How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?

National Average Range:
$5,500 - $16,000
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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by Fixr.com.

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 they can 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. The national average ranges from $5,500 to $16,000, with most people paying around $12,600 for a 320-square-foot deck made with composite decking material. At the lowest costs, you can build a 100-square-foot deck using pressure-treated pine for $2,200. At the high end, you can build a 500-square-foot deck with exotic hardwood like ipe, built-in benches, and a roof for $35,000.

Cost to Build a Deck

Deck Building Prices
National average cost$12,600
Average range$5,500-$16,000
Low-end$2,200
High-end$35,000

Build Deck Cost by Project Range

Low
$2,200
100-square-foot pressure-treated pine deck, installed
Average Cost
$12,600
320-square-foot composite deck, installed
High
$35,000
500-square-foot exotic hardwood ipe deck with built-in benches and a roof, installed

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. For example, pressure-treated pine costs around $2.15 a square foot but needs to be painted or stained, which increases labor costs. Composite decking, costing $9 to $17 a square foot, is easier to work with and may have lower labor costs.

The average cost per square foot to build a deck is between $15 and $47, depending on the material, type, and geographic location. Costs can be higher for complex builds and materials or lower for simple platform decks.

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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. The following is a list of average cost ranges for some of the most common sizes:

Cost to Build an 8' x 10', 12' x 12', 10' x 16', 10' x 20', 12' x 20', 14' x 20', 16' x 20', and 20' x 20' Deck

Cost to Build an 8' x 10', 12' x 12', 10' x 16', 10' x 20', 12' x 20', 14' x 20', 16' x 20', and 20' x 20' Deck

DimensionsSquare FeetAverage Cost Range (Installed)
8’ x 10’80 sq.ft.$1,200 - $3,760
12’ x 12’144 sq.ft.$2,160 - $6,768
10’ x 16’160 sq.ft.$2,400 - $7,520
10’ x 20’200 sq.ft.$3,000 - $9,400
12’ x 20’240 sq.ft.$3,600 - $11,280
14’ x 20’280 sq.ft.$4,200 - $13,160
16’ x 20’320 sq.ft.$4,800 - $15,040
20’ x 20’400 sq.ft.$6,000 - $18,800

8’ x 10’ Deck Cost

A deck measuring 8’ x 10’ or 80 sq.ft. in total ranges from $1,200 to $3,760. 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 1 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 Cost

A deck measuring 12’ x 12’ or 144 sq.ft. costs $2,160 to $6,768. 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 Cost

A deck that measures 10’ x 16’ or 160 sq.ft. in size ranges from $2,400 to $7,520. 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. These can also be platforms or raised decks and may have roofs as well.

10’ x 20’ Deck Cost

Decks that measure 10’ x 20’ or 200 sq.ft. cost $3,000 to $9,400. 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 Cost

Decks measuring 12’ x 20’ or 240 sq.ft. in size range from $3,600 to $11,280. 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 Cost

Decks that measure 14’ x 20’ or 280 sq.ft. in size cost $4,200 to $13,160. These decks have varying levels 16 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 2 to hold the weight, particularly if you have many built-in 3 areas or include entertainment options like a hot tub. The costs range depending on the material and style.

16’ x 20’ Deck Cost

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 $15,040, 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 16. They are most commonly made of wood or composites at this size, but they can be metal as well.

20’ x 20’ Deck Cost

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 $18,800, 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

There are many materials to use for a deck. Many people opt for wood or composite, but there is a wide range of materials that fall into those two categories. You can also use other materials, such as metals. Each material has costs and attributes influencing the appearance and long-term performance:

Material and Total Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Deck by Material: Pressure-Treated, Steel, Redwood, Ipe, Fiberglass, Vinyl, Aluminum...

Material and Total Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Deck by Material: Pressure-Treated, Steel, Redwood, Ipe, Fiberglass, Vinyl, Aluminum...

MaterialAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Material Only)Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Pressure-Treated$2.15 - $5.50$15 - $18
Steel$3.25 - $6.75$16 - $20
Redwood$6 - $36$18 - $47
Ipe$8 - $10$30 - $47
Fiberglass$9 - $17$21 - $40
Composite$9 - $17$21 - $40
Vinyl$10 - $18$22 - $41
Mahogany$12 - $17$30 - $47
Aluminum$14 - $15$26 - $37
Cedar$17 - $35$30 - $47

Pressure-Treated Deck Cost

The cost of a pressure-treated wood deck is around $2.15 to $5.50 a square foot for materials or $15 to $18 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 4 to prevent rusting. The wood may have a greenish tone to it from the treatment. It needs to be painted or sealed during installation.

