Are you planning on extending your outdoor living space? Building a deck is an expensive but rewarding home improvement project. Whether you’re looking to create a spot for entertaining guests or transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis, the cost of building a deck will be one of the most important factors in planning and budgeting for the job.
In this post, we will take a look at the costs associated with building a deck, labor costs for deck installation and additional expenses to consider when building a deck. We will also provide tips for reducing the overall cost of building a deck.
By the end of this guide, you can make an informed decision about how far your hard-earned money should take you when it comes to building decks. Read on for all the information needed to get started!
Cost To Build Deck Per Square Foot
The cost to build a deck varies greatly based on the size and type of material used. Generally, building a deck costs between $15 and $30 per square foot including labor. The average cost of building a deck ranges from approximately $1,500 to $15,000 or more. Factors that may affect the total cost of materials include size of the deck, type of material used (wood or composite) and any additional features like railings, built-in benches or multi-level platforms.
If you are hiring a contractor to build your deck, they should be able to estimate labor costs before starting work. To get an accurate estimate, it’s important to give the contractor a detailed description of the project and the materials that will be used.
Types of decks and their respective prices
1) Pressure-treated lumber
The most affordable option, pressure-treated lumber typically costs between $15-$25 per square foot. This type of wood is treated with chemicals to resist rot and insects but it must be sealed or stained every couple of years to protect it from the elements.
A popular choice for decks, cedar typically costs between $20-$30 per square foot. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insects.
Redwood is the most expensive material for decks, costing around $25-$35 per square foot. It’s strong and durable while also providing a natural and elegant look. Redwood does require more maintenance than cedar, however, as it needs to be sealed or stained every three to five years.
Composite material is a popular alternative to wood because of its low maintenance requirements and long-lasting durability. Composite decks typically cost around $30-$45 per square foot, depending on the type and quality of material used.
Vinyl is the most expensive option for decks, costing around $40-$60 per square foot. The advantage of vinyl is that it won’t rot or splinter over time like wood can.
Aluminum is a relatively lightweight and low-maintenance material, making it an attractive choice for many homeowners. Aluminum decks typically cost between $15-$30 per square foot.
Labor costs for deck installation
Labor costs may vary depending on the type of deck you are installing. If you choose to install an exotic hardwood or composite material, it will require more labor hours than a standard treated lumber deck. Also, any additional features such as benches and lighting need to be factored into the total cost.
Professional deck installation contractors typically charge between $30 and $60 per hour for labor, so it is important to determine exactly how many hours of installation will be required to get your deck project completed.
Also, if you choose to have a professional install your deck, make sure they are insured and bonded to ensure that all work meets codes and regulations.
Additional expenses to consider when building a deck?
The cost of the materials you will use to build your deck should be considered first and foremost when budgeting for your project. This includes lumber, screws, nails, sealants, stains, paint and other items needed for construction.
Many decks feature accessories such as benches and planters, which can add to the cost of the project. These accessories will require additional materials and hardware, so make sure to factor them into your budget.
You may need to purchase tools or rent equipment such as a saw, drill, sander etc., depending on the complexity of your deck design. Make sure to include these costs in your budget.
Depending on the location and size of your deck, you may need to obtain certain permits from local authorities to ensure your deck is built safely and to code. Be sure to factor in the cost of any necessary permits into your budget.
5) Professional help
If you are not comfortable building a deck yourself, you may need to hire a professional contractor or handyman to do the work for you. This will add additional costs to your budget, so make sure to account for it.
Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost of ongoing maintenance and upkeep for your deck. This includes regular cleaning and staining, as well as any repairs or replacements that may be necessary over time.
Tips for reducing the overall cost of building a deck
- Plan ahead: Carefully consider the size, layout and design of your deck to ensure that it meets all your needs without being overly costly. Take into account any additional features you may want to add as these can end up adding to the overall cost as well.
- Shop around for materials: Compare prices between different stores and online retailers to ensure you are getting the best deal on materials. Be sure to factor in shipping costs as these can add up quickly if you are buying from an online retailer.
- Do it yourself: If you have some basic carpentry skills, building your deck is a great way to save money. Just be sure to do your research beforehand and get the necessary tools and materials.
- Choose cheaper materials: Using lower-cost materials such as pressure-treated wood, composite decking or recycled materials can help keep costs down. Of course, you will want to make sure that the materials you choose are still high quality and meet all your needs.
- Reuse old materials: If you have any leftover building materials from a previous project, see if they can be reused in the construction of your deck. This will help you save money without sacrificing quality.
- Look for discounts and promotions: Many building supply stores offer seasonal discounts or other promotions on materials, so be sure to take advantage of these when you can. Also, look out for online coupons or deals that may help you save money as well.
The average labor cost to build a deck is $9 – $16 per square foot. This price includes materials and installation. If you have a small or simple deck, you can expect to pay around $2,000 for the project.
A more complex deck with different levels or features will cost closer to $4,000. Of course, these prices just estimate the actual cost of your project and will depend on many factors including the size and scope of the work, local labor rates and the type of materials you choose.
When budgeting for your new deck, be sure to get several estimates from qualified contractors to ensure you are getting the best price for your specific project.