How Much Does it Cost to Build a Deck?
$4,092 - $11,379
$4,092 - $11,379
Updated May 13, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
The national average cost to build a deck is $7,730. Most people pay between $4,092 and $11,379. You can expect to pay between $30 and $60 per square foot, including labor and materials, to build a deck.
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|Typical Range||$4,092 - $11,379|
|Low End - High End||$1,500 - $20,000|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 16,218 HomeAdvisor members.
There are no exact size guidelines for your decking project. However, take a look at some of the most common deck sizes and their associated costs.
|Dimensions||Total Square Feet||Average Price Range|
|10 x 10||100||$4,000 – $6,000|
|12 x 12||144||$5,760 – $8,640|
|10 x 20||200||$8,000 – $12,000|
|12 x 20||240||$9,600 – $14,400|
|14 x 20||280||$11.200 – $16,800|
|12 x 24||288||$11,520 – $17,280|
|16 x 20||320||$12,800 – $19,200|
|20 x 20||400||$16,000 – $24,000|
Typically, labor for installing a deck runs $15 to $32 per square foot. If you use an easy-to-install material, like pine, expect labor to fall at the lower end of the budget. However, if you use something particularly challenging, like an exotic hardwood such as ipe, expect higher labor costs.
Installing the actual decking planks onto the frame costs between $5.50 and $7 per square foot. Deck framing costs between $9 and $12 per square foot.
The labor to install the deck foundation is $25 to $300 per post. The costs vary so much per post because foundation requirements differ so significantly. For example, some decks require piles, or foundation posts, driven into the ground mechanically, while others require holes dug manually with concrete poured to support the pilings. Others can get away with an above-ground foundation, with pilings that sit on top of blocks on the ground.
Expect to pay between $2 and $30 per square foot for decking, depending on the material you choose. Take a look at the most popular types of decking and their typical costs per square foot.
|Type of Decking||Cost Range per sq. ft.||Average Cost per sq. ft.|
|Pressure-Treated Wood||$2 – $5||$3.50|
|Cedar||$3 – $7||$5|
|Bamboo||$3 – $10||$6.50|
|Mahogany||$8 – $11||$9.50|
|Tigerwood||$7 – $15||$12|
|Ipe||$10 – $20||$15|
|Fiberglass and Composite||$12 – $22||$17|
|Redwood||$5 – $30||$17.50|
|Aluminum||$15 – $20||$17.50|
Pressure-treated wood resists moisture, rot, and insects at an affordable price of $2–$5 per square foot, making it a popular option for those on a budget.
Costs for redwood decking range from $5–$30 per square foot, depending on the grade. Redwood decking is beautiful and durable but expensive and a non-renewable resource.
Mahogany decking typically costs $8–$11 per square foot. Mahogany decking is lower maintenance than pressure-treated wood and takes on stain well.
Ipe decking costs $10–$20 per square foot. Ipe is an exotic hardwood known for its durability and long lifespan.
Tigerwood decking costs from $7–$15 per square foot and bears a distinctive striped pattern from which it gets its name.
At $3–$10 per square foot, bamboo is an affordable, environmentally friendly option. Bamboo is actually a grass, not wood, but has many of the same qualities.
Cedar decking costs $3–$7 per square foot, making it comparable to pressure-treated wood, but without any of the chemical treatments. Cedar is a naturally insect- and UV-resistant wood harvested sustainably in North America.
Composite decking costs: $15 to $36 per square foot, including railings, framework, and hardware. Decking boards only cost $4 to $13 per square foot.
Trex decking costs $10 to $27 per square foot, all-in. Trex is a popular type of composite decking made from 95% recycled materials. It's a low-maintenance option resistant to termites, rot, warping, and splintering.
Aluminum decking runs $15 to $20 per square foot. Many of these systems are gapless, meaning they make a seamless waterproof roof for anything underneath. Because they are both waterproof and lightweight, they make great outdoor spaces that double as roofs above carports, patios, and outdoor kitchens.
While most people install a ground-level deck attached to their homes, there are many other options. A popular choice is to build a second-story deck, creating a beautiful elevated deck space upstairs and shade and shelter for the ground floor.
|Type of Decking||Price Range per sq. ft.||Average Price per sq. ft.|
|Ground-Level||$10 – $20 per sq. ft.||$15 per sq. ft.|
|Floating||$20 – $60 per sq. ft.||$40 per sq. ft.|
|Second-Story||$40 – $50 per sq. ft.||$45 per sq. ft.|
|Elevated Concrete||$30 – $75 per sq. ft.||$50 per sq. ft.|
|Multi-Level||$30 – $75 per sq. ft.||$50 per sq. ft.|
Ground-level decks, or platform decks, cost an average of $15 per square foot, or between $10 and $20 per square foot, all-in. They are the least expensive option because they have minimal framing, no foundations, and no stairs or railings.
They're also not generally attached to the home as they don't need the extra support because they lack real elevation and are essentially a wood or composite alternative to a patio.
Floating decks cost an average of $40 per square foot. You can pay anywhere from $20 to $60 per square foot, depending on material and location. Floating decks are usually a little more elevated than ground-level decks, but not usually enough to require driven-in pilings. They do, however, require more framing and sometimes concrete footings to make them stable.
These decks don't attach to the house and are commonly set away from the building, sometimes as a focal point or entertaining space in the yard.
A raised deck costs around $45 to install, with prices ranging from $40 to $50 per square foot. These decks are the most common type and sit in an elevated position attached to the second story of a home.
Second-story decks require foundations and support pillars to hold them up and sit on brackets attached to the home. Some have posts that sit on concrete footings, while others have support posts driven into the ground.
An elevated concrete deck costs an average of $50 per square foot. You can pay anywhere from $30 to $75 per square foot. The price you'll pay depends on your location, the slab size, and the finishing materials you choose.
Elevated concrete decks require strong concrete and steel foundations as they're much heavier than wood or composite decks, hence the increased cost. These decks have an interesting, contemporary appearance, and they're very low maintenance.
Multi-level decks cost $50 per square foot, on average. Prices range from $30 to $75 per square foot, based on size and material. While not as common, multi-level decks are a great way to add extra entertaining space to smaller homes and can cover two or three stories.
Just remember that the higher and bigger you go, the more support the deck needs, so the more costs rise.
Once the deck is in place, you need to furnish it, whether you're building an entertaining space, a place for family fun, or a tranquil haven to relax in. There is a range of must-haves and nice-to-haves that you should consider for your deck, but remember to factor their prices into your budget, as costs can quickly mount.
Deck stairs cost between $25 and $50 per stair, depending on the material, the size of the stair, and the elevation. For an average staircase of between eight and 16 steps, you'll pay $160 to $560 for prefabricated wooden stringers. For wooden stairs with custom stringers, expect to pay $280 to $800, and for metal stairs, expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000.
Railings for decking cost between $35 and $210 per linear foot. The price depends heavily on the type of railing you choose. While railings are not necessary for a ground-level floating deck, they're essential for raised decks because they add safety. Take a look at the most popular deck railing choices and how much they cost.
The average cost to install a firepit is $300. But you can pay anywhere from $100 to $2,000, depending on the size and style of firepit you choose. This is for an above-ground, prefabricated firepit suitable for use on a deck.
Deck or patio enclosures cost around $50 per square foot, or between $20 and $75 per square foot. Building a pergola costs $45 per square foot, on average. You'll pay anywhere from $30 to $60 per square foot, depending on size and materials.
The pattern of your deck can increase the total project price by up to 20%. Simple, plain designs are the most economical because they take the least time to install and require the least amount of material. If you really want to up your deck’s wow factor, you can go with a complex hexagonal pattern or a herringbone-style deck. But remember to add 20% to your budget to accommodate this extravagance.
Built-in seating prices vary hugely, from $100 to $8,000 or more, with the average homeowner spending around $1,800. The price variance is based on the size, style, and material you choose for your seating.
A simple built-in bench with minimal upholstery and no storage costs as little as $100, while an upholstered bench with interior storage made of mahogany or oak can run you $3,000. Built-in booths for dining give your eating area a funky retro flavor and cost between $1,000 and $7,000 each, plus the cost of the dining table.
