How Much Does it Cost to Build a Deck?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

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A new deck can add value to your home and even make it feel like you have another room added onto your house.  The price of a deck can be all over the place since there are so many factors that come into play such as the materials it’s being made from, the size, where you live and the professional you’re using.

Deck by RentPPM, on Flickr
Deck” (CC BY 2.0) by  RentPPM

How much does a deck cost?

On average, pressure treated wood is going to be the cheapest way to go in terms of materials.  Plan on spending anywhere from $3 to as much as $18 per square foot depending on the type of pressure treated wood that is being used.  Refer to our table below for the most popular options, along with what most people are paying on average.

Type of Decking MaterialInstallation Cost (per square foot)
Azek Deck$9 to $13
Azek Deck$7 to $11
Cedar Deck$8 to $11
Composite$22 to $33
Concrete Deck$6 to $10
Genovations Deck$9 to $14
Insul Deck$3 to $5
Polypropylene-Based Decking$7 to $11
Pressure Treated Deck$1.50 to $3
Redwood Deck$18 to $30
Teak Deck$9 to $14
Tropical Hardwood$8 to $13

Common deck materials

Composites and Plastic:  Plastic composite-based wood will require little maintenance and common options include polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride/PVC.

The pros of composite

This material is extremely durable and can’t splinter like wood.

It will be mold proof.

No stain will be required; however, some can contain real wood and it can be stained to your desired color.

The boards will be hollow, allowing you to easily run wires through for lighting.

The cons of composite

Since this is a synthetic material, it won’t accept stain like wood does.

While it is durable and considered to be maintenance free, the price can be three to four times the amount of other materials.

If it were to ding, the board would have to be replaced 100 percent.

The material can retain heat easier, making it uncomfortable for those who live in warmer climates.

Natural Wood:  Wood is the most common option for homeowners due to the affordability and the beauty if offers.  Like composites, wood can come in many varieties, ultimately affecting the price.  Common species include redwood, ipe, a Brazilian hardwood, tigerwood, another Brazilian hardwood, cedar and bamboo.

The pros of natural wood

It will have a natural look and can resist pests.

Some wood, such as cedar, can resist rot, making it great for a wetter climate.

The cons of natural wood

It only has a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years, even if taken care of properly.

To retain its color, it will need to be painted every year.

Due to some of the soft edges, it can get beat up pretty quick.

Pressure Treated Wood:  As stated earlier, pressure-treated wood will be the cheapest option for those on a budget.  This wood, as long as properly sealed every year, can last for quite some time.

The pros of pressure treated wood

This wood is one of the most affordable options.

It can hold up well, lasting up to 40 years if taken care of properly.

It won’t dent and/or scratch easily.

Due to the chemicals inside pressure treated wood, pests won’t be attracted to it.

The cons of pressure treated wood

Some people don’t like the idea of chemicals inside the wood.  If burned, it could release toxic gases, making it hard to get rid of.

What are the extra costs?

Depending on the height, stairs and landings leading down to the ground are going to affect the price tag.  Most contractors are going to charge based on the height of the steps themselves, and on average, a staircase will cost anywhere from $450 to $1,500 depending on the height.

Decorative borders around the outside of the deck, as well as any electrical, ran through the deck for lighting, can be extra depending on what kind of lighting and design is required.  Lights can cost about $30 to $100 per piece, plus another $30 to $50 to install.

Some owners opt to install heaters to provide heat on the cooler nights.  A post heater, which mounts to the wall or hang similar to a table lamp, can cost about $100 to $350.  On the other hand, mister systems can be installed as well for those who live in a cooler climate and can cost around $100 to $250.

Adding seats around the deck can be an option if you want more than patio furniture.  Built-in benches can be an additional $300+ or so.

Additional features, such as flower boxes, benches, privacy wall, and built-in storage bins, will add to the total cost.  Flower boxes and benches, for example, can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 extra per object installed.

While standard railings will be included with a deck quote, special railings made of glass or metal can be added for an additional fee.  Cable deck railing, for example, can cost $1 per linear foot.

Consider the landscaping that will be needed around the deck after the job is performed such as a retaining wall, rocks and grass.  Also, if you want to add stones underneath the deck, many options are available.

Skirting around the deck that covers everything under the deck will run extra.

After the deck is completed, a stain or paint will have to be applied.  Some contractors will include this in the overall quote, while others do not.  The deck will then have to be stained annually to retain its appearance.

Permits will be required for most jobs, and depending on where you live, this can be an additional $50 to $100.

As an added cost, plan on your property taxes going up since the local city/town tax assessor will assume your property value will go up.

Demolishing a deck can add another $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the size and distance they have to travel to bring in a dumpster.

Home Advisor says you should be prepared to spend extra for the following:  grading, foundation repair, banding, staining, UV blockage, waterproofing, installing corrosion-resistant fasteners, framing, rails and/or installing stairs.

Tips to know:

When getting a deck installed, make sure it’s going to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Before hiring any contractor, always make sure they are licensed and insured.  To confirm, check the state’s licensing agency to make sure their license is currently active.

How can I save money?

It is always best to get a quote from at least two to four different contractors in your area to see what they can do for you.  Consider using HomeAdvisor.com to have contractors contact you with quotes for free.

Many deck contractors offer some sort of financing since most know that many pay that amount of money up front.  To take advantage, be sure to ask your contractor to see what kind of options are available.


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