How much does a deck cost ?

Adding a deck to your home is thought by many to be the most popular investment people make in terms of improving their home. It provides extra living space, comfort and can add elegance to a property. Recovering your investment in a deck is one of the fastest options too, as normally you can expect to get 75% of the installation cost back after only one year if you decided to sell your home.

How much do deck costs vary?

How much a deck costs you to install depends on various factors, but the main one is the type and quality of material you choose to use for the deck construction, so prices can vary from $15 per square foot if you opt for the ever popular pressure-treated yellow pine and the deck is very simple without stairs or rails, to cedar and redwood options which will come in at $30 or more per square foot. Nowadays there is also a range of ''green'' options which require less maintenance such as exotic hardwood and composite decking systems based on engineered vinyl and plastic-wood composite material.

Things that affect the cost of installing a deck.

Like trying to say how much a car might cost, there are various factors which will affect the final cost of your deck project.  Obviously the size of deck you choose will have a big part in determining the final cost. As a rough rule, if you double the size of the deck, you’ll double the price. Choosing yellow pine is still the number one option for most people because it’s the least expensive, but it also contracts, and can warp and splinter over time meaning that you’ll need to replace parts of it or repair it maybe sooner than you would expect depending on the climate where you live. Hardwoods like mahogany and cedar are much more durable, more expensive, but still need to be treated annually to keep it protected from the weather elements.

Design, or the functionality, will affect what you pay to get your deck installed. Adding a barbeque area, gated stairway, a gazebo, benches, low voltage lights or decorative flooring will all obviously impact on the final cost of the project rather than simply installing a basic deck.

Depending on the conditions where you want to install the deck, it may require a lot or little work to prepare the ground and foundations/supports for the deck. Site access and how high the deck will be, whether or not the contractor will be working at ground level or need to work from ladders to complete the construction, and if you want utilities run to the site can all contribute to pushing up costs.

Choose a reputable contractor to construct your deck.

Constructing a deck normally requires a building permit, obtainable from your local town planning authority. This will require plans typically, even for the most basic deck. Using a reputable contractor who can deal with plans, building regulations and inspections and get the job done will certainly avoid a few headaches for you, and it’s always nice to know that if anything does go wrong with the deck in the future, then the company will still be around to fix it.

Typical deck costs.

As a guide, here are some typical deck costs based on real deck projects:

A 12' x 16' rectangular deck with pressure treated wood, stone lower deck and four tread steps with normal finishing cost $34 per square foot.

An 18' x 20' deck with four full length steps, vinyl railing and using solstice cellular PVC decking material cost $43 per square foot.

you get what you pay for, and that inexpensive deck installed this summer may just be an eyesore in a couple of years and actually make your home less attractive, while a good quality, well designed deck will add value to your home and with a little maintenance and care will keep looking good and provide you will additional living space to enjoy for many years to come.

In order to get the best idea of deck costs in your local area, ask for quotes from different local contractors based on your idea for a deck so you can compare the work they will carry out and their prices.

To get a better idea of costs, here are some deck estimates from professionals.

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