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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck in 2024?

Friday, December 22, 2023

Adding a nice deck to a beautiful backyard can make it look even better. In the summer, you can use the deck to host family events and barbecues. People may build decks to increase the value of their homes, to make them look better, to reduce the cost of landscaping, or to create space for entertaining. If a homeowner thinks a deck will be a great addition to their backyard, they may wonder how much it costs to build one.

The total cost of building a deck depends on many design factors. Such as the size of the deck, materials, structural needs, design, additional features, and more. How much does it cost to build a deck? Data from Angi and HomeAdvisor show that the cost of building a deck ranges between $4,141 and $11,713, with an average cost of $7,913. When you invest in a deck for your home, the value of the property goes up quickly.

If you want to build an outdoor deck, then get the information you want from this blog. This guide can help you learn more about decks. Such as the different types of decks, the benefits of building a deck, ways to save money on your project, and questions to ask potential contractors before you hire them.

How to Calculate the Cost of Building a Deck

The cost of building a deck depends on the size of the deck and the complexity of the planning and design. The cost of a deck is also affected by the type of materials used, the design style, and the type of base required.

In addition, building a deck is a complex task, and therefore professionals should be hired. Only homeowners who are skilled and confident that they can build a safe structure will choose to build a deck on their own. And do-it-yourself deck installation can save a lot of hiring costs. These factors are examined in detail below.

Size of the Deck

The size of the deck is a major factor in the overall cost of the deck. A small 8-foot by 10-foot deck costs between $2,400 and $4,800 and requires fewer materials and workers.

A 16-foot by 20-foot deck, however, will cost between $9,600 and $19,200. When building a deck, most people spend between $30 and $60 per square foot. Any unique features, variations, or accessories can drive the price up.

Cost-to-Build-a-Deck

Deck Materials

Deck lumber typically costs between $2 and $45 per square foot. Lumber, composite decking material, and PVC are the three most commonly used materials. Pressure-treated lumber costs about $15 to $25 per square foot.

If wood is chosen, one should also consider the cost of painting or staining the deck. The cost of building composite decking ranges from $2 to $12 per square foot. Branded Trex composite decking costs $5 to $10 per square foot.

While COOWIN’s composite decking costs $2 to $4 per square foot. The reason COOWIN brand composite decking is less expensive is because they are factory direct. Therefore, it is more suitable for the group of people who buy composite decking in large quantities.

MaterialCost per Square Foot (Materials Only)
Aluminum or metal$15 to $20
Bamboo$3 to $10
Cedar$4 to $9
Composite$4 to $12
Ipe$5 to $20
Mahogany$8 to $11
Pressure-treated$15 to $25
Redwood$4 to $6
Trex$5 to $10
COOWIN$2 to $4

Deck Design

If the outdoor deck has a lot of complex features. For example, multiple levels, fancy railings, built-in benches or grills, or if the deck is built on a second story. Then building a deck will be more expensive. That said, it may cost more to build a wrap-around deck than a simple single-level deck on the back of the house.

Foundation

Decks that have to carry extra weight, such as a hot tub, need to be supported by a poured concrete foundation. Elevated decks require additional beams and foundations for safety reasons. However, smaller decks attached to the house may only need concrete blocks. Installing a deck foundation typically costs between $25 and $300 per stringer.

Construction and Permits

Hiring someone to build a deck costs about $15 to $35 per square foot. The cost depends on where you live, the size of the deck, and the materials used. On average, it costs $225 to $500 to get a building permit for a standard deck.

Additional Costs and Things to Consider

After discussing the need for a custom deck with a deck designer, a homeowner may want to add additional amenities. Such as a roof, deck skirting, built-in kitchen, accessories, etc. The old, broken deck may also need to be removed first, which will require additional costs.

Removing an Old Deck

If the old deck is not repairable or does not fit the homeowner’s style. The homeowner will then have to remove the old deck before building a new one. The footings may need to be dug out and rebuilt to accommodate the new deck. It may also be possible to reuse and add footings. The cost to have a professional help you remove the old deck and footings is about $5 to $15 per square foot.