Steel Deck Cost

Expect to pay between $3.25 and $6.75 per square foot for materials for a steel deck or $16 to $20 a square foot installed. Steel is not as common as wood but can create modern-looking decks. Steel tends to be hot underfoot, which can make it uncomfortable on sunny days. It can also be difficult to work with, and you need to find a steel decking specialist. While the cost of steel decking is relatively low, you may find that you need to pay much higher costs for installation because of the increased labor. The cost of steel is volatile, so get the project priced out before you build to get the most accurate costs.

Redwood Deck Cost

The cost per square foot for redwood 5 ranges from $6 to $36 a square foot for materials or $18 to $47 a square foot installed. Redwood is uncommon for decking, but if you do not want pressure-treated wood, redwood is a good option. Redwood is rot, insect, and water-resistant, so it does not require chemicals to make it last for years. It ranges in color, durability, and price, depending on if you use sapwood or heartwood and where the redwood is coming from. The farther the material needs to be shipped to you from the forest, the more it costs. Redwood in California costs much less than redwood in New Jersey.

Ipe Deck Cost

Ipe costs between $8 and $10 a square foot on average for materials or $30 to $47 a square foot installed. Ipe 6 is a popular exotic hardwood for decks. It has a rich, dark color and is so dense that it resists burning nearly as well as concrete. Ipe is prized for its longevity. It can last for years with little maintenance and show no signs of wear. Because it is so incredibly hard and dense, however, it can be very difficult to work with. Installers are more likely to charge twice for the installation labor of ipe than for pressure-treated wood.

Fiberglass Deck Cost

The material for a fiberglass 7 deck costs between $9 and $17 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $21 to $40 a square foot. Fiberglass decking is a subtype of composite decking. The decking is a blend or composite of materials. Sometimes, the materials are used throughout the plank. At other times, the core is made of a wood-pulp blend, while the exterior wrapper is something more durable. Fiberglass decking contains fiberglass particles in the outer wrapper or core. Fiberglass decking is considered low-maintenance and durable. It may get hot underfoot, depending on the manufacturer.

Composite Deck Cost

The material for a composite deck costs between $9 and $17 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $21 to $40 a square foot. Composite decking refers to any blend of materials that may include plastic, wood, wood pulp, fiber cement 8, 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. Some composites are water-resistant, while others may swell when not installed properly. Some get very hot underfoot, while others stay cool. But most composite decking is easy to install and can last for years with little-to-no maintenance.

Vinyl Deck Cost

The material for a vinyl 9 deck costs between $10 and $18 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $22 to $41 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.

Mahogany Deck Cost

Mahogany ranges from $12 to $17 a square foot on average for the material. Installed, costs are $30 to $47 a square foot. Mahogany is another hardwood that gets good results on decks. Mahogany is a dense, durable hardwood with a rich color that holds up well long term. This is another material that can increase the labor cost significantly because it is dense and difficult to work with. Cutting, nailing, and fastening mahogany takes longer than other woods, so the cost of installation reflects that.

Aluminum Deck Cost

Aluminum decks cost around $14 to $15 a square foot for the material and $26 to $37 a square foot installed. For those who want a metal deck that does not get as hot in the sun as steel, aluminum is a good choice. Aluminum is a lightweight metal that can create a contemporary-looking deck. It is easier to work with and install, but it can be very noisy. It makes echoing and pinging noises when walked on and struck, and it dents easily. But it is flame and insect-resistant and does not rot.

Cedar Deck Cost

Expect to pay between $17 and $35 a square foot on average for cedar decking material. The cost of cedar decking installed averages $30 to $47 a square foot. Cedar is a popular material for the home’s exterior, including the deck. Cedar is naturally rot and insect-resistant, and it is easier to work with than most hardwoods. Cedar does not need to be stained or painted, but if you do, you need a primer 10 first because cedar “bleeds” through the paint. Cedar’s price has increased recently because of availability and continued popularity.

