Cost Guide And Materials
Decks & Porches Costs
How much does a deck or porch remodel cost? You want a general idea of all deck costs before meeting with designers, deck or porch contractors. While these pros have likely been in the decking and porch business for some time, there are certain project and material costs they may not know. Therefore, deck research is imperative if you want to save a buck or two on your next deck or porch remodel.
Select Your Decks & Porches Project
Table of Conents
- Deck & Porch Cost Factors
- Deck & Porch Project Costs
- Deck & Porch Material Costs
- Deck & Porch Advantages & Disadvantages
- How to Amplify Your Deck
- Find A Pro
Deck & Porch Cost Factors
Before we get into the average costs of all decking and porch remodeling and installation projects, all homeowners must understand the factors that can increase or decrease the total project cost. You may see some familiar factors to other projects, but most are distinct to decks.
- Cost of Materials
- Railing Length
- Steps & Benches
- Built-in Features
- Removal of Old Deck
- Insurance Increase
- Price to Hire A Pro
- Personal Tastes
Your budget will always affect your total remodeling cost. After all, if you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it. If you have a smaller budget, you may have to forgo extra features like benches, steps or rails. As is the case with all home remodels, you must set a budget before starting the project. Those who do not set a decking remodeling budget will surely spend more than they intended.
Cost of Materials
The cost of your deck will largely depend on the wood chosen. Just like flooring, there are plenty of different types of wood to choose from for your new and improved deck. As you can see below, prices go from as little as $1/sf to as high as $41/sf.
Just remember that wood is not your only option when it comes to decks. You could also go with plastic wood, vinyl, aluminum or concrete. All three offer their own set of advantages and price points.
The higher the deck, the more material is necessary to complete. As such, higher decks cost more. You can think of it like a house. A two-story home with the same square footage will almost always cost more than a one-story home in the same community.
Your deck can take various shapes from a simple square to a unique s-shape taking up a majority of your backyard. As you can imagine, the more complex the shape, the more costly your deck will be.
Unique designs don’t only take more time to build, but more time to plan as well. Furthermore, they may require extra permits that a standard deck design would not.
Not all decks need rails, but if you built yours off the ground or are adding a deck to the second story, you should add them. Besides an updated look, rails are almost certainly required for higher decks (both from a permit and family safety perspective).
Furthermore, because they add a certain design flair to first-story decks, many homeowners install shortened versions of rails. If you add a partial rail versus a full rail, expect the price to go down.
Steps & Benches
You are most likely building a deck to give you, your family and friends a place to gather and hang out throughout the year. Therefore, you’re going to need a place for all of them to sit. As such, many homeowners install benches around the edges. Benches certainly increase the value of your deck and house when it comes time to sell.
Additionally, steps are another feature not needed, but nice to have nonetheless. They don’t add too much to your overall deck cost, so if you have the budget, considering installing deck steps.
There are other built-in features that are by no means required, but easily add to your decking experience.
Many homeowners install an outdoor Jacuzzi in their deck or go one step further and install an entire outdoor kitchen. For smaller built-ins, others install awnings, flowerpot placeholders, a fire pit or lanterns. Clearly, you have plenty of options when it comes to built-in deck and porch features.
Removal of Old Deck
If you have a current deck in place, removing it is not cheap or easy. It takes a lot of manual labor to remove every board from your deck. Therefore, if you have to remove an old deck, expect to pay an extra $1,000 to $1,500 for the entire project.
If you’re building a new deck, you most likely have to apply for a permit. Homeowners who have time can do this themselves, but more often than not, the decking contractor will pull permits. Unfortunately, both methods come with a cost. The total cost will largely depend on your city.
Any addition requires more insurance and as such, if this is your home’s first deck, chances are, you’ll see an increase in your homeowner’s insurance premium.
Price to Hire A Pro
All prices above assume you’re hiring a decking pro to build your deck. However, if you DIY, the only costs that come with deck building are material costs, permits, insurance and time.
Building a deck yourself can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars off your decking project. Beware, deck building is not easy. We do not recommend deck building for DIY beginners.
Nonetheless, if you’re up for the challenge, check out DIY Tips For How To Build A Redwood Deck.
Most deck options are very durable. However, some require more maintenance, like staining, than others. Those deck options that require little maintenance over time, such as concrete, will be more expensive than their cheaper alternatives.
Finally, the last cost factor for all decks and porches is your personal taste. If you love wood, there is no way you’re going to install a vinyl deck. If everyone in your neighborhood has a concrete patio, you’re probably not going to install a wood deck. Either way, your personal taste and current decking trends will affect your total deck or porch price.
Deck & Porch Project Costs
With all decking cost factors out of the way, we can jump into the most popular deck and porch projects. As you have already read, there is plenty you can do to your updated deck. When it comes to your backyard, you are only limited by your imagination (and budget).
