How much does it cost to repair a deck?
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Deck Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Decks enhance your outdoor space and increase your home’s usable square footage. However, decks often wear and require repair before other living spaces because they are exposed to the elements. They suffer from rot, termite infestations, and wear, and the repair cost is heavily influenced by the damage type and amount of repair.
The national average cost range to repair a deck is between $500 and $3,000, with most homeowners paying $1,500 to resurface a 300 sq.ft. deck with replacement boards, stairs, and general maintenance services. This project’s low cost is $150 for replacing missing nails in a 300 sq.ft. deck. The high cost is $10,000 for repairing extensive termite damage on a 500 sq.ft. hardwood deck.
Deck Repair Cost
|Average Cost to Repair a Deck
|National average cost
Deck Repair Cost per Square Foot
The cost of deck repairs depends on various factors, including the materials, repair type, and labor. Some contractors and repair companies have set prices for each job, but others may adjust based on the problem size and charge by the square foot. Homeowners pay between $10 and $55 per sq.ft. for deck repair. Some jobs are quick and easy like replacing loose nails or power washing part of your deck, but others take longer and cost more, such as reinforcing a sagging deck or repairing a deck with extensive rot damage.
Average Cost of a Deck Repair by Material
One of the most important factors in deck repair is the material. Many decks are made of wood, but other materials like fiberglass and composite can also be used. The costs of repairing and replacing these materials vary between $10 to $55 per sq.ft. The table below shows common deck materials and average repair costs for each.
|Average Repair Costs per Sq.Ft.
|$10 - $30
|$10 - $40
|$10 - $55
|$15 - $40
|$15 - $40
Vinyl Deck Repair
Vinyl deck repair costs between $10 and $30 per sq.ft. Vinyl is one of the most affordable materials for decks but also the least durable and most prone to developing holes, scratches, and peeling sections. Common repair methods for vinyl decks include patching holes and other imperfections. It is common for vinyl decks to develop a white or chalky color, so they may need cleaning or restoration.
Metal Deck Repair
It costs between $10 and $40 per sq.ft. to repair metal decks. Metals like steel and aluminum can be used for decks. These materials are strong and resistant. You do not need to worry about bugs, rot, or splintering with a metal deck, but you may have to deal with scratches and dents that need to be buffed out and loose fasteners that must be reinserted to secure the structure. The table below shows how costs vary depending on your deck’s metal.
|Average Repair Cost per Sq.Ft.
|$10 - $35
|$15 - $40
Wood Deck Repair
The average cost to repair wood decks ranges from $10 to $55 per sq.ft. This wide range is because many woods can construct a deck, including redwood, cedar, mahogany, and pressure-treated wooden decks. Prices may vary depending on the wood type because some are less expensive and easier to work with than others. Wood is a strong and elegant choice as a decking material but is prone to bug infestations, rotting, splintering, twisting, warping, and shrinking. Wood decks may need patching, replacement sections, and restoration. The table below shows different wood types and costs for repairing each.
|Average Repair Cost per Sq.Ft.
|$10 - $30
|$12 - $35
|$15 - $45
|$25 - $55
|$25 - $55
Fiberglass Deck Repair
Repairing fiberglass decks averages $15 to $40 per sq.ft. Fiberglass decks are a composite deck made with mixed materials. This is a low-maintenance, strong form of decking but prone to various issues. The top coat may crack or flake due to exposure, and fiberglass deck sections may get dented, scratched, and damaged from bad weather or accidents, so they might need patching and restoring.
Composite Deck Repair
Composite deck repairs cost $15 to $40 per sq.ft. Composite decks are made with several materials like wood, plastic, and vinyl. They are low maintenance and do not have the same water issues as wood decks. However, the boards can get stained, discolored, scratched, and damaged in other ways because of impacts and accidents.