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Price of a New Deck by Construction Style

Decks can be built in many styles. Most people install their deck attached to their homes, but this is not the only way. Decks can be installed at ground level, raised, covered, or have multiple levels. Because of the many types of decks, they range in costs.

While the average size of a standard attached deck is around 320 sq.ft., every style can have a range of sizes that suits them best. Below are the average cost ranges to build each style of per square foot.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Platform, Freestanding, Raised, Two-Story, Multi-Level, and Covered Deck

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Platform, Freestanding, Raised, Two-Story, Multi-Level, and Covered Deck

StyleAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Platform$12 - $35
Freestanding$12 - $35
Raised$28 - $47
Two-Story$30 - $60
Multi-Level$30 - $75
Covered$40 - $100

Platform Deck Cost

Platform decks cost around $12 to $35 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.

Freestanding Deck Cost

Floating deck costs are similar to other platform decks, $12 to $35 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.

Raised Deck Cost

The average cost to build a raised deck is between $28 and $47 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 is 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 11. This makes this style more complicated than a platform deck.

Two-Story Deck Cost

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.

Multi-Level Deck Cost

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 supports needed and cost. So, there is a wider range of associated costs.

Covered Deck Cost

Costs to build a covered deck range from $40 to $100 a square foot, depending on the material and style. 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. With all these variations and options, the cost to build a covered deck has a wide range of costs.

Decking Patterns

The part of the deck that you stand on is the decking. Decking can be made of many materials, but it is usually sold and installed in planks. These planks can be laid out in straight lines running lengthwise or horizontally across your deck, and in some cases, laid out in a mix.

There are several other patterns to lay your decking in as well. 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, and it takes your installer longer to lay the decking, resulting in higher labor and material costs.

For this reason, parallel or straight decking, whether 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.

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, is a popular traditional look. But because of the amount of cutting involved, this pattern can be time-consuming and expensive to create.

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. You can surround a herringbone pattern with parallel decking to create a more defined area.

If you really want to get creative, you can also work with your builder to do a custom decking install. There are numerous patterns and designs you can create on your deck to help bring definition and interest to the entire area.

Decking patterns are a great way to improve your deck’s appearance because each pattern can complement different architectural styles.

Comparison of Decking Patterns: Parallel, Diagonal, Parquet, Herringbone, and Custom

Comparison of Decking Patterns: Parallel, Diagonal, Parquet, Herringbone, and Custom

Decking Prices by Type of Foundation

No matter which type you have, you need a foundation that supports the structure. There are many different deck foundations, known as footings, and they have different uses and 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.

You can also use different footings for loose soil, for smaller decks or larger decks, and even just for your installer’s personal preference. The footings themselves are rarely more than a few feet above the ground, while most are flush with or below the ground. If your decking is raised, you will also have beams or pillars that extend down to the footing, and it will either rest on it or attach to it in some way.

The following footing costs are per footing installed, assuming normal installation conditions for each:

Decking Prices by Type of Foundation: Concrete Deck Blocks, Buried Post, Screw Piles, Poured Concrete Footer...

Decking Prices by Type of Foundation: Concrete Deck Blocks, Buried Post, Screw Piles, Poured Concrete Footer...

Foundation TypeAverage Costs (Installed)
Concrete Deck Blocks$50 - $75
Buried Post$100 - $300
Screw Piles$150 - $250
Poured Concrete Footer$200 - $400
Stackable Precast Forms$250 - $350

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Deck Framing Cost

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. This is the case for the deck framing. 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.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Wood and Metal Deck Framing

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Wood and Metal Deck Framing

Framing MaterialAverage Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Wood$12 - $25
Metal$25 - $40

The average cost to frame a deck is around $9 to $12 a square foot for the labor and between $3 and $13 a square foot for a wood material. When installing metal decking, labor costs increase to $18 to $23 a square foot, with materials being between $7 and $17 a square foot.

Cost to Build Deck Stairs

If your deck is raised or has multiple levels, you need a set of stairs for access. Stairs can either be constructed onsite, or in some cases, you can purchase readymade stringers 12 or stairs in the case of aluminum or steel decks.

Stairs come in many heights, with varying degrees of pitch that influence their cost. Their prices vary depending on how many treads and how wide the stairs are.

Metal stairs cost between $1,000 and $3,000 for the complete staircase, depending on the size and material. The prefabricated run of steps usually includes the railing so that the staircase easily attaches to the deck.