The most prominent decking projects are:
- Build A Deck
- Repair A Deck
- Seal A Deck
- Build An Arbor, Pergola or Trellis
- Build An Awning
- Repair An Awning
Decking Building Cost
According to our decking installation cost estimator, the average price to build a deck is $6,148. Keep in mind, this price includes professional installation. As you read above, there are plenty of ways to decrease the overall spend.
Homeowners who build their own decks, purchase pre-selected decks or cheaper materials could pay as little as $1,500.
Deck Repair Cost
Like many other repair projects, the overall cost of your deck repair project will largely depend on the extent of the damage. While replacing a few old or rotted boards may be quick and inexpensive, a complete overhaul can go as high as $1,500.
Homeowners should note that while pros do charge for their labor (as they should), deck pros can often get discounts at your local lumbar yards or Home Depot and better match your replaced boards with your existing deck materials. Any such discount and expertise should not go unnoticed.
Deck Sealing Cost
If you have a wood deck, chances are, you must seal it at least once a year to prevent damage, protect it against the climate and remain attractive. The only wood decks that don’t have to be sealed are redwood and cedar. They’re both naturally rot-resistant.
But, much like building a deck, sealing a deck takes time. It requires a lot of manual work and decking pros know this. Therefore, if you hire a pro, plan on spending between $960 and $1,345. In terms of sealant, water-based sealants don’t last as long as oil-based sealants, but they are better for the environment.
Arbor, Pergola or Trellis Building Cost
We can all appreciate the sun, but in the heart of summer, some of us enjoy the shade once in a while. As such, many homeowners amplify their deck’s comfortability by installing an arbor, pergola or trellis above their deck.
Usually, all three are installed on the landscape, but those homeowners who spend a good amount of time on their deck during the day should consider a deck installation.
While the average homeowner pays anywhere between $3,847 and $4,745 to build an arbor or a pergola on their property, it can increase your homes curb appeal and resale value.
Awning Installation Cost
Another way to add shade to your deck is with an awning. Awnings are large coverings that attach to your home. They can extend out or retract based on the time of year.
While you can install awnings over windows, this project refers to decks and as such, is more expensive. A motorized retractable awning for a patio or deck can cost up to $3,500. If you don’t add a retractable awning, make sure it’s secure. Heavy winds and storms have been known to rip off poorly installed awnings.
Awning Repair Cost
When it comes to maintaining an awning, you will either have to clean the awning or repair it. You can of course clean the awning yourself, as all you need is a ladder, but if you hire the pros, expect to pay roughly $100.
In terms of repair, the costs can sadly add up quickly. Wind, snow, heavy rain and time can all wear on the material. If you have a permanent awning made from either heavy-duty fabric or metal, or if you own a retractable awning, the cost of repairs can be quite high.
See the average cost of awning repairs in your area.
Deck & Porch Material Costs
All projects above include professional installation. If you have the time and DIY skills, you can build or repair your deck yourself. While the deck may take longer to install, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. The majority of your costs will go towards materials.
Fortunately, ImproveNet has researched the average material costs for the most popular decking projects. If you are building your deck yourself, know the numbers, and their advantages, below.
Decking Material Costs
Ipe Hardwood Decking: Ipe is a rare wood that is much stronger than other types of wood used in decks. It has a slightly dark color that many people enjoy. It costs $3.50 to $5/sf.
Pine Decking: Pine is a very popular decking material that is easy to work with and environmentally friendly. It costs $5 to $11/sf.
Synthetic Wood Decking: This decking option requires less maintenance than real wood and has a longer lifespan. Composite decking is waterproof and will not crack, warp or separate. It costs $1,715 to $1,975 to build an average-sized synthetic wood deck.
Mahogany Decking: Mahogany decks have an attractive dense pattern, and the colors can range from a light blond to rich dark red. It’s a great wood for a deck that will stand up to children and not cause painful injuries to bare feet. It costs $8.03 to $10.55/sf.
Plastic Decking: Plastic can withstand the elements much better than wood and doesn't require any staining or painting. Recycled plastic wood is sustainable, long-lasting and very consumer-friendly. It costs $6.25 to $9.40/sf.
Pressure Treated Decking: Pressure-treated lumber will last longer than most other types of wood. As long as the deck is maintained and a sealcoat is applied annually to avoid the wood from drying out, a pressure-treated deck can last in upward of 10 years or longer. Prices start at $7/sf or range between $5.30 and $7.10/board.
PVC Vinyl Decking: This decking option is resistant to ultraviolet rays and will not splinter, rot, crack, peel, decay, chip, warp or need a lot of maintenance. It’s made to withstand extreme temperatures from -65 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It costs $4 to $8/sf.