Deck Repair Cost by Type of Repair
Decks last for many years and are typically made from strong, hard-wearing materials. However, they can also be regularly exposed to rain, snow, frost, different temperatures, insects, heavy foot traffic, and other hazards. This leads to various issues with your deck that may need to be repaired. The table below shows common forms of repair, complete with average costs for each.
|Type of Repair
|Average Repair Costs
|$10 - $35/square foot
|$15 - $30/linear foot
|$25 - $100/linear foot
|$15 - $50/step
|$100 - $300/joist
Repair Deck Boards
On average, repairing deck boards costs $10 to $35 per sq.ft. Boards of different materials can get damaged from scratches, stains, cracks, warping, and wear. You can patch the affected areas if the damage is superficial, sand away stains, or use epoxy or putty to fill holes or cracks.
Deck Flashing Repair
The average cost to repair deck flashing is between $15 and $30 per linear foot. Deck flashing is made of metal strips that serve as a barrier between the deck and the home to prevent moisture from entering cracks or openings. Flashing rarely needs to be repaired, but it may become cracked, dented, or loosened, so it may need refastening or patching.
Deck Railing Repair
Repairs to deck railings range from $25 to $100 per linear foot. The price is based on the railing type and material and how easy it is to access the affected area. Railings can stain, scratch, dent, and break, but the affected areas can be patched if the damage is not extensive. Deck railings may also require resurfacing if they get faded and scratched. They might also need reinforcing if sections rot or break.
Repair Deck Stairs
Repairing deck stairs costs between $15 and $50 per step. Prices vary greatly, depending on the materials. Like boards and other parts, stairs can develop cracks, rot, and peeling. They may require sanding, patching, or refurbishment. It is important to fix stairs if they become loose or rot because they could become a safety hazard.
Repairing Deck Joists
Repairing deck joists costs between $100 and $300 per joist. The main issue with deck joists is rot or wear from exposure and extreme temperatures. A common repair method is to fit a sister joist on the existing joist over the damaged area to reinforce the structure. The rotted section may also need to be dug out and replaced in some cases. Joists may also suffer from holes and cracks that need patching.
Deck Repair Cost by Replacement
Some parts of your deck may be damaged beyond repair and must be replaced. You might need new railings if the old ones are cracked and broken or new joists due to rot damage. The cost of deck replacement parts varies massively because some parts are much less expensive and easier to fit than others. Factors like size and material also impact the final price. The table below shows common replacement deck parts and average costs for each.
|$15 - $55/square foot
|$30 - $60/each
|$50 - $250/linear foot
|$150 - $350/each
|$200 - $400/each
|$300 - $400/each
Replace Deck Boards
Replacing deck boards costs between $15 and $55 per sq.ft. This is one of the most common repair types because boards crack, break, rot, swell, or warp from water or weather conditions. Boards that are too damaged need replacing, and you may have to pay an extra $200 to $500 in disposal to remove the former boards.
Replace Deck Stairs
Replacing deck stairs costs $30 to $60 per step. The costs are higher when replacing the entire steps with stringers. It may be less expensive if you only replace the treads and risers. Costs also vary based on the material because metal stairs may be much more expensive to make and fit than wood stairs. You may also have to pay around $200 in disposal for the old stairs.
Replace a Deck Railing
The average cost to replace deck railings ranges from $50 to $250 per linear foot. The total project cost depends on the material because glass or cable railings are more expensive to remove and replace than wooden railings. Custom-made railings with unique patterns or styles also cost more to replace because of the intricate designs and the extra labor to reproduce them.
Replace Deck Joists
Replacing decking joists costs $150 to $350 per joist. Joists are often made from wood, which may rot, warp, or wear, and they are essential for your deck’s structure and solidity. They may need to be replaced if they get too weak or damaged. This project’s cost may be higher than average if the joists are particularly large or difficult to access because this makes the job longer and leads to extra labor charges.
Replace Deck Posts
Replacing deck posts costs $200 to $400 per post. The exact price depends on the post material, installation method, and number of replacements. For example, a simple pressure-treated wooden post does not cost as much to replace as a more elaborate and thicker cedar post. You may also need to pay extra for disposal if you want the repair company to do this. Posts can get damaged from rot, weathering, and wear.
Replace Deck Footings
The cost to replace deck footings ranges from $300 to $400 per footing, but prices vary depending on the materials. The footings can be damaged from soil shifts or may need to be replaced if you plan an extension or reconfiguration. Footings may also get damaged beyond repair from the elements or other issues like pests and rot. The cost to replace footings may be higher if the footings are hard to access because this leads to extra labor hours and costs.
Deck Repair Prices by Problem
Many problems can arise with your deck, with most issues caused by lack of maintenance, exposure to the elements, pest infestations, and wear. Some problems are cheap and easy to fix, while others take more time, effort, materials, and money. Replacing a few loose nails is quick and affordable, but dealing with extensive termite damage takes much longer and costs more. The table shows common problems and average repair bills for a standard deck of around 300 sq.ft.
|Average Repair Costs
|Missing Deck Nails
|$100 - $200
|Screws Popping Up
|$100 - $200
|$150 - $500
|$150 - $500
|Creaky Deck Boards
|$150 - $600
|$200 - $600
|$200 - $2,000
|$300 - $5,000
|$500 - $10,000
|$750 - $10,000
Missing Deck Nails
Replacing missing deck nails costs between $100 and $200. This is one of the simplest jobs for deck repairmen, and it should not take long or cost much to have someone inspect your deck and insert nails. However, missing nails may be caused by rot or warping, so the repair bill may be larger if the professional finds these problems.
Screws Popping Up
Fixing deck screws that keep popping up or snapping off costs $100 to $200. This usually happens because of poor installation or issues with the boards moving around too much. The best solution is to remove the faulty screws and fit strong new ones in the correct places. A professional deck repairman can assess the problem and decide on the right screws.
The average cost to fix a hole in your deck is between $150 and $500. The total price depends on various factors, such as the hole’s length, width, depth, and your deck’s materials. For example, a small hole in a vinyl deck is much cheaper to fix than a big hole in a cedar deck. Usually, epoxy fillers and resins fill holes and are then sanded down to blend with the deck.
Homeowners usually spend $150 to $500 on crack repairs. This wide price range is because the costs vary depending on the crack size and materials. It takes more money and time to fix a deep crack in an expensive hardwood deck than patching a light crack in a less expensive material. Cracks may need to be filled with epoxy or resin and sanded.
Repairing creaky deck boards ranges from $150 to $600. This price covers standard board sizes of 5/4 x 6 inches. Various issues may cause creaking, commonly occurring with wooden decks as the wood warps and shrinks from moisture and temperature changes. Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix with new nails, screws, and fasteners. The repairman may also want to remove and replace the oldest and weakest boards or fit new joist brackets to tighten the deck and reduce creaking.
Deck Mold Removal
Dealing with mold or mildew costs $200 to $600. Mold and mildew can build from excessive moisture, and mold patches are unpleasant to see. You may be able to deal with this problem with a relatively mild power washer, which can be purchased or rented. Or, hire a professional to wash the mold or use chemical cleaning treatments, which is a much more expensive method but may be needed for serious mold infestations.
Repairing wobbly stairs costs between $200 and $2,000, based on a typical set of 8 to 12 stairs. The total cost depends on the scale of the required repairs and the materials. This wide range is because some stairs are easy to fix while others require new materials and reinforcement. Fixing a few wobbly stairs might be as simple as making a few adjustments to fixtures and fasteners and readjusting the position. However, the stairs might need replacing entirely in more severe cases, which can be expensive for materials like metal.
Deck Rot Repair
Dealing with deck rot costs $300 to $5,000. The price depends on how extensive the rot is, and it is much less expensive to fix small rotted areas than major rot damage. Minor rot damages can be fixed for between $300 and $700, but repair costs are much higher if the rot is left to spread because more of the deck needs fixing or replacing. Rot can seriously threaten any deck’s health and safety, and affected areas must be removed and replaced or reinforced.
