How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?
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Installing a wood deck is a great addition to any home and gives us that connection to the outdoors we all need. Building a wooden deck is a great way to increase the overall value of your home, while also adding a great outdoor living space in the process.
There are several factors that can affect the overall cost of a deck, so you should consider the full scope of a project when planning your budget. You should also make sure you get multiple quotes from contractors to compare prices, experience and overall understanding of your project.
Try our cost estimator below to see the costs for building a deck in your area. Connect with a local wood deck contractor to get started on your outdoor addition today!
Table Of Contents
- Wood Deck Costs
- Types Of Wood
- Deck Size
- Additional Deck Features
- Considerations Before Building A Deck
- Wood Deck Maintenance
- Wood Deck Repair
- Taxes & Insurance
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Wood Deck Contractor
Wood Deck Costs
Having a wooden deck built can be a great way to increase the overall value of your home while also adding a great outdoor living space in the process. Wood decks come in a variety of styles and sizes, and they can be made of many different types of wood.
- The average reported cost of a new wood deck is $5,620.
- The minimum reported cost is $1,500.
- The maximum cost is an estimate of $10,000.
Several factors can affect the overall cost of a deck, so you should consider the full scope of a project when planning your budget. Make sure you get multiple quotes from decking contractors to compare prices, experience/expertise and overall understanding of your project. Most deck contractors will charge an average rate of $35/sf. Also, remember that materials are purchased per square foot.
Materials will play a large role in the cost of your new deck. The wood you choose, railings, fasteners, lighting and other miscellaneous supplies will determine how costly your deck will be. Choosing stainless steel screws might bump up your cost, but they will also last the lifetime of your deck. Decisions like this will ensure whether you have made a sound investment in your home.
Types Of Wood
There are many types of woods available, some of which are more durable than others. Today, the most common types of wood used for building a deck are:
- Pressure-Treated Wood
- Cedar Wood
- Pine Wood
Pressure Treated Wood
The average cost of pressure-treated wood is $2.35/sf.
One of the more popular materials, pressure-treated wood is known for being among the most affordable options. Pressure-treated wood is great for wet locations as it’s also resistant to rotting. However, decks made of this type of wood generally need to be re-sealed every other year, which can add to its overall costs.
Benefits of Pressure-Treated Wood
- Affordable, compared to other types of wood
- Very strong and durable
- Will last a long time due to durability
- Resistant to insects due to chemical treatment
The average cost of cedar wood decking is $3.75/sf.
Cedar is another common type of wood used for a wood deck. This particular wood has a natural beauty to it that pressure-treated wood simply does not. Cedar is also known for being easy to cut and work with, so this is an ideal material for those who want quick and easy deck construction. Cedar is popular on the West Coast, and it's rot-resistant.
It weathers to a beautiful soft gray. It’s soft and splinters easily. Treating cedar with penetrating sealers will maintain the wood's natural look. Those who choose cedar for your decks should opt for heartwood cedar, which is more durable than construction-grade cedar.
Benefits of Cedar Decking
- Has a vibrant color that adds visual appeal
- Produces natural oils that protect it from moisture, rot, weathering and decay
- Will not warp due to weathering or aging
- Cedar decking is grown from cedar trees in the U.S. and is processed locally
- Much lighter compared to pine or similar hardwoods
The average cost of pine wood decking is as low as $5/sf.
Pressure-treated pine wood will weather to an attractive gray, and it's cheaper than most other decking woods. It comes in different grades, so select the top grade for the decking material. However, because it’s infused with chemicals, it’s susceptible to changes in temperatures and weather patterns, meaning it continually expands and contracts. So, make sure you live in a relatively conservative climate if you want to install this type of decking.
Benefits of Pine Wood
- Very durable
- Considered environmentally friendly
- Easy to work with
- Less labor intensive, resulting in lower installation costs
- Outdoor pine deck can last up to 15 years with proper treatment
The average cost of redwood decking is $7.75/sf.
