In addition to protecting your deck from the elements, a cover can keep it clean and free of debris.
Decking Prices by Type of Foundation
Your deck foundation will cost between $50 and $500 for each post or section you have installed. No matter which type you have, you need a foundation that supports the structure. Because decks can have many different foundations, there is a wide range of costs. For example, if your decking is less than 6 feet wide, will attach to your home, and is not raised, you can use concrete deck blocks to support it.
On the other hand, if your deck will hold a hot tub, you must have poured concrete footings, which are dug down beneath the frost line. These can cost more in labor than those that have piles mechanically driven into the ground. Those that use blocks directly on top of the ground, which are not dug into place, have the least labor cost. Remember that it is not the cost of the labor that is important in this instance. The foundation holds up the entire deck, so choosing the right foundation for your design is crucial, regardless of labor.
|Foundation Type||Cost per Unit (Materials Only)||Cost per Unit (Installed)|
|Concrete Deck Blocks||$25 - $50||$50 - $150|
|Buried Post||$50 - $100||$100 - $300|
|Poured Concrete Footer||$50 - $150||$200 - $350|
|Screw Piles||$100 - $250||$250 - $400|
|Stackable Precast Forms||$150 - $300||$250 - $500|
Deck Framing Cost
When installing deck framing, materials range between $3 and $17 per sq.ft., with installation costing $12 to $40. Framing is the structure that supports your decking. Decks do not normally have very large frames. They will have boards that run perpendicular to the house. These boards are supported by the foundation beams and are attached to the house by brackets. There are two components to the framing cost - the labor and materials. Most of them are framed with either wood or metal designed for the purpose. Decking may be made of other materials like composites or vinyl, but the actual frame is usually made of either pressure-treated lumber or a metal-like steel or aluminum. Sometimes, you can also have your deck completely constructed of an exotic hardwood, but this significantly increases your overall costs.
|Framing Material||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Wood||$3 - $13||$12 - $25|
|Metal||$7 - $17||$25 - $40|
Cost to Build Deck Stairs
Adding a stair to your deck costs $25 to $200 for the materials and $75 to $450 per stair, with labor included. If your deck is raised or has multiple levels, you need a set of stairs for access. Stairs can be constructed onsite. In some cases, you can purchase readymade stringers or stairs in the case of aluminum or steel decks. Stairs come in many heights, with varying degrees of pitch influencing their cost. Their prices vary depending on how many treads and how wide the stairs are. Below are the average costs for the different stair types.
|Stair Component||Average Cost Per Step (Materials Only)||Average Costs Per Step (Installed)|
|Wooden Stairs w/Pre-Cut Stringers||$25 - $100||$75 - $200|
|Wooden Stairs w/Custom Stringers||$75 - $150||$125 - $250|
|Metal Stairs||$125 - $200||$225 - $450|
Cost to Install Deck Railing
Railings cost $10 to $150 per linear foot for the material and $30 to $210 per linear foot installed. Railing is an integral part of most decks, particularly those that are raised or attached several feet or more off the ground. Railings are available in the same range of materials that decks are made from. They are available in even more materials like glass and iron, allowing the railing to be a decorative part of the deck design. Most railings are sold and installed by the linear foot. You can either have your railing built onsite from the same materials as the rest of your deck. Or, you can purchase readymade lengths of railing and have them installed. For this reason, there is a wide range of costs for railings, regardless of type. Below are the cost ranges for some of the most common types of railing material installed.
|Railing Material||Average Cost Per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Average Cost Range per Linear Foot (Installed)|
|Wood||$10 - $15||$30 - $50|
|Metal||$25 - $50||$45 - $85|
|Composite||$50 - $100||$80 - $165|
|Cable||$70 - $125||$115 - $175|
|Glass||$80 - $150||$140 - $210|
Labor Costs to Build a Deck
The average range for labor is from $10 to $35 per sq.ft., depending on the material. The decking material, pattern, footing, and style, along with where you live all influence the decking installation cost. Decks are usually built by contractors who specialize in this field. They usually handle all aspects of the job, from digging the holes for the footings to the framing and final installation. The contractor will first draw up detailed plans so that you know exactly where each part of the deck will go before construction starts. Afterward, they will lay out the foundation to ensure the deck is properly supported. Finally, they will assemble the pieces and ensure they fit together properly and securely before finishing up with appropriate sealants and weatherproofing. If needed, they will add the final touches like railings, cover, lattice, and more.
While most deck professionals quote a total cost per square foot that includes the framing, decking, and railing installations, they often charge separate costs for each one, which figure into the total cost quote. Some contractors prefer not to work with exotic hardwoods, raising their costs when they do. When looking for something specific, interview several contractors, and view their portfolios. Be upfront about what type of materials you want to use because this can significantly change costs. Always get at least three quotes to compare.
Deck Replacement Cost
It is very rare for an entire deck to need to be torn down and replaced due to age or wear. In most cases, the pillars and frame are still in good shape, but you may need to replace the decking, railings, stairs, or a combination of these.