When building a wooden or composite staircase using pre-cut stringers - the sides of the staircase that the treads attach to - expect to pay between $25 to $35 per stair. If you decide to have custom stringers made onsite, the costs per stair can increase to $35 to $50 per stair, depending on the decking material, staircase width, and elevation.

Below are the average costs for the different stair types assuming 8 to 16 steps.

Cost to Install Wooden Stairs w/Pre-Cut Stringers, Custom Stringers, and Metal Stairs

Cost to Install Wooden Stairs w/Pre-Cut Stringers, Custom Stringers, and Metal Stairs

Stair ComponentAverage Costs (Installed)
Wooden Stairs w/Pre-Cut Stringers$160 - $560
Wooden Stairs w/Custom Stringers$280 - $800
Metal Stairs$1,000 - $3,000

Cost to Install Deck Railing

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.

Cost per Linear Foot to Install Wood, Metal, Composite, Cable, and Glass Deck Railing

Cost per Linear Foot to Install Wood, Metal, Composite, Cable, and Glass Deck Railing

Railing MaterialAverage Cost Range per Linear Foot (Installed)
Wood$37 - $57
Metal$55 - $85
Composite$80 - $165
Cable$115 - $175
Glass$140 - $210

Labor Costs to Build a Deck

The labor costs to build a deck depend on several things. The decking material, pattern, footing, and style, along with where you live all influence the labor costs of building a deck. The average range for labor is from $11 to $32 a square foot for a wooden deck and $22 to $65 a square foot to build a metal deck.

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. Some deck contractors specialize in deck types or materials. 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. Some contractors prefer not to work with exotic hardwoods, raising their costs when they do. Always get at least three quotes to compare.

While most decks are priced out as a total project, you can break down your total costs by the area being built or installed. Costs can range in each of these areas, depending on things like material, size, and the location you are building the deck in.

Labor Costs to Build a Deck by Project: Decking Installation, Framing, Stairs, and Foundation

Labor Costs to Build a Deck by Project: Decking Installation, Framing, Stairs, and Foundation

AreaAverage Labor Costs
Decking Installation$5.50 - $7/sq.ft.
Framing$9 - $12/sq.ft.
Stairs$15.50 - $21/step
Foundation$25 - $300/post

Decking Installation

The cost to install the decking onto the frame is between $5.50 and $7 a square foot on average. This cost can vary depending on the material you use. A very soft wood decking like pine may cost less to install. However, a very hard, exotic wood decking like ipe may cost more per square foot to install. Likewise, if you decide to have your decking laid in an intricate pattern, this could also raise the total costs. Decking laid in straight rows is the easiest and least expensive to install.

Deck Framing

The frame for your deck will cost between $9 and $12 a square foot in labor to build. This 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 beams of the foundation, and attach to the house by brackets. The decking is then laid parallel to the house, or perpendicular to the frame. This gives the deck its structure, and stability in the long term.

Deck Stairs

The labor to build your deck stairs is between $15.50 and $21 per stair, assuming pre-cut stringers. This does include the installation of the railings as well. Decks can have varying stair needs, depending on their overall height. Platform decks may only require a single step, while two story decks will need elaborate staircases. The exact labor per step will depend mostly on the material. Very exotic hardwoods like Ipe cost the most to work with. Softwoods like pine and composites are easier to work with and cost less in labor.

Deck Foundation

Your deck foundation will cost between $25 and $300 for each post or section you have installed. Because decks can have many different types of foundation, there is a wide range of labor. Some decks will need holes dug, and concrete poured. 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, and which are not dug into place, cost the least in labor. Remember that it’s not the cost of the labor that’s important in this instance; the foundation will be responsible for holding up the entire deck, so choosing the right foundation for your design is crucial, regardless of labor.

Cost to Build a Small Deck

If you have a deck that is less than 6-feet wide, will attach to the house, and be installed as a platform, you will have significantly lower costs. These decks do not need expensive footers or framing, so their overall costs are much lower. Expect labor costs to be $9 to $11 a square foot, with total costs of $13 to $20 a square foot installed. Raising it or going larger will increase costs.