Cost-to-Build-a-Decking

Seasonality

In some places, it is possible to build a deck during the winter months. Many homeowners may choose to do this because it’s not peak season yet. So deck contractors have more time to get the job done. Building permits are also easier to obtain because there is less construction activity in the winter.

Features and Add-ons

Adding a roof to a deck can cost an additional $3,000 to $10,000. Installing lights can cost from $8 to $30 per bulb. Enclosing a deck costs about $50 per square foot.

Many times, outdoor furniture costs at least $500. People may want to add misters ($2,100 to $3,400) or heaters ($100 to $300) to their decks to make them more comfortable year-round. For another $650 to $6,100, you can add a hot tub.

Deck FeatureCost
Built-in Seating$100 to $8,000
Electricity$130 to $300 per outlet
Enclosure$50 per square foot
Firepit$100 to $2,000
Furniture$500+
Heater$100 to $300
Hot Tub$650 to $6,100
Misters$1,800 to $3,100
Outdoor lighting$8 to $30 per fixture
Planters$10 to $1,000 apiece
Roof$3,000 to $10,000
Walkways$1,200 to $2,400

Deck Skirting

To cover the open space underneath a raised deck and make it look better, you can install deck skirting. Skirting can cost anywhere from $2 to $50 per foot. Deck skirting can be made of metal, wood, or PVC board.

Electrical Work

As an added feature, it’s helpful to have an electrical plug installed on the deck. This is especially true if the deck is not connected to the house. Many deck builders have electricians who can safely connect power to different parts of the deck. One would need to pay anywhere from $130 to $300 per workshop. If you want to install a hot tub, you should let the electrician know how much power is needed.

Freestanding-Decking

Deck Railing and Stairs

The average cost of building a deck sometimes includes basic railings. However, taller decks, second-story decks, and additional stairs usually cost more. It takes longer and costs more to install stairs and railings than it does to lay deck boards.

Prices range from $35 to $210 per foot of railing and $25 to $50 per stair. In the table below, you can see the price per foot for different types of deck railings.

Railing MaterialCost per Linear Foot (Material Only)
Cable$115 to $175
Composite$80 to $165
Glass$140 to $210
Metal$55 to $85
Wood$40 to $60

Deck Covering

For homeowners living in rainy areas, it’s a good idea to have a covered deck so they can use it year-round. You can protect your deck from the weather by partially covering it or adding a roof over it. The average cost to cover or enclose a deck is $50 per square foot. However, depending on the material and size of the deck, the exact cost may be higher or lower.

Styles of Decks

Typical decks are square or rectangular with straight lines that do not add extra cost. If a homeowner wants a herringbone design, diagonal stripes, or other special patterns, there is an additional 20% charge for labor and materials.

Care and Maintenance

A few years after a deck is built, it often requires some maintenance to restore its appearance. Composite decking does not deteriorate over time and does not require much maintenance other than regular cleaning. Solid wood decks, on the other hand, need to be resanded, stained, or preserved at least once a year. Wood decks can cost roughly between $550 and $1,300 to maintain.

Sealing a wood deck is also a good idea. Any badly damaged railings or boards will also need to be repaired or replaced. A professional can help you check the base frequently. Finally, you can refresh your deck by painting it every two years with the best deck paint.

Build-Deck-Boards

Cost of Building Different Types of Decks

If you build a deck instead of a patio, you have more options for where and how to set up your outdoor living space. Decks are usually adjacent to homes, but decks can be placed almost anywhere. Decks can also be more than one level, or built entirely on the ground. Each of these variations can make things more complicated and change the total cost. Below is a list of the cost per square foot for different deck options.

