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What Is The Average Cost to Build a Deck? (By Material)

Adding a deck to your home is an excellent way to expand your living space, create a cozy outdoor retreat,…
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Jacob Wadding

Adding a deck to your home is an excellent way to expand your living space, create a cozy outdoor retreat, and increase your property’s value. But when it comes to building a deck, one of the most critical considerations is the cost, which can vary significantly based on the materials you choose. In this homeowner’s guide, we’ll explore the average cost to build a deck by material, providing you with insights to help you make an informed decision for your outdoor project. Let’s get started on your deck-building journey!

Inside this blog:

  • Cost factors to consider when choosing a deck for your home
  • 5 common deck material options
  • 5 cost-saving tips for homeowners

Keep reading to learn more about how much it costs to build a deck so you can be prepared for when you add a new outdoor living space to your home!

The Cost Factors to Consider 💰

Before we delve into specific material costs, it’s essential to understand the factors that influence the overall cost of building a deck. These factors include:

  • Deck Size: The size of your deck is a primary determinant of cost. Larger decks require more materials and labor.
  • Deck Design: Complex designs with multiple levels, built-in features, or unique shapes may incur additional costs.
  • Labor Costs: Labor expenses vary based on location, contractor rates, and project complexity.
  • Permits and Inspections: Some areas require permits and inspections, which come with associated fees.
  • Foundation Type: The type of foundation (e.g., concrete piers, helical piles, or continuous footings) impacts costs.
  • Railing and Balusters: The choice of railing material and design can affect expenses.
  • Accessories: Built-in features like benches, planters, lighting, and pergolas add to the cost.
  • Location: The cost of living in your area can influence labor and material costs.

Decking Material Options 🏗️

Now, let’s break down the average cost to build a deck by material. We’ll explore 5 of the most common options homeowners choose for their outdoor spaces:

1. Pressure-Treated Wood

💲Average Cost: $15 – $25 per square foot

✔️Pros: Pressure-treated wood is affordable, readily available, and offers a natural appearance. It’s resistant to rot and insects when properly maintained.

✖️Cons: It requires regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, to prolong its lifespan. Over time, it may splinter or warp.

2. Cedar and Redwood


💲Average Cost: $25 – $40 per square foot

✔️Pros: Cedar and redwood are naturally rot-resistant and have a beautiful, rich color. They require less maintenance than pressure-treated wood.

✖️Cons: They are more expensive than pressure-treated wood, and their availability can vary by location.

3. Composite Decking

💲Average Cost: $30 – $60 per square foot

✔️Pros: Composite decking is low-maintenance, resistant to rot, and available in various colors and textures. It’s also eco-friendly.

✖️Cons: It tends to be more expensive upfront than wood. While low-maintenance, it may require periodic cleaning.

4. PVC Decking

💲Average Cost: $40 – $100 per square foot

✔️Pros: PVC decking is incredibly durable, resistant to moisture and UV rays, and virtually maintenance-free. It comes in a wide range of colors and styles.

✖️Cons: It is among the most expensive decking materials, and the price can vary significantly based on the brand and style.

5. Hardwood Decking

💲Average Cost: $50 – $120+ per square foot

✔️Pros: Hardwood decking, such as Ipe or Cumaru, is exceptionally durable, naturally resistant to pests, and has a stunning appearance.

✖️Cons: It is the most expensive decking option, and its cost can vary depending on the type of hardwood and its source.

Average Deck Cost by Material

Now, let’s break down the average cost of building a 16’x20′ deck (320 square feet) by material, including the deck’s frame, decking boards, and railing. Keep in mind that these are approximate costs, and prices may vary based on your location and specific project requirements.

  • Pressure-Treated Wood: $4,800 – $8,000
  • Cedar and Redwood: $8,000 – $12,800
  • Composite Decking: $9,600 – $19,200
  • PVC Decking: $12,800 – $32,000
  • Hardwood Decking: $16,000 – $38,400+

These cost estimates provide a general idea of what to expect when building a deck using various materials. Keep in mind that other factors, such as labor costs, accessories, and location, can impact the total cost of your deck project.

Cost-Saving Tips for Deck Building 💡

Building a deck doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are 5 cost-saving tips to consider:

1. DIY vs. Hiring a Pro


While hiring a professional ensures quality work, taking on some DIY tasks, like staining or painting, can reduce labor costs.

2. Use Pressure-Treated Wood for the Frame

You can save on material costs by using pressure-treated wood for the deck’s structural frame while opting for a more visually appealing decking material.

3. Compare Prices

Shop around and compare prices from different suppliers and contractors to get the best deals on materials and labor.

4. Consider Alternative Railing Options

Choosing a simpler railing design or a different material can help lower costs without sacrificing safety or aesthetics.

5. Plan for Future Additions

If you have a limited budget, plan your deck in stages. Start with the basics and add features like built-in benches or a pergola later when finances allow.

Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal With a New Deck

The cost to build a deck by material can vary significantly, offering homeowners a range of options to suit their budget and preferences. Whether you opt for budget-friendly pressure-treated wood or invest in the durability of PVC or hardwood decking, your deck can become a valuable addition to your home. Remember to consider not only the initial cost but also the long-term maintenance and benefits when making your decision. With careful planning and smart choices, you can create an outdoor space that enhances your lifestyle and adds value to your property.

Contact Arch Exteriors today to get in touch with our expert team of contractors. With our top tier craftsmanship and dedicated customer service, we guarantee you’ll be thrilled with the final product. Let’s get started on your next home improvement project today!

About the Author
Your home is probably the most expensive thing you own. When you hire somebody to make improvements, you want high-quality work. In addition, you hope they’ll take the same care you would. You want someone with a good reputation, legitimate credentials, well established, using quality materials, and who charges a fair price. For over 11 years, I have worked hard to provide all of those benefits to my clients. One of the major reasons we have been able to do that is our ability to keep highly qualified personnel. Our workers are well trained, properly motivated, and managed professionally. I make certain that I convey measurable systems and procedures that our team understands and can readily follow.

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