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Cost to Build a Trex Deck

Trex is a brand of composite decking. It contains a high degree of recycled material and is one of the few brands of composite material that also makes framing, decking, and railing components. Trex is a long-lasting wood alternative that comes in several colors and finishes. It has a realistic-looking wood grain and is a popular material for both looks and longevity. Trex costs between $10 and $18 a square foot and costs the same to install as wood. The total cost range is $18 to $47 a square foot to build a Trex deck, depending on the build complexity and type and location.

Beautiful Outdoor Wooden Deck With Access to a Garden

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.

Comparison of Deck Styles: Contemporary, Colonial, Traditional, Mountain, and Coastal

Comparison of Deck Styles: Contemporary, Colonial, Traditional, Mountain, and Coastal

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 $62 a square foot, assuming you are replacing a deck with one of the same size.

Deck vs Patio

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.

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Patio and a Deck

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Patio and a Deck

ProjectAverage Costs (Installed)
Patio$3,000 - $8,000
Deck$5,500 - $16,000

Porch vs Deck

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.

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Deck and a Porch

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Deck and a Porch

ProjectAverage Costs (Installed)
Deck$5,500 - $16,000
Porch$15,000 - $35,000

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Lighting

Deck lighting adds ambiance to the area and also lets you enjoy the space after the sun sets. You can have deck lighting installed for $50 to $250 per light. Electricians typically charge between $40 and $120 an hour.

Lattice Skirt

If your deck is not extremely tall, you may want to install lattice skirting around the base. This helps hide the underside of the deck and give it a more finished appearance. Lattice skirting costs between $2 and $50 a linear foot installed, depending on the material.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen allows you the freedom to cook and entertain on the deck. You can have a basic or lavish outdoor kitchen placed on your deck. The cost of an outdoor kitchen ranges from $7,000 to $20,000.

Fire Pit

If you want to use your deck in the evenings and cooler weather, consider adding a fire pit. Fire pits can be great gathering spaces and add warmth and light to the space. You can install one for between $300 and $1,400.

Deck Cover

A deck cover provides shade and also protects the surface of the decking. They can be a simple cloth covering or elaborate roofs, depending on your needs, style, and budget. Cloth covers start at around $1,200, while full roofs can cost as much as $8,000 to $20,000, depending on the material.

Hot Tub

If your deck is large enough and is reinforced to hold the weight, you can add a hot tub. 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. Hot tub installations cost around $4,000 to $8,500 on average.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Design. The design of your deck also impacts the cost. Many features, such as multiple levels, intricate decking designs, and decks being built on sloped yards, can have dramatically increased 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.
  • Pressure washing. Pressure washing can be a good way to help restore your deck’s surface before painting.The average cost of pressure washing is $100 to $200.
  • 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 ​$200, 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.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to build a 20' x 20' deck?

A 20’ x 20’ is 400 sq.ft. Depending on the style and materials, this has a cost range of $15 to $47 square feet or $6,000 to $18,800.

  • How much does it cost to have a deck built?

A deck costs $15 to $47 per sq.ft. fully installed, depending on the style and materials. The average cost to build a deck is $5,500 to $16,000.

  • 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.

  • How much does it cost to build a 10' x 16' deck?

A 10’ x 16’ deck is 160 sq.ft. The cost of construction averages between $15 and $47 a square foot, depending on the materials and style. For a 160 sq.ft. deck, expect costs to fall between $2,400 and $7,520.

  • 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.

References

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Tropical Hardwood 1 Exotic hardwood: Timber from deciduous, flowering, seed-bearing trees that grow in tropical rainforests
glossary term picture Footing 2 Footings: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
glossary term picture Built-in 3 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
4 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
5 Redwood: Tree with reddish colored timber
glossary term picture Ipe 6 Ipe: A dense hard wood most commonly used for decking and flooring. Its color varies from reddish brown to blackish brown
glossary term picture Fiberglass 7 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
glossary term picture Fiber Cement 8 Fiber cement: A building material made with cellulose fiber, concrete, and recycled materials such as glass
glossary term picture Vinyl 9 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Primer 10 Primer: Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted
glossary term picture Bracket 11 Brackets: A support that projects outward from one surface to hold another surface to it, such as attaching a shelf to a wall or piece of furniture. Brackets can also be used to strengthen joins between two materials
12 Stringers: An inclined structure used to support the treads and risers in a staircase

Cost to build a deck varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources