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installing modern deck cost | deck cost per square foot

October 13, 2021

As an extension of your home life, outdoor decks hold an undeniable place. Before building your outdoor flooring, the cost of the deck is also a concern for everyone.

If a homeowner wants to build a 10x10 foot outdoor deck, the average deck cost is $2,200. Building a 14x20 foot deck cost $6,200. A 20x20 foot deck costs $8,800.

The cost of building an outdoor deck is about $22 per square foot, but the cost of the deck depends on the materials used, the size, the level of construction, and additional options, such as built-in seating or stairs.

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Average deck cost per square foot

The deck cost of building a deck is $22 per square foot, with most homeowners spending between $4,200 and $10,000 total. Decks built with inexpensive materials cost $13 per square foot, while decks built with quality materials cost $32 per square foot.

In other words, deck materials have a big impact on the cost of building a deck. Deck builder needs to choose the right deck material for your situation. In addition, the cost of labor to build the deck will also affect the cost of the deck. Labor costs range from about $8 to $20 per square foot, depending on the size of the outdoor deck, the materials used, the level of construction, the conditions in the area, etc.

Material Costs to Build a Deck

The three most common materials used to build outdoor decks in the United States are pressure-treated lumber, hardwood, and composite decking material. The figures mentioned within the article are averages and the exact price may increase or decrease in cost per square foot depending on where your outdoor living space.

Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood decking materials cost $6 per square foot. It is also the most widely used and least expensive option. It provides the basic needs of people with resistance to mold, insects, and decay.

Disadvantages of pressure-treated lumber

It is usually made of low-grade fir or pine, which is prone to warping and cracking with long-term use and therefore requires a strict maintenance program.

It is less water-resistant and when exposed to moisture or water, the metal fittings used to build the deck, such as galvanized nails and screws, fasteners, joists, etc., can begin to corrode. If repairs are made frequently to ensure the structural stability of the deck.

If you choose to build your outdoor deck with these deck boards, you perform regular maintenance work, including sanding, sealing, and staining.

Wood Deck Costs

The cost of materials to build a deck with natural wood ranges from $3 to $15 per square foot. Wood decks are beautiful and are preferred by many, however, they require more maintenance such as regular staining and sealing. The following are the most common woods used for trim.

Cedar Wood Cost

Depending on the grade selected, the material cost of cedar decking ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot. Cedar is a natural softwood that is naturally resistant to weathering, insects, and decay. However, it still requires regular maintenance such as sanding, sealing, and staining.

Advantages

Cedar is one of the less expensive materials used for a deck project.

Naturally resists weathering, decay, and wood-destroying insects, such as termites.

Cedar is easy to stain, seal, and does not warp with age.

Disadvantages

Cedar decking is not as strong as other hardwoods and is prone to scratches and dents.

Requires regular annual maintenance sanding, staining, and sealing.

Redwood Decking Costs

Redwood decking is the most common wood used in deck construction, and it costs $7 per square foot. Again, it requires regular maintenance to keep it working properly.

Advantages

Redwood is typically half the cost of composite lumber.

Mahogany is great for painting or staining.

Mahogany is naturally resistant to pests and fire.

Mahogany is not easily warped and is durable.

Disadvantages

If a mahogany deck is not regularly stained and sealed for maintenance, it can become moldy and damaged by the sun.

IPE Decoration Cost

IPE, also known as Ironwood, is a Brazilian hardwood that averages between $10 and $15 per square foot. It has a long life span, usually lasting 40 years or more. Of course, it is also the most expensive wood decking material.

Advantages

IPE has a life expectancy of over 40 years.

Ipe is three times harder than oak and will not scratch or dent like other types of wood.

Ipe requires little maintenance except for annual oiling.

Disadvantages

It requires special tools to drill and install in the wood

Ipe can cost up to three times as much as standard pressure treated lumber

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Cost of Composite Decking

The cost of composite decking material is between $10 and $15 per square foot, which is usually somewhat higher than the price of wood flooring. Composite decking looks like real wood, with a surface that mimics the natural wood grain, and can meet most people's needs. The composite decking material is made from a mix of recycled plastic and wood fibers, and its use can help reduce plastic waste and protect the natural environment.

Advantages of Composite Deck

Composite decks require very little maintenance

Composite decking never splinters or rots

Contains no chemicals that can corrode metal fasteners

Composite decks available in a variety of colors

Composite materials no staining or sealing required

Some composites can be used as "hollow" planks, allowing cables or audio cables to pass through the core.

Disadvantages of Composite Deck

If the product is stained, it does not regain its former luster as easily as the wood deck because it cannot be sanded.

Price is somewhat higher than pressure-treated lumber

Cost of building a deck staircase

If you need to build deck stairs, then calculate the cost of deck stairs based on the number of steps required. A rough calculation of the price of deck stairs is $40 per step. Adding a few steps will make a nice transition from the yard to the deck. Depending on the size of the yard, one set may be sufficient, although you may choose to add steps to either side of the deck.

The difference in cost depends on whether you want an open vertical space between each step, or whether you want to close it off with matching risers. In addition, the concrete foundation for each set of steps used for support is $50.

Cost to Install Deck Railings

The average deck cost to install deck railings is $20 per linear foot, depending on the materials used to build the deck. Typically the railing will not be on all four sides of the deck, as one side of the deck will be along with the house.

Deck Fireplace and Fire Pit Costs

After fall, you may need to add a fireplace or fire pit to your deck to ensure that you can use your outdoor deck even after the temperature drops. You may need to spend $200 to $500 for a store-bought heater, or $2,700 to $6,500 for a custom built-in solution.

Fireplace options start with a small, wood-burning, self-enclosing metal structure with metal mesh side panels that allow heat to escape from all four sides.

A firebox costs about $1,000 and acts as an indoor fireplace, allowing heat to pass only through the front.

Products from $1,400 to $6,500 are typically installed in a tall vertical structure similar to an indoor fireplace with its own chimney. These products can also be used as wood-burning or gas fireplaces.

Cost of Adding a Decked Hot Tub

Many homeowners want to enjoy the pleasures of a water bath on the inside of their patio, so they choose to install a hot tub on their deck. The average cost of a hot tub is between $4,000 and $15,000, depending on the size, features, and model of the tub.

For a hot tub installation, you can simply set the hot tub directly above the deck or, if your deck is slightly elevated, set it in a cutout. If the hot tub is to be recessed, some form of the inlet will need to be created to provide access for any maintenance that may be required for the hot tub pump or electrical setup.

Cost of maintenance

With natural wood decking, annual maintenance and repairs are an important part of the process. With a lot of maintenance, your wood deck can last 25 to 40 years before it needs to be replaced. However, if your deck is not maintained, its lifespan can be greatly reduced to 10 to 15 years.

Cost of Deck Staining

The average cost to sand, stain and seal an outdoor deck is $1 to $3 per square foot. If you only have a small area to repair, you can purchase a sealer and stain and complete this part of the project yourself.

Stains - Available in opaque or semi-opaque stains in acrylic latex, oil, or latex. Can cover up to 400 square feet of wood surface for $30-$45 per gallon.

Wood Finishes - Available in clear or waterproof finishes. Covers up to 400 square feet of the wood surface and costs $16-$80 per gallon.

Cost of sealing decks

A typical wood sealer is about $20 per gallon and can easily be applied yourself.

Wood Water Sealer - Covers 225 to 325 square feet of sanded lumber with an initial coat of 125 square feet on rough sawn lumber for $16-$18 per gallon.

Wood Preservative - Covers 100 to 300 square feet at $24-$29 per gallon.

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