How Much Does Composite Decking Cost? [2023 Data]

Allie Ogletree
Written by Allie Ogletree
Reviewed by Andy Kilborn
Updated February 9, 2023
light tan deck with green grass and bushes surround it and silver wire deck chairs and table on top
Photo: BenAkiba / E+ / Getty Images

The typical cost of composite decking is $3,600 to $7,800 for a 144-square-foot deck

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Ready to revamp your outdoor space and soak up some sun? Building or updating a 144-square-foot deck with composite decking costs $5,700 on average. The cost of an installed composite deck is $25 to $54 per square foot. This home improvement can help you to take full advantage of your backyard by creating a beautiful space for the whole family to enjoy. 

A great deck can transform your yard into the go-to spot for outdoor dining, lounging, entertaining, and more. Learn the average cost for composite deck building in this guide, plus tips for saving money.

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*Prices listed for a 144-square-foot deck.

Composite Decking Cost Factors

4 composite decking cost factors, with labor ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 per project

Synthetic deck materials cost more than traditional wood, but it’s not just the materials you need to consider. Here are all the factors for a composite deck build you should consider for your budget.

Deck Size

The size of your deck is a major contributing factor to the cost of composite decking. Composite decking costs $4 to $12 per square foot for materials only.

A 110-square-foot deck costs an average of $4,000. Composite decking for a 220-square-foot deck costs an average of $8,000.

Size (Square Feet)Estimated Average Cost
12x12 (144 sq. ft.)$5,700
16x16 (256 sq. ft.)$10,100
20x20 (400 sq. ft.)$15,800

Decking Brand

Different decking brands can have slightly different costs for materials. For example, decking from Veranda costs an average of just $4 to $5 per square foot. In contrast, decking from Gorilla Deck costs an average of $12 per square foot. Other popular decking brands include Fiberon, Deckorators, and Trex.


The method of fastening the deck boards can also factor into the look and cost of your deck.  "Hidden" fasteners don't have any visible holes/screws in the top of the material, so the decking is held down from the sides or from below. Using hidden fasteners increases the cost of the hardware and takes longer to install, increasing labor costs. More traditional fasteners that install through the top are more affordable and are installed more quickly.


Types of composite decking include textured grain, two-faced, plastic-wrapped, and embossed grain.

  • Textured grain composite decking: $5 per sq. ft.; features realistic artificial wood grain 

  • Two-faced grain composite decking: $4–$5 per sq. ft.; wood grain on one side, brushed on the other

  • Plastic-wrapped composite: $6 per sq. ft.; resistant to weather and other damage 

  • Embossed graincomposite: $5 per sq. ft.; mimics appearance and texture of real wood with realistic etched finish


Materials for composite decking cost between $2,100 and $5,200. The total cost of materials includes the boards, railings, posts, and hardware you’ll need to complete your deck.


The shape of your composite decking can bump up prices by anywhere from $700 to $1,400. This 20% increase in your decking project’s budget is due to the custom design nature of your materials. Even if you opt for already-manufactured materials, fewer standard shapes mean less availability and therefore a higher price point.

A herringbone pattern in particular costs more toward the high end of the price range due to its unique, angular shape and longer installation process.


Labor costs to install composite decking run between $1,500 and $2,000 per project or $10 to $15 per square foot. Working with an experienced decking professional can help ensure your project goes smoothly and you’ll be able to enjoy your new deck as soon as possible.

Additional Costs to Consider

Before you get started on your decking project, you’ll want to consider a few additional costs. 


Where you install your deck can affect how much your project will cost by anywhere between $10 and $75 per square foot. Ground-level composite decks are the most budget-friendly, while multi-level composite decks come in toward the higher end of the price range.  

  • Ground-level decking: $10–$20 per sq. ft.

  • Floating decking: $20–$60 per sq. ft.

  • Second-story decking: $40–$50 per sq. ft.

  • Multi-level decking: $30–$75 per sq. ft.


Your local property taxes may increase by up to $100, depending on your local municipality. Check with a tax assessor near you to see how much your taxes may increase before you build your deck.


In some cases, you may need to get permits before you can begin work on your deck, especially if it’s a brand-new construction. A permit can cost up to $500, depending on where you live.