Redwood is typically the most expensive material used for installing a wood deck. Redwood is the strongest and most lightweight wood available, and it’s also naturally resistant to rotting. Redwood is most common on the West Coast, where prices are still within range. Those who live elsewhere may pay even more to have redwood shipped.
One big value is that it’s highly rot-resistant and does not need to be treated with wood preservatives. Sealers with UV protection will help maintain the wood's natural appearance. Redwood is soft, but weathers to beautiful gray in sunlight. It may darken in damp, wet places and can be lightened by washing with Clorox and water. A pressure hose cleans it very well and restores color. Decks made from redwood can easily last for decades.
Benefits of Redwood Decking
- Has a warm glow and very distinctive appearance
- Extremely durable
- Very resistant to insects and decay
- Redwood decking comes from redwood trees in the U.S.
- Environmentally friendly
The size of the deck can have a large influence on its overall cost. The average size of a deck is about 12x20 feet, but larger decks are becoming increasingly popular as well. Since they require more materials and more time to build, they can be quite expensive.
Homeowners should consider their budgets, the size of land you have to work with and the average size of decks in your neighborhood when determining your deck size.
Many homeowners like to have additional features installed with their decks. One popular option is adding built-in lighting to the deck itself. This is great for people who enjoy spending their nights relaxing on their decks with family or friends. Other popular options include adding built-in storage and seating, a grill for barbecuing or even an automatic misting system to keep the deck nice and cool during hotter months of the year.
These additional features may drive up the cost of the deck but are often a great way to make the most of the living space. Below is a quick breakdown of the cost factors associated with popular wood deck additions:
This is a great option for setting a calm and relaxing mood, while also serving as a safety feature. The average cost of outdoor lighting runs between $8 and $30. The cost of lighting for your deck will vary with light brands and deck size.
These are popular additions because of those chilly nights on the deck. The most common heaters are post heaters that can be placed anywhere on your deck. The average cost for outdoor heaters can vary between $100 and $300 depending on style, brand and output. Another great option is to install an outdoor fireplace. This option is not only functional and will keep you warm, but it will also make that time outdoors more special. The average cost to install an outdoor fireplace is between $1,400 and $20,000.
Misting systems are very popular additions to decks that are exposed to too much heat or for homeowners that live in warmer areas of the country. Misting systems can be as low as $25, but the average cost for an outdoor misting system generally runs from $100 to $150. The impact on your water bill is comparable to watering your lawn.
Seating is a must for any deck. From easy options like plastic patio chairs to furniture that feels like you’re sitting in your living room, the cost of your outdoor furniture will vary. For a set of four chairs and a table, the average cost for outdoor seating is around $350. If you want to go the extra mile, a full set of chairs, sofa, end tables and a coffee table will cost you close to $4,000. Finally, an awning would cost between $700 and $1,000.
If you’re looking to do some cooking and grilling on your deck, the cost options for an outdoor kitchen will vary. Mainly, the biggest cost factors will be the size of the outdoor kitchen and the appliances you prefer. Depending on the appliances chosen, the average cost for a basic outdoor kitchen will run you a couple thousand dollars. That’s not including a grilling set and other necessary tools for cooking and barbequing.
Considerations For Building A Deck
Homeowners who wish build a deck should find a contractor who specializes in this type of work. He or she will then be able to come out to one's home, assess the situation and give you a number of possible deck options in terms of price and features. This is a great way for homeowners to choose the deck that is right for you, both in terms of your budgets and you desires. It’s never a bad idea to compare deck prices among a few different competitors to ensure a reasonable price.
Homeowners should note that while building a deck is not cheap, it’s one of the best home improvement projects to add value to a home and yield high returns over time. Homeowners who do not plan on selling their homes anytime soon can still enjoy the benefits of having a wood deck for outdoor entertainment and additional living space.