Redwood Decking: Redwood is one of the most beautiful options on the market. It has been praised for its warm glow and straight, clear grains for years. Its durability depends on its heartwood grade. It’s environmentally friendly, but prices do range from $5 to $35/sf.
Teak Decking: Teak thrives in the outdoors. Unlike many other types of wood, teak is not porous and will not absorb water. In colder climates, this means that the wood will not freeze and then thaw, which is a process that often necessitates repair for the deck. It’s also very easy to clean and maintain. It costs between $7 and $41/sf.
Tigerwood Decking: Tigerwood offers a distinct look you won’t get with any other decking options. Tigerwood is not treated with any strong chemicals, as it is completely natural. Tigerwood is stronger than teak and California redwood. On average, it costs $6.87/sf.
Timbertech Decking: This decking option is very low-maintenance because homeowners never need to replace rotting or termite-damaged boards. Timbertech products can retain their original color and beauty thanks to the product’s ability to resist warping and insect damage. It costs $6 to $9/sf.
Trex Decking: Trex products can be cut into uniquely curved deck designs not achievable with conventional deck materials. It weighs as much as 70% more than lumber of the same dimensions, making Trex a very solid material. It can give your deck the look of exotic wood without harvesting endangered species. It costs $7 to $9.50/sf.
Composite Decking: Composite decking is a simple, yet expensive decking option that has gained ground over the years. There is no need to stain it, but furthermore, composite requires very little maintenance. In fact, you can just spray it with a hose. It can cost up to $5/sf.
Cedar Decking: Cedar is a very popular option that is attractive and produces natural oils that protect it from moisture, rot, weathering and decay. It does not weigh as much as pine or other hardwoods. It costs $4.63 to $7.70/lf.
Aluminum Decking: Aluminum is the most durable type of deck material on the market. Construction is less time-consuming than wood and is recyclable. It costs $10.01 to $11.20/sf.
Pool Decking Materials
Aggregate Concrete Pool Decking: Aggregate pool decks are resistant to most weather conditions and are low-maintenance. It can stand up to hot temperatures, has a non-slip surface and looks aesthetically pleasing in a key outdoor space. It costs $8 to $35/sf
Stamped Concrete Pool Decking: Stamped concrete is a more affordable option, when compared to other pool decking options, but holds the same advantages as aggregate. Stamped concrete is available in a number of styles, so you never have to worry about a lack of design options. It costs $12 to $13/sf.
Stained Concrete Pool Decking: Other than the obvious concrete benefits, stained concrete can match any color or design you wish. You can even stain it to look like natural stone. Fortunately, stained concrete is the cheapest concrete material out there. It costs $1 to $12/sf.
Deck & Porch Advantages & Disadvantages
When it comes to a deck, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages, but nevertheless, if you’re still on the fence after researching all the prices above, here are a few pros and cons to simplify your dilemma.
Deck & Porch Advantages
- Plenty of deck options to choose from
- Provides an outdoor living or sleeping area
- Provides a party space for friends and family
- Provides a play area for the kids
- Relatively easy to maintain
- Can increase the value of your home
- Can improve your curb appeal
- Most decks are pretty durable
- Can add a Jacuzzi to your deck
Deck & Porch Disadvantages
- Decks can be costly to install, repair and maintain
- You must maintain your deck
- Decks can accumulate mold if not properly maintained
- Deck repairs may be necessary over the years
- Decks can be expensive to remove
- Have to pull permits for a new deck
- Homeowner’s insurance could increase
How to Amplify Your Deck
Just like any aspect of the home, there are certain add-ons or décor items that bring it to the next level. When it comes to your deck or porch, just like your material choices, there are plenty of décor options to choose from.
- Flowers & Plants
- Fire Pit
To see how each can amplify your deck, please see Make Sure People Come To Your Patio With These 9 Décor Items.
Find A Pro
Now that you know all there is to know about decking and porch costs, are you ready to install a new deck or remodel your current porch. If so, ImproveNet can connect you with decking pros in your area.
It’s free to connect. Why wait?
Last updated on Apr 27, 2016
Decks & Porches
- Outdoor Jacuzzis
- Interlocking Brick Patio
- Aggregate Pool Deck
- Ipe Hardwood Decking
- Pine Decking
More Decks & Porches
- Stamped Concrete Pool Deck
- Concrete Pool Deck
- Stained Concrete Pool Deck
- Synthetic Wood Decking
- Mahogany Decking
- Plastic Decking
- Pressure Treated Decking
- PVC Vinyl Decking
- Redwood Decking
- Screen In Deck
- Wood Decking
- Screen In Porch
- Teak Decking
- Tigerwood Decking
- Timbertech Decking
- Trex Decking
- Composite Decking
- Cedar Decking
- Aluminum Decking