However, if you want to build a new deck with different materials or a new one in a different size, your costs to build will be similar to the cost of a new one. You will have additional costs for demolition of your old deck, as well as the removal. The cost for this will add an additional $5 to $15 a square foot to the project, depending on the materials, how far they need to be hauled, and what disposal fees are in your area. This makes the cost to replace a deck between $20 and $70 a square foot, assuming you are replacing a deck with one of the same size.
New Deck Styles
Decks can be built in a wide range of styles. The ultimate style that you choose should be influenced by a few things. The first is the style of your home; your deck should be cohesive with the house’s style for the best effect. Second are your needs. How will you use the deck? What types of options will make it functional for the purposes you want to put it to? And finally, your location. If you live in rural or wooded areas or next to a lake or ocean, you may change your style to reflect your surroundings.
Most people will ultimately install colonial and traditional-style decks. Colonial decks get their name from colonial-style homes, but they can be installed anywhere. These decks are symmetrical in shape and have traditional elements, such as white railings. Traditional-style decks are made for comfort and often have an additional area for sitting or eating that is hexagonal or octagonal in shape. These decks usually use the same materials all over for a cohesive look.
For modern homes, you may want to consider a contemporary deck to help match your aesthetic. Contemporary decks are small, sleek, and minimal in size and appearance. They may also feature materials like metal and glass that are not usually found on more traditional decks.
If you have a mountain or coastal home, you may want to consider a style that will allow you to better enjoy the views of these spaces. Both decks typically wrap around the house so you can enjoy views from more angles. Coastal decks, in particular, usually use materials that help you enjoy the view better without obstruction, and they must use materials that will not corrode or be impacted by the humid salt air. Mountain decks usually use materials that help them blend in better with nature.
Decking patterns are a great way to improve your deck’s appearance and complement the home’s architectural styles. Parallel or straight decking, running horizontally or vertically, is the most common pattern. Diagonal decking is also a popular pattern for those who want something a little different but nothing complex. Any pattern other than a straight pattern where the boards are laid all in one direction from side to side increases your project’s cost by 15% to 20% for complex patterns. This is because you need additional decking material to complete any pattern. It takes your installer longer to lay the decking, resulting in higher labor and material costs.
If you want a more interesting design, parquet patterns, which feature boards cut to set lengths and laid out in alternating directions to create squares, are a popular traditional look. But because of the amount of cutting involved, this pattern can be time-consuming and expensive. Herringbone patterns are another decorative option with a lot of movement. This can be a good decking option if you want to create an accent area to define part of the decking. For a unique look, you can also work with your builder to do a custom decking. You can create numerous patterns and designs on your deck to help bring definition and interest to the entire area.
Deck vs Patio Cost
If you want to use your deck as an outdoor living area, another option is to also install a patio. Both decks and patios have various styles and appearances and are frequently used for the same purposes. They are used for relaxation, eating, and entertainment. The biggest difference between them tends to be how they are built. Decks can either be platforms that are installed just above the ground or be raised up several feet. Patios are installed directly on the ground, with no elevation, so they can be a better option for those with limited mobility who want to access the yard from the patio. Decks, however, can be multiple levels, which give you options for entering from many areas of the house or yard.
In general, a patio is a much less expensive option than a deck. Because it is not elevated, it does not need the same foundation type. Patios also tend to use less material, even if the total square footage of the two areas is the same. Below are the average costs to install both a patio and a deck of similar proportion.
|Project||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Patio||$3,000 - $8,000|
|Deck||$9,000 - $20,000|
Porch vs Deck Cost
Another popular outdoor living area that can enhance your home’s exterior is the front porch. While the deck is an addition built onto the back of most homes, the porch is an addition built onto the front, becoming an extension of the front entrance. Porches are integral to your home’s curb appeal, so they need to match things like the color and detail, while decks can have more latitude in their appearance. Porches also have a roof, which has both a finished ceiling and exterior that matches the rest of the home’s roof.
The roof is the biggest difference between porches and decks and is the biggest driving factor behind the cost of a porch. The roof requires considerable material to construct. It also means that the foundation for the structure needs to be much stronger in order to support the additional weight. For this reason, even if a porch and deck are the same size and configuration, the porch will always be more costly to build. Below are the average costs to build both structures.
|Project||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Deck||$9,000 - $20,000|
|Porch||$15,000 - $35,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
You can have deck lighting installed for $50 to $300 per light. Electricians typically charge between $40 and $120 an hour. Adding lighting creates a more inviting space for entertaining and relaxing. Lights also add safety and security to your home by deterring burglars and providing illumination for nighttime activities. It can help save money on your energy bills by providing an alternative to indoor lighting. And finally, it can increase the value of your home by making it more attractive to potential buyers.
Lattice skirting costs between $3 and $50 a linear foot installed, depending on the material. A lattice skirt is a type of decking that incorporates vertical slats into its design. It is often used to give decks a more finished look and provide some privacy. Lattice skirts can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. If you have a traditional home, you may want to choose a skirt made from wood. However, if you have a more contemporary home, you may opt for a vinyl or aluminum skirt.