Repairing termite damage averages $500 to $10,000, depending on how much damage has been done and the required repairs. The repair might be minimal if the termites are caught early, leading to relatively low costs to remove the termites and repair damaged wood. You need to pay for pest control to remove the termites and repair services to fix or replace the damaged deck parts if the damage is extensive, and this is much more costly. Termites can eat at wooden parts, causing holes, cracks, and broken sections in the planks, stairs, posts, and joists.
Sagging Deck Repair
Fixing a sagging deck costs $750 to $10,000. Decks sag for various reasons, commonly due to soil movement. A sagging deck is a big concern because it usually indicates serious damage to the deck’s structure and possible big issues with key parts like the joists and posts. The usual method to fix this is to jack up the deck and brace it to minimize future sagging. Certain parts, such as the posts, may also need replacement. Minor sagging issues could simply require a replacement joist, which is not too expensive, but issues with the foundation could require new concrete footings, increasing costs.
Deck Repair Prices by Solution
Depending on your deck’s problem, different repair methods or solutions may fix the problem and restore the deck. For example, deck resurfacing or restoration cleans and patches the exterior to make it look clean and new, or power washing may be needed if your deck is covered in dirt or mold. Below are some of the most common solutions used for decks, complete with prices for each, based on average damages to a typical 300 sq.ft. deck.
|Average Repair Costs
|$150 - $500
|$150 - $500
|$1,000 - $3,000
|$1,500 - $3,500
The average cost for deck patching is between $150 and $500, and this should be enough to patch holes or cracks in your deck, but you must pay more if the deck has many holes and cracks after a bad storm or due to poor maintenance. Patching fixes holes and cracks in the deck’s surface. A repairman usually fills the cracks and holes with filler material like epoxy or resin. They may then patch the damaged area with new material and sand it down to blend with the deck.
Deck Power Washing
Power washing a deck costs $150 to $500. This can be useful for cleaning dirt, grime, and stains and eliminating mold or mildew patches on the deck. It is a good option if your deck looks dirty and does not have the same aesthetic appeal as it once did. However, even though you may be tempted to do this yourself, it is usually best to call in a pro because some power washers may be too strong and could damage the deck or blast paints and sealants if used incorrectly.
Deck refurbishing costs between $1,000 to $3,000. Refurbishing a deck involves various processes, such as sanding or staining areas, cleaning marks and dirt, and helping the deck look fresher and newer. This process breathes new life into old, tired-looking decks that are a little faded but do not have serious issues that need fixing.
Deck resurfacing averages $1,500 to $3,500. Resurfacing, also known as restoration, is when an old and tired deck gets cleaned and has various repairs done to make it look newer and fresher. During this process, a professional replaces damaged parts like boards, railings, and stairs, and patches or sands superficial damages, leaving the deck as good as new. It is a good repair method if your deck has many small damages and needs freshening.
Labor Costs to Repair a Deck
Various professionals can perform deck repairs, including carpenters, general handymen, and specialist deck repair contractors. Licensed workers may charge $50 to $100 per hour for their services, and rates vary from person to person and company to company. Some workers may charge by the hour for smaller projects like replacing some nails or patching a crack, while others have set fees for certain jobs. Workers almost always need to visit your property for a visual inspection to see how big the problem is before providing an accurate quote. The average call-out fee is $50 to $75, but you usually get the money back or deduct it from the final cost if you hire the workers to repair your deck. You might also have to pay additional fees in travel costs if the workers need to travel long distances to reach your home. You may need to spend $50 to $150 extra in emergency fees for urgent same-day or next-day deck repairs like repairs to broken joists or sagging sections.
Good maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your deck in good condition and preventing the need for repair. It also helps your deck stay intact and healthy after repairs. This is why many repairmen encourage you to check your deck after a repair and do your own visual inspections in areas like joists, posts, and steps for other damages.
You should also keep your deck stained and sealed to prevent future water damage, especially if you have had issues with rot and water problems. Keeping the deck clean is important, which involves using brushes to sweep dirt and debris and appropriate power washers to clean surface stains and marks as they appear. You may also want to schedule deck inspections from a trusted contractor, with costs ranging from $25 for quick check-ups to $200 for more in-depth inspections.
Deck Repair vs Replacement Cost
It can be tough to decide if your deck only needs repairs or replacement. The general rule is that if the cost of the repairs comes close to the price of a new deck, consider a replacement. Deck replacements cost between $20 and $62 per square foot if you look for a same-sized deck, but prices can be higher for a larger deck.
Replace the deck if it has serious structural issues and requires new beams and joists. Your deck has likely reached the end of its lifespan and needs replacement if it is more than 20 years old.
On the other hand, if your deck is structurally sound and only needs new decking, a new railing, and a few other repairs, you can repair it for a fraction of the cost and likely get many more years of use. The prices below are based on a 300 sq.ft. deck.
|$500 - $3,000
|$6,000 - $18,600
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Sealing your deck is great to help preserve it. Sealing the deck creates a barrier on its surface to protect it against moisture. This can be an essential form of maintenance for wooden decks, reducing the risks of rot. It costs $550 to $850 to seal the entire deck.
Deck staining is an alternative to sealing that alters the deck’s color while sealing it. This gives you several benefits, such as refreshing the deck’s look and protecting it. Choose from various stains, from transparent stains that show the wood’s natural color and grain to solid stains that completely change the appearance. It costs $550 to $850 to stain the entire deck.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Old decks. Decks over 10 years old should have their joist system inspected. Joists wear, and it is best to repair them promptly to avoid structural issues.
- Permit. Minor-to-moderate deck repairs likely do not require a permit, but major changes do. Check with your municipality to find out if you need a permit.
- Handyman. If you only need a few small changes, consider hiring a handyman, who likely charges less for materials and labor than a full decking company. Decking professionals are recommended for more serious repairs.
- Lumber delivery. Delivering a large amount of lumber may require an additional fee. This varies by company and if the installer picks it up for you. Most delivery fees start at $50.
- Saving money. Most decks are built and repaired during the warmer months. Repairing your deck between November and March may save money.
- Removal. Completely removing a deck, including demolition and proper disposal, costs $500 to $1,000.
- Disposal. If you remove and replace old parts, some companies charge extra, up to $500, to dispose of the old items. Check with your contractor to find out their policy on disposals.
- Time of year. Deck repairs tend to be most expensive around at the end of winter and the start of spring as people prepare for the summer. You usually pay less if you fix your deck from late summer through fall.
- Elevation. In some cases, the deck might need elevating to fit with the house, which involves installing concrete footings and posts, raising costs. However, elevated decks may be less expensive to repair because they usually offer easier access to areas like the joists and posts.
- Is it cheaper to repair or replace a deck?
It is usually much cheaper to repair a deck than replace it because this involves fewer materials and less labor.
- How much does it cost to replace rotted wood on a deck?
This depends on the wood type because some woods cost much more than others. Replacement wood costs $10 to $55 per sq.ft.
- How much will it cost to repair my deck?
The cost of repairs varies depending on what needs to be repaired and the materials. The average deck repair cost is $1,500 but can go much higher.
- How do I know if my wood deck is rotten?
Try pushing the tip of a screwdriver into it. If the tip sinks into the wood, it is rotten.
- Why are my deck boards rotting?
Boards rot because moisture penetrates them and becomes trapped. Improper sealing, staining, or maintenance may cause this.
- How long should a deck last?
A deck should last 20 years but may last longer with proper maintenance.
- How do you know when to replace your deck?
Consider a replacement if the repair cost approaches the replacement cost. Replacement may be best if your deck is older than 20 years or has softening wood in the beams or joists.