Deck TypeCost per Square Foot
Elevated concrete$30 to $75
Floating or detached$20 to $60
Multilevel$30 to $75
Ground-level$10 to $20
Second-story$40 to $50

Elevated Concrete

Elevated concrete is a sturdy deck material, but it costs more than other materials. However, once a concrete deck is built, it doesn’t require much maintenance. In order to withstand the extra weight, the foundation of an elevated concrete deck needs to be made of steel or concrete. The cost per square foot to build an elevated concrete deck is expected to range from $30 to $75.

Floating or Freestanding Decks

Floating decks typically cost between $20 and $60 per square foot. It can be built anywhere on the land as long as it is not attached to something else such as a house. This type of deck is low to the ground and requires additional support to keep the deck safe in the long run. Freestanding decks are popular with those who don’t have space next to their house.

Build-a-Freestanding-Deck

Multi-Level Decks

Multi-level decks may be a good option for people who want to use their deck over a larger area or on uneven ground. If your backyard is unusable because of the steepness of the ground, building a wide, multi-level deck can make the space flat enough for you to have fun. Multi-level decks with a sturdy base, extra railing, and stairs average about $30 to $75 per square foot.

Ground Level Decks

Because they sit flat on the ground, ground-level decks are very easy to assemble. They do not require bracing, stairs, or framing. As a result, a ground-level deck is like a patio. For this reason, ground-level decks are also the least expensive option at about $10 to $20 per square foot.

Second-Level Decks

One of the most common types, second-story decks extend from the second floor to the first floor of a home. Being higher off the ground, they require stable pillars and a sturdy base. Second-floor decks typically cost between $40 and $50 per square foot to build.

Multi-Level-Deck-1

Why is Building a Deck a Good Idea?

Decks are a popular outdoor decoration for people who like to relax and gather with friends. A deck is a good investment because it can help a property appreciate in value. Old decks need to be repaired or replaced in order to keep people safe and increase the value of a home.

Replacing a Damaged Deck

Any deck that is not built on a strong foundation will become rickety over time. If the deck is not properly maintained, nails may show through and joists may come loose. Wood may have rotted, all of which are safety concerns.

You can help people decide whether it’s cheaper to fix the deck or replace it with a new one by doing a quick inspection. At first, the cost of fixing the deck may be less than the cost of replacing it. However, if the deck is in poor condition and needs frequent repairs, the cost can add up quickly.

Real Estate Appreciation

Even though building a deck is easier than building a home, the return on investment for residents can be as high as 80 percent. If you’re looking to sell your home, adding a deck is a great way to make it more appealing to buyers. They should know that a badly damaged or worn-out deck can reduce the value of the home.

Composite-Decking

A More Attractive Appearance

The design of the deck and the accompanying items can be changed to suit the needs of the homeowner or future homeowner. This freedom is appealing to both people who want to buy a home and those who already live there. This is because they can utilize the same room to create an outdoor space that fits their personal style.

More Storage Space

Some homeowners like to store items on their decks, even if the deck is not covered. A flat deck gives you a stable place to keep extra things neatly organized. Instead, you can put tools or storage boxes on uneven ground and let water seep in. People may even want to keep their machines on the deck instead of building a shed for storage.

Reduced Landscaping Efforts

With a nice deck, people won’t have to worry about gardening and yard work. This is because the deck takes up more space on the patio. Composite decking is easier to take care of than cleaning up the lawn and pulling weeds.

Build-A-Ground-level-Deck

More Space for Entertaining

One of the biggest benefits of building a new deck is that it provides you with more space. You can have barbecues and birthday parties with family and friends in the summer. If you have a small kitchen and dining area, adding a large deck over the kitchen entrance can quickly make your space large enough for large parties.

DIY yourself vs. hiring a professional to build a deck

When people are wondering how much it’s going to cost to build a deck, they should also consider whether or not they’re going to hire a skilled installer. People who prefer to do it themselves may jump at the chance to learn how to build a deck. Installing an exposed deck on your own costs 65% less than hiring a deck contractor to install it. So if you want to save money, you should consider this option.