The cost of an outdoor kitchen ranges from $7,000 to $20,000. An outdoor kitchen can help you make the most of your deck by providing a place to cook, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors without all the hassle. With an outdoor kitchen, you do not need to haul chairs and coolers back and forth from the house. Instead, you can relax on your deck and enjoy summer activities without leaving home. Plus, an outdoor kitchen adds value to your home.
Fire pits cost between $300 and $1,400 to install. Having a fire pit on your deck can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors while staying warm. They can also be great gathering spaces for friends and family while adding warmth and light to the space. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a fire pit for your deck. First, make sure that the fire pit is made of material that will not damage your decking. Second, be sure to place the fire pit on a level surface to prevent it from tipping over. Third, make sure that there is plenty of clearance around the fire pit so that people can move around safely.
Hot tub installations cost around $4,000 to $8,500 on average. If your deck is large enough and is reinforced to hold the weight, you can add a hot tub. They are a great way of adding an area for relaxation where friends and family can spend time together. Hot tubs come in a range of different sizes and materials. Depending on the fuel type and location, you may also need to install a gas line or electrical outlet.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Wind. If you live in an area that sees high winds and have options for the placement of your deck, consider a location with the least amount of wind to avoid storm damage to your deck, while making it more comfortable to use.
- DIY. A deck can be a DIY project if you are handy and knowledgeable about construction. Choose a design you can easily follow, and contract out to have certain things done by a professional, such as the concrete work or site preparation.
- Permit. A deck building permit cost starts at $100 to $500, depending on the area. Not all areas of the country require a building permit for this type of project. Check with your local municipality to determine if a permit is required.
- Estimates. Gather at least three estimates before signing a contract. Most contractors provide free estimates. Once you obtain the estimates, pick the most moderately priced option.
- Taxes. Building a new deck can increase your property taxes because it is considered a permanent improvement on your home.
- Insurance. In some cases, the added value of a deck can increase your homeowners insurance. At a minimum, it is an addition and may not be covered under your current policy. Always check to get more information.
- Saving money. If you want to save money when building a deck, avoid a complicated design. A basic type is far more affordable than a complex design.
- Do I need a permit to build a deck?
Most areas require a permit to make any addition to your home. Decks fit the definition of an addition in most areas. Your contractor or builder can assist with getting the correct permits. You can also check with your local town or city hall for more information.
- What size deck should I build?
A 16’ x 20’ deck is a popular size for many homes. However, larger houses might benefit from a bigger deck, and a smaller home may require a smaller structure to look balanced.
- Does adding a deck add value?
In most areas, yes decks can add a lot of value to your home. Decks enhance your enjoyment of the yard and can be used as an outdoor living area. Wooden decks additions have an ROI of 65.8% while composite decks additions have an ROI of 63%.
- How long does a deck last?
Decks have varying lengths of longevity due to the different materials they can be made of. In addition, one that is well cared for, stained, and sealed regularly will likely outlast a deck that is not being cared for. Expect wooden decks to last at least 10 to 15 years and composites 20 years. Many decks can last much longer than these estimates with proper care.
- Which is better, Trex or composite decking?
Both materials are made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, but Trex is more resistant to rot and insect damage and does not require the same level of maintenance as wood. In contrast, composite decking is less likely to splinter or fade and comes in a variety of colors and styles. The best material depends on your budget, preferences, and climate. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, Trex may be the better choice.
- What kind of wood is best for a deck?
When choosing wood for a deck, it should withstand the elements while being durable and strong enough to support heavy furniture and foot traffic. The wood should also be easy to care for and maintain and match your budget. Pressure-treated lumber is affordable and treated with chemicals that make it resistant to rot and insect damage. Redwood and cedar are popular options because they are easy to work with and are naturally resistant to rot and insect damage.. However, they can be more expensive than pressure-treated wood.
- Better Homes and Gardens. “Essential Budgeting Tips to Know Before Building a Deck."
- Craftsman Book Company. National Repair & Remodeling Estimator, Ed. by Joshua Paxton (Carlsbad, CA, 2021).
- Decks.com. “Aluminum Decking Reviews, Pros & Cons, and Costs."
- Decks.com. “Budget - Determines Deck Size and Materials.”
- Decks.com. “Deck Stairs Calculator."
- Dwell. “How to Build an Outdoor Shower.”
- FIXR Cost Guides and Cost Database.
- Gardenista. “10 Things Nobody Tells You About Ipe Wood."
- Home Depot. “How to Build a Deck.”
- HomeSteady. “Is Composite Decking Slippery in the Winter?”
- House Beautiful. “How to Choose the Best Deck Material for Your House."
- Hunker. “Does Redwood Need to Be Waterproofed?"
- Lowes. “How to Build a Deck: Wood Stairs and Stair Railings."
- Popular Mechanics. “How To Choose The Right Material For Your Deck."
- Remodeling.hw.net. “2020 Cost vs Value Report.”
- Sherwin-Williams. “How-To Prepare a Deck for Staining."
- The Spruce. “24 Covered Deck Design Ideas."
- This Old House. “All About Hardwood Decking."
- This Old House. “Decking Material Types."
- Trex. “How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?”