How much does it cost to build a deck? The average price is $7,320, but most homeowners spend between $3,920 and $10,540. However, larger or more lavish decks can cost $17,000, and small decks might cost $1,600 or less. It’s about $21 per square foot to make a deck.
The cost of building your deck depends on the decking material, square footage, and other factors. Softwoods, such as cedar and pine, are, by far, the cheapest decking materials available. Though PVC, composite, and exotic woods are pricey, they’re often more durable in the long run. Let’s learn more!
Average Deck Cost
The national average cost to build a deck is $7,320. Likewise, the price range is between $3,920 and $10,540. You may expect to pay more than the average costs listed here if you use specialty materials, live in a rural area, or want other features/add-ons.
Deck Cost Calculator By Size (Per Square Foot)
Your typical deck size is about 300 to 400 square feet, so the average deck costs roughly $21 per square foot. High-class decks can cost up to $50 per square foot, though minimalistic options will cost around $15 per square foot.
Other Factors Affecting Deck Costs
How much does it cost to build a deck? Though you’ve learned the price by size and averages, here are the factors that might affect how much you spend:
Material costs for a deck range from $2 to $19 per square foot, which doesn’t include additional parts or labor costs. A pine deck might be beneficial if you have a smaller budget. However, composite decking or Ipe will resist the elements much better and could be the top choice for deck materials.
Cost Per Square Foot for Different Decking Materials
Here’s a breakdown of the cost per square foot for decking material only:
- Composite – $8.20 to $13.30
- Cedar – $3.40 to $6
- Pine (pressure-treated) – $2 to $3.75
- Ipe (exotic) – $9 to $16
- Redwood – $5.50 to $19
- PVC – $10
What to Consider When Choosing Decking Material
When focused on choosing your deck material, consider these things:
- Budget – Pressure-treated pine is ideal for homeowners on a tight budget. Still, Ipe decks will last 50+ years, and pine is only suitable for 10 to 15 years.
- Location – Composite decking material will hold up well in sunlight, but Ipe doesn’t get as warm as other wood decks.
- Outdoor Decor – Natural wood decking is the answer if you prefer a rustic look. Composite materials are customizable and can fit within your outdoor living space.
- Maintenance – PVC requires less maintenance than a wood deck
Composite Decking vs. Ipe
Ipe is also called Lapacho or Brazilian Walnut, an exotic hardwood found in South America. The cost per square foot is $9 to $16, and it’s highly durable and very beautiful.
On the other hand, composite decking is more eco-friendly and made of plastic and recycled wood. Composite decks usually cost $8.20 to $13.30 per square foot and are highly durable compared to wooden decks.
Let’s see how these two options compare:
- Durability – Ipe wood is often more durable than composite decks. It’s naturally resistant to weather, fungus, and insects and is denser than standard wood. Plus, it features a class A rating for being resistant to fire. Therefore, it lasts longer and might require fewer repairs as the years go by.
- Appearance – Homeowners like the natural beauty of Ipe, but there’s little flexibility. Composite decking comes in many colors and is customizable to your preferences.
Softwoods (Pine, Cedar, Redwood Deck)
If you’re on a budget, these options might work better:
- Pressure-treated Wood – Pine isn’t naturally resistant to the elements, so stain or seal it. However, it’s easy to install and low-cost.
- Redwood – This is beautiful and resistant to the elements. Plus, it won’t need any chemical treatments.
- Cedar – This is an attractive option from Canada and the Western US. The cost per square foot is $3.40 to $6.
Compared to natural wood decking, it’s pretty durable and looks great. Likewise, the price is right for many homeowners.
Choosing a simple deck design can save money. However, if you can spend more, you may consider these styles:
- Wrap-around Decks – These are often attached to the home and cost $5,200 to $17,600. They might be called platform decks.
- Intricate Designs – Decks can have intricate designs, such as curves. This can cost $4,610 to $18,085.
- Built-in Seating – These cost $4,245 to $16,040. It’s often better to get prefabricated seats.
- Raised Deck – A raised deck is great in flood zones and uneven terrain. You’ll pay $3,970 to $10,940 here.
- Floating Decks – These are called freestanding decks and aren’t attached to the home. They often cost $6,000 to $24,000 and require more maintenance than others.
- Multi-Level Deck – Building second-story decks can separate everything into parts. However, it can cost between $35 and $75 per square foot.
Before the contractor can build the deck, you’ll need to prepare the site for construction. This can include:
- Land-clearing costs
- Excavation costs
- Land grading and leveling
- Deck removal
Do you want a hot tub or the ability to stargaze from the deck? There are tons of add-ons available, such as:
- Railings – $25 to $30 per linear foot
- Privacy Screens – $20/panel
- Planters – $100 to $375
- Patio Bars – $175 to $1,800
- Misting Systems – $115 to $500
- Stairs – $175 to $1,650
- Lighting – $1,670 to $3,000
- Hot Tub – $4,500 to $10,000
- Heater – $100 to $375
- Furniture – $100 to $5,000
- Flooring – $750 to $1,600
- Fire Pits – $250 to $2,200
- Electricity – $30 or more
Here are some related services to consider:
Repair an Existing Deck
Deck repairs can cost $575 to $2,600, depending on the deck boards you have and the extent of the damage. Minor issues might only cost $150, but they could go much higher.
Installing a Pergola
Pergolas can add shade to the deck, which protects your furniture. It will cost about $2,100 to $6,000. If you wish to use teak or fiberglass, it might soar to $11,000 or higher.
Gazebos have solid roofs and offer more protection and shade than pergolas. Most cost between $5,365 and $9,025, depending on the square footage, style, and materials.
Most homeowners like to add a decorative walkway to the backyard deck. This can cost $1,080 to $2,160
DIY Deck Building vs. Hiring a Professional
Building your deck to save money is often tempting, but you might spend more.
Deck construction requires many things. For example, the equipment you’ll need can include:
- Mixing paddles
- Protective equipment
- Tape measures
- Speed squares
- Air compressors
- Table saws
- Power sanders
- Post-hole diggers
- Pneumatic nail guns
- Miter saws
- Impact drivers
- Circular saws
You will have to factor in these things to get the total cost for the deck project.
Depending on the type of material, you’ll pay $600 to $7,600 for a deck of 300 to 400 square feet. For example, pressure-treated wood requires $600 to $1,500 for decking material, while composite decking requires $2,460 to $5,320. That’s without a professional build.
It takes about ten days for an experienced professional to build a deck. However, you might take longer and must rent the equipment. Therefore, you could spend over $10,000, while an expert might only charge $5,000.
Building a Deck – Location
The cost of building your deck will vary by the location for these reasons:
Adding a deck will boost your home’s resale value, which could raise your property taxes. It’s wise to call the local tax collector to learn more.
Deck building will likely require a permit, and the prices and requirements will vary. Therefore, it’s wise to find this out before you get started.
The climate affects which materials to use. Composite decks work well in ice and snow, while Ipe decks fare better in the heat.
You can expect to pay higher labor costs if you live in the city or have a higher-than-normal cost of living.
If the materials are locally available, you might spend less. However, you must also remove the old deck and pay to dispose of those materials.
The new deck could increase your homeowners’ insurance premiums. Therefore, you should talk to the insurance agent before beginning a project.
Final Thoughts on the Cost of Building a Deck
Decks are excellent for entertainment and outdoor relaxation. However, choosing the options can be daunting, and you must focus on the cost of building a deck. Thankfully, working with a deck contractor like the ones at Austin Fence & Deck Builders is much easier.