Planter boxes cost anywhere from $10 to $200 each for prefabricated styles. Custom planter boxes cost $100 to $1,000, depending on the type of wood for planters you choose and their size. You'll need to account for the cost of the wood, at around $300 per cord, as well as the carpenter's hourly rate of $35 to $100.
Hot tub installation costs between $650 and $6,100, with most people paying around $3,400. This includes the cost of the hot tub and the installation. Above-ground hot tubs are the most affordable and the most common, as they sit on top of your deck and just need you to fill them and plug them in.
You can, however, have an in-ground hot tub installed in your deck, although the hot tub will most likely need a concrete pad beneath it for support. While this is the most costly option, at $5,000 to $20,000 all-in, it creates a more cohesive, tranquil, spa-like finish and is a good option if you plan to spend a lot of time enjoying the hot tub.
Deck skirting costs $2 to $50 per linear foot, with the price variance based on the skirt style and material. Skirting provides a nice, neat finish and stops pets and wildlife from getting underneath.
There are many other features you can add to your deck to make the space usable day or night, year-round. Here is a selection of the most popular additions.
Lighting costs $8–$30 each. Post lighting runs $30-$100+ each. Light fixture installation costs can run another $150 each.
Heaters cost $100–$300 depending on style and output.
Outdoor misting systems cost $2,100–$3,400.
Deck staining costs $550–$1,050. For the DIYer, the price of stain is around $30 per gallon.
Sealing a deck costs $550–$1,300. Sealer runs $30–$40 per gallon.
There are several other factors you need to budget for when planning your deck-building project. Permitting, demolition, and the time of year all impact how much you'll pay for your new deck.
A deck permit costs between $225 and $500, depending on your location. While not all states require permits for decks, most do, and permitting costs and requirements can change based on the size and elevation of your deck. Check with your contractor and municipality for the regulations in your area.
The cost to demolish and remove an old deck is $5 to $15 per square foot. This includes tearing up the old deck surface, removing the brackets, pilings, and foundations, hauling it away, and the local disposal fees.
If you only need to replace the surface boards, the price is around the same as installing a new deck; you have to account for the labor and disposal fees associated with tearing up and disposing of the old deck boards.
When you build has a direct influence on price. During the winter months or around major holidays, you're more likely to get a good price, with some companies offering specials and discounts of up to 20% off.
Winter is the off-season for many deck building companies, so there's less competition for their time, and therefore, they often lower their prices. Building during summer can increase your costs, as decking companies are much busier then and can charge a premium. Shop around and talk to several local deck building companies to get the best price.
If you have the right skills and tools and plenty of time, you can build a basic deck yourself at about 65% of the cost of hiring a professional deck-building company. However, you'll need at least a week to complete the job yourself, and the finish may not be as professional.
Plus, you'll need to make sure your deck meets local building codes and deal with any permitting requirements. Raised decks are best left to the pros, as you have to ensure the support posts and foundations are secure and strong enough to support the weight of the deck and those using it. Get this wrong, and you could cause serious injury.
Signs you need a new deck include:
Obvious and significant damage, such as holes, split boards, and signs of termite damage
Rot, mold, or warping
Loose or bowing boards
Damaged or rotting ledger board
Cracked or damaged support posts
Missing or rusting hardware and fittings
There are many reasons you may want a new deck. The most common are:
Increased property value
More outdoor living space
It costs $25,000 to $50,000 to build a rooftop deck. If you need your roof shingles replaced first, add another $3,000 to $10,000 to your total.
However, this type gets the best ROI. You can expect to recoup your entire investment. In southern climates, you might even see up to 1.5 times return.
Adding onto an existing deck runs $15 to $50 per square foot. It depends on your location, the type of materials, and how complex the design is.
Always create a comprehensive plan to start. Consider talking to an outdoor living designer, deck contractor, or engineer to help with this process. By creating a mock-up and paying attention to specifics before you commit to a contractor or building plan, you'll save yourself the cost and hassle of changing your mind once the project is underway.
When you're ready to hire, getting professional quotes is easy. Browse our deck installation directory for reviews and ratings. Expect any reputable company to give free quotes. But follow these tips:
Never take a quote from a contractor who doesn’t visit the site.
Always get at least three bids.
Check ratings and reviews.
Ask if they’re insured and bonded.
Ask to see examples of previous work.