Average Cost of Building a Deck
Decks make great additions to homes in virtually any climate and they can be enjoyed all year long with friends and family. Besides barbecues, gatherings and family meals, there are a myriad of pros to adding a deck. Nonetheless, the final installation decision will largely come down to price. The cost to build a deck varies by size, location and whether or not you hire a decking pro. See all the costs of building a deck and determine if a new outdoor deck is right for you.
National Build a Deck Costs
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Table of Contents
- Cost to Build A Deck
- Building A Deck Cost Factors
- Deck Material Costs
- Deck Covers
- DIY or Hire A Pro
- How to Build A Deck
- DIY Deck Projects
- Find A Pro
Cost to Build A Deck
As you can see above, the average cost to build a deck hovers around $6,200. However, depending on the size or scope of your project, the total price can bulge up to $14,000.
We will get into all cost factors below, but in general, if you want to lower the cost of your deck installation, try to build it yourself, use cheaper materials such as Ipe or cedar and limit the custom upgrades like built-ins, fireplaces and so forth.
Building A Deck Cost Factors
There are plenty of reasons why certain decks are much cheaper than others. Those factors include:
- Built-in Features
- Removal of Old Deck
- Permits & Insurance
- Hiring A Pro
Cost of Materials
The material you choose for your deck will play a major role in your deck installation cost. As you can see on our decks and porches cost estimator, prices go from as little as $1/sf to as high as $41/sf.
You could also go with plastic wood, vinyl, aluminum or concrete. All three offer their own set of advantages and price points.
Simple decks result in simple cost. Complex deck designs increase the cost. Most professional deck builders will offer architectural design services in addition to providing pre-selected plans. If you're looking for something simple, such as a square or rectangle deck, a pre-selected plan might be best, and these options often come with specific price tags that are dependent upon the wood you would like the deck to be constructed from.
If you choose to customize your deck, however, your costs will likely go up, and this is especially true when your builder uses premium materials. Some custom decks that are built by professionals can cost as much as $8,000 or higher while pre-selected decks may be as low as $1,500. When thinking about a deck design, you'll also want to consider your long-term plans to stay in your current home.
If you choose to build a raised deck, you’ll need rails. After all, safety first. To no surprise, rails add to the overall cost of the project. Therefore, if you install a heightened deck, expect the overall cost to rise due to rails as well as additional materials.
Upgrades that you do not need, but would nonetheless amplify your deck will of course raise the overall deck installation cost. Whether you go with a custom Jacuzzi, a cover, a built-in fireplace or a full outdoor kitchen, all additions come with a price. So, if you are trying to cut costs, curb your imagination just a bit.
Removal of Old Deck
Removing an old deck is not easy and as such, pros charge a pretty penny to get the job done. You can do it yourself, but if you pay a pro, expect to pay roughly $1,250.
Permits & Insurance
Many municipalities require permits for a new deck. Furthermore, some insurance companies will raise your homeowner’s insurance once the deck is installed. As such, you must research all permit and insurance prices in your city.
Price to Hire A Pro
After materials, the biggest cost factor will be whether or not you hire a professional to build your deck. As you can see in the graph above, the cost will likely hover around $6,000. This is the price if you hire a pro. If you DIY, the only costs are materials and your time. Depending on how you value your time, the cost to build a deck by yourself should not exceed $3,000.
A deck is not a set it and forget it type of addition. Deck repairs and maintenance will be necessary, but some deck materials require less attention than others. As such, durable deck materials, such as teak or redwood, will cost more.
Deck Material Costs
Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to deck materials. There is a perfect deck material out there for every homeowner with any budget in any location.
See the most common deck materials below, along with their price. Keep in mind, this is just the price of the actual material. Installation is not included. For more insight into each one, please click their name.
- Ipe Hardwood Decking: $3 - $5/sf
- Pine Decking: $5 - $11/sf
- Synthetic Wood Decking: $1,715 - $1,975 (total)
- Mahogany Decking: $8.03 - $10.55/sf
- Plastic Decking: $6.25 - $9.40/sf
- Pressure Treated Decking: $5.30 - $7.10/board
- PVC Vinyl Decking: $4 - $8/sf
- Redwood Decking: $5 - $35/sf
- Teak Decking: $7- $41/sf
- Tigerwood Decking: $6.87/sf
- Timbertech Decking: $6 - $9/sf
- Trex Decking: $7 - $9.50/sf
- Composite Decking: $5/sf
- Cedar Decking: $4.63 - $7.70/lf
- Aluminum Decking: $10.01 - $11.20/sf
If you don’t live on the West Coast, chances are, you can’t use your deck for at least a third of the year unless you install a deck cover. When it comes to deck covers, you can either install an awning with screen or opt for full deck or patio enclosure (roof included).
To no surprise, deck enclosures are much more expensive. While awnings typically cost $2,000, full roof enclosures run closer to $14,000. Nevertheless, both radically increase the amount of time you can spend on your porch. Furthermore, patio and deck enclosures protect you and your deck from inclement weather, bugs, debris and much more.
DIY or Hire A Pro
A professional architect or deck builder will be able to assist you in finding affordable options that can add value and significant curb appeal to your property. Hiring a professional to build your deck may cost more than doing it on your own, but it means that you won't have to do the work yourself or put in the time. In addition, having a professional deck builder handle your project can give you peace of mind in knowing that your deck is built properly and safely. Regarding the cost of materials, some deck contractors are able to get discounts on lumber and other building supplies because they buy in bulk. This means that your material costs may also go down compared to attempting such a project on your own.
How to Build A Deck
If you want to challenge yourself and save a few thousand dollars, you can build the deck yourself. While the project is time-consuming and difficult, it can be done with persistence and of course, step-by-step instructions. See the quick glimpse of the project below or the full process at DIY Tips For How To Build A Redwood Deck.
- Determine design
- Determine deck materials
- Take measurements
- Dig postholes
- Install hangers and posts
- Build the corners
- Deck the framework
- Build the benches
- Finish up
DIY Deck Projects
As I said earlier, deck installation is not the only cost you’ll have to incur over your deck’s lifetime. There are plenty of maintenance items you have to take care of over the years. Furthermore, most repairs needs to be fixed ASAP to prevent injury or code violations.
Fortunately, many deck repairs and maintenance items can be done without the pros. See all our DIY deck projects below:
- 5 Maintenance Items Deck Owners Must Know
- Remove Your Deck Mold In 3 Simple Steps
- DIY Tips For How To Refinish A Deck
- Patio Door Replacement & Installation
- Make Sure People Come To Your Patio With These 9 Décor Items
Find A Pro
You have successfully researched all costs associated with building a deck. If you see potential and value a deck brings, get out there and start building.
As always, if you need a helping hand, ImproveNet can connect you with a local decking professional for free.
Last updated on May 10, 2016
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