How Much Does It Cost to Build an Elevated Deck?

Typical Range:

$5,400 - $6,600

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated January 24, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

At $45 to $55 per square foot, the cost to build an elevated deck covering 10 feet by 12 feet made from pressure-treated lumber is between $5,400 and $6,600. The average cost for a 120-square-foot elevated deck for most homeowners is $6,000. Higher decks are a bit complicated to build, and therefore typically cost more than a ground-level deck.

Deck Prices

Materials are the biggest factor influencing the cost to build a deck. Here's what some common decking materials cost per square foot:

  • Pressure-Treated Wood: $2–$5

  • Redwood: $5–$30

  • Mahogany: $8–$11

  • Ipe: $10–$20

  • Tigerwood: $7–$15

  • Bamboo: $3–$10

  • Cedar: $3–$7

  • Aluminum: $15–$20

  • Fiberglass and Composite: $12–$22

Generally, synthetic lumber costs roughly 40% more than pressure-treated lumber.

Elevated Deck Installation Costs

Labor for a deck installation often makes up half of the project's cost. Most decking pros charge between $15 and $35 per square foot for labor. Some may charge a premium for decks over a certain size.

Fees for permits may be higher for more complex deck designs. Expect to pay upwards of $500 for an elevated deck permit.

In addition, contractors often charge more to cover the higher insurance costs for a project that requires employees to work at elevated heights.

Deck Cost by Shape

Rectangular and square decks represent the lowest price tiers. However, you can expect to add anywhere from 50% to 100% to your budget if you want a specialty deck style.

L-shaped and V-shaped decks require extra time and labor. Contractors need to make complex cuts when creating specialty shapes. This can lead to added product waste that requires fees for both extra materials and waste disposal.

In addition, extra planning and engineering may be necessary to support unconventional shapes. The permitting process may also be more complex for an unconventional deck shape.

Cost of Elevated Deck by Size

Homeowners pay by the square foot for materials. Contractors will multiply the cost per square foot for lumber or decking based on your desired deck size. Both project-based and hourly fees will be higher to account for the extra time needed for a larger deck.

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Elevated Deck Cost by Style

Most fire codes require elevated decks to have exit points that lead to your yard. Homeowners can expect to pay $100 per tread on average. Expect to add between $1,000 and $2,000 for a deck staircase connecting your elevated deck to your yard.

Adding metal winder stairs in place of handmade stairs can cost between $800 and $1,000.

Building an awning will cost up to $1,000 for most decks.

You should also add in between $550 and $1,300 if you'd like to professionally seal a deck after installation.

Elevated Deck Costs Near You

Here's what you can expect to pay for a tall deck around the country:

Arizona: $6,000

Kansas: $7,000

Florida: $7,000

Michigan: $9,000

Connecticut: $9,000

Pennsylvania: $10,000

Washington: $11,000

North Dakota: $16,000

Cost to Build an Elevated Deck Yourself

Building a deck on your own cuts down on labor costs. Homeowners should still consider having a contractor or architect help to design plans even if they want to build an elevated deck as a DIY project. The cost to build a 120-square-foot deck on your own using pressure-treated lumber can be as low as $420 in materials.

DIY vs. Hire a Deck Pro

Building an elevated deck isn't a job for amateurs. While building any type of deck is complex, an elevated deck requires specific structural supports to prevent dangerous collapses.

FAQs

What is the least expensive material to use when building an elevated deck? 

At $2 to $5 per square foot, pressure-treated lumber is considered the cheapest decking material. It can cost up to 40% less than composite decking options.

Is it safe to build an elevated deck on your own?

Generally, an elevated deck isn't considered a good DIY project due to the structural complexities involved. It's very important to make sure an elevated deck is within code to prevent the need to tear it down.

Do elevated decks require stairs?

Most local fire codes require an exit point from an elevated deck that will bring you safely to ground level.

Is an elevated deck more expensive than a ground-level deck? 

Yes. Expect to pay anywhere from 25% to 70% more for an elevated deck due to the complexity needed to suspend decking away from the ground.

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