Wood Deck Maintenance
Any homeowner considering installing a deck should be aware that there will be some maintenance involved to keep the deck in good shape. This maintenance includes:
- Staining the deck to keep it looking like new
- Sealing the deck to prevent moisture damage and splintering
- Inspect for signs of cracked or rotting deck boards
- Replacing wood slats as needed over time
A bit more work is required for those who wish to have a stain on their decks. In general, homeowners should wait until the time of the first deck sealing to stain the wood. This will give it time to dry out and settle from the initial construction, which is important for the wood to properly take the stain. Staining should always be done prior to sealing and can be done by the homeowners themselves or by hiring a team of professionals. Those with larger decks should hire a contractor as the process can be very time consuming otherwise.
Wood Deck Repair
As your deck begins to age, you’ll notice the small splits and minor warps. This is natural and will happen to even the toughest of woods. Homeowners can do some repairs, while others should be left to a local contractor. More serious problems may show that your deck is reaching its final days and will need to be replaced or restored.
Minor repairs such as a rot on a board or a nail that has popped up can be done yourself. Some damages that appear more serious will need to be checked by a contractor. Such examples include:
- Fasteners that are loose or no longer hold in place
- Soft boards due to water damage
- Visible rotting
- Loose railing posts
- Loose boards on staircase
These are damages that put the occupants at risk. If you feel unsure about the safety of your deck, have a contractor inspect it. An experienced contractor will be able to spot questionable areas and tell you what/why it’s damaged, as well as what to do in the future to avoid the damages.
How much these repairs will cost all depend on the original cost of your deck. Some decks may need to be completely replaced, while others may need a couple boards replaced. In any case, there are a few factors you must consider before work begins:
- Disposal: If you chose pressure-treated wood for your deck, you have to get rid of it properly due to the chemical treatment. The cost for disposal might be higher due to this.
- Permits: Replacing certain parts of your deck, like a railing, might require additional permits. For you, a deck is just an outdoor space to sit and hang out with friends and family. For an inspector, this is an addition to your home and is treated as such. If any lights, electricity, or gas are going to be repaired or replaced, then an additional permits is likely required.
- Demolition: Most contractors will charge extra for this service. The average cost for demolition is between $5/sf and $15/sf. If your wood and other materials are in good shape, the cost may be reduced because your contractor can re-use these materials for another job.
Taxes & Insurance
Your new wood deck project is an addition to your home, which also means it’s an addition to your property value and property taxes. While you’re planning your deck project, make sure you plan for this added value and added cost on your taxes. How much will be added all depends on the total cost of your wood deck project. That’s why it’s important to consider in the planning stage of your project.
While in the planning stage of your wood deck project, make sure you check your homeowner’s policy and see if a deck is covered. When you find the right contractor for your deck, ask for a certificate of insurance and make sure any permits needed are obtained. Ask your contractor to arrange a certificate of occupancy so that your deck is certified safe for a certain number of people.
DIY Or Hire A Contractor?
Building your deck yourself is a cost-effective option when looking at this project, but the real question is, can you handle it? There are a few factors that come into play when deciding to build a deck yourself: Which permits do I need? Do I have the correct insurance coverage? Do I have the necessary requirements for the stairs and railing? These can all factor into your DIY deck. If you do end up building your deck and any part of it becomes faulty, then any liability, injuries or damage fall on you.
The safest option when it comes to building a wooden deck is to hire a professional. This may be more expensive than building it yourself, but hiring a skilled professional can give you peace of mind knowing your deck is being built properly and up to code.
Find A Wood Deck Contractor
Overall, there are several factors that can ultimately influence the cost of building a wood deck. Regardless, many homeowners agree that a wood deck is a great investment that can be enjoyed for years to come.
If you’re ready to get started on your new wood deck project, let us help you connect with a local wood deck contractor that is ready to make your dream deck a reality.
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Last updated on May 2, 2017