However, most decks take three to four weeks to complete. This includes preparing the ground and foundation, purchasing materials, and fabricating the deck. Getting a permit can take even longer if you have to do it yourself instead of hiring a contractor.

Best-Composite-Decking-Brands

A solid foundation is necessary for any building that is going to carry a lot of weight, whether it is attached or not. If the construction is not done properly or the foundation is not strong enough, even if the homeowner is sure they know how to build a floating deck or other type of deck. They are also liable for any injuries that result from an accident.

Frequent problems with do-it-yourself decks include nails or screws falling out, uneven boards, bases that bend and can collapse, unstable stairs or railings, and more. These safety hazards are exacerbated if the deck has more than one level or a second level.

Most of these safety issues are solved if you hire a professional to build your backyard deck. They know how to find the best foundation for your yard and deck design. They know how to build a sturdy base so that the deck planks lay evenly so that no one trips or falls.

A deck contractor can help you figure out how to build a safe deck in a specific area, show you how to save money, and make sure you get all the materials you need. A professional company may also hire or work with a trained electrician if you need to power multiple outlets on your deck. Professional deck contractors are licensed, and insured, and may offer a warranty for their work, which can give you added peace of mind.

Composite-Deck

How to Build a Deck for Less Money

Building a new deck may seem like a huge and expensive option, but the benefits far outweigh the cost. For example, your home will be worth more after you build a deck. For homeowners, understanding how the size, materials, and design of a deck affect the total cost can help them find ways to save money. If you’re looking to save money when you build your deck, read the following tips.

Start by making a plan. Knowing how much you want to spend will help you choose the right style and materials.

Make a list of any limitations or restrictions. Make sure you know where your land boundaries are and find out if your city has any zoning or permit regulations. By knowing this ahead of time, you can avoid problems that could cost you a lot of money later.

Remove the old deck yourself. If you need to get rid of your old deck first, removing it yourself can save you money.

Simple deck design. It’s much cheaper to build decks without curves, extra steps, multiple levels, or built-in tools than it is to build decks with extra features. Design your deck according to your expenses and needs.

Composite-Decking-Board

Choose a deck that floats or is freestanding. Freestanding decks are the cheapest type of deck since they are not attached to anything else.

Use treated wood. While wood decks require more annual care and maintenance than composite decking, the initial cost of installing a wood deck is lower.

Build in the winter if you can. As the weather turns cooler, it may be cheaper and faster to have a professional build your deck in the fall or winter if you live in an area with mild winters.

DIY less difficult steps. Building foundations, railings and deck boards may be too difficult for most families. But if you know how to stain a wood deck, an installer may let you do it. That way, you won’t have to pay extra to have someone finish the deck.

Choose a common size. The standard lengths of wood are 8, 10, 12, and 16 feet. Building a deck in any of these sizes reduces lumber waste and makes it easy to calculate the cost of laying deck boards.

Get multiple quotes. If prices vary between contractors, getting several quotes can save you money. As long as they all have good reviews and references from past customers.

Composite-Decking-Boards

On Questions to Ask a Deck Contractor

If you live in a place where the building season is short due to the weather. Then finding the right deck builder may take some time. Homeowners need to plan their time in advance. People who want to know the cost of deck building should have a general idea of what to expect before they interview a professional. Asking the following questions can help people choose a good deck contractor and get a better idea of the costs.

  • How long have you been building decks?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Can you guarantee the quality of construction?
  • Can you show me your work?
  • Do you have local permits?
  • Can you check where my deck was built?
  • Have you built the kind of deck I want?
  • Does this plan work for hot tubs?
  • Which deck material do you recommend and why?
  • What kind of foundation will I need for my deck and yard?
  • How much will the roof cost?
  • How much will it cost to add plugs?
  • Can you give me a detailed estimate, including prices for materials and labor?
  • Do you require an immediate deposit?
  • When can I start and when do I finish?
  • What if I want to add something while you are building the deck?
  • What kind of maintenance and care does the deck require?

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