Deck Removal

Deck removal costs range anywhere from $5 and $15 per square foot. Services for this expense include the demolition of your old deck and the hauling and disposal of the old deck’s boards, brackets, foundation, and other parts by a junk hauler near you.

Grading and Leveling

Yard leveling and grading costs for a composite deck fall between $500 and $1,000 on average. If your deck needs to be constructed on uneven ground, you’ll likely need to add these fees to your project’s total cost. The more unlevel and larger the space, the higher you’ll pay.

Deck Base Construction

You’ll spend up to $75 per square foot to install the base of your deck. If you’re installing a floating deck or a ground-level deck, you may not need a foundation. For a second-story and some multi-level decks, you will need to factor in the cost of the base to keep the structure secure.

Land Clearing 

The cost to clear land is anywhere between $1,400 and $5,600 on average. Land with more trees, boulders, vegetation, and slopes will cost more to clear than flat land with minimal vegetation.


You might need to pay slightly more on your homeowner’s insurance to have a deck on your property. Insurance premiums vary by location and company, but anticipate an extra $50 per year. Deck insurance may cover tree damage, fire damage, and even injury liability. 


Some deck contractors offer a warranty that covers replacements and repairs, including labor. These can range from five to 10 years and cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what the warranty covers. Read your warranty carefully before signing any documents.

Cost to Install Composite Decking Yourself

If you decide to install a composite deck yourself, you could save anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000. Installing a DIY composite deck is not for everyone. You might save money, but one mistake on a DIY decking project could cost you even more money to repair and possibly even lead to injuries. The average cost to repair a decking project gone wrong is about $1,700

In most cases, it makes sense to hire a deck builder near you rather than doing it on your own. That way, you’ll have more time to plan all the gatherings you’re bound to host on your new deck.

Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

Composite decking materials cost an average of $2,100 to $5,200. If you’re looking to stretch a tight budget and save on labor costs, you might consider rolling up your sleeves and making this a DIY project—if you have prior experience and the necessary skills. Doing so could save you between $10 to $15 per square foot.

Cost of Common Composite Decking Add-Ons

After you’ve installed your composite decking, chances are you’re going to want to make the most of it. Several common ways of turning a deck into the perfect outdoor space include adding furniture, lighting, rooftops, and awnings. Here’s how much each can add to the cost of your decking project.


Adding furniture to your outdoor space costs between $100 and $10,000. This wide price range comes down to the type and quality of furniture you choose. For a standard patio table and four chairs, you’ll likely spend between $200 and $1,800.


Adding landscape lighting to your deck costs between $50 and $900 per fixture. If you want to add light fixtures, you’ll pay closer to the higher end of the price range, while if you plan on installing post lighting, you may pay closer to the low end of the price range.


On average, deck roofing costs between $3,000 to $10,000. The size of your deck and the type of material you choose for your roof will greatly affect how much you spend on this upgrade.


Installing an awning costs between $1,400 and $4,300 on average. An awning is a perfect way to get the best of that deck roof ambiance without the price tag. If you want to step up your awning’s game, consider upgrading to a retractable awning, which typically costs between $2,000 and $3,500


The cost to add electricity to your deck is between $3 and $5 per linear foot if you’re only adding electrical wiring. Adding a new subpanel costs an extra $400 to $1,750. You’ll also need to add the cost to hire a local electrician to complete the installation, which ranges between $50 and $100 per hour.

Cost to Replace Wood Deck Boards With Composite

The cost to replace wood boards with composite is similar to the cost of a new composite deck. You’ll just need to add the cost of labor to remove old deck boards and the disposal fees, which can range from $5 to $15 per square foot on top of the cost of your new materials and the installation for those materials.

Cost to Maintain Composite Decking

The major reason many homeowners opt for composite decking is because it saves money on maintenance costs. Deck maintenance will cost $500 to $760 per year for replacing and repairing odds and ends.

Cost of Composite Decking vs. Wood

Wood decking costs $5 to $20 per square foot less than composite decking on average. Some wood materials, like redwood, come in at a similar price range to composite decking, while pressure-treated wood costs are significantly lower in price.

Keep in mind, however, that wood decking requires more maintenance than composite decking which could hike up those prices in the long run. You’ll need to regularly stain, paint, and replace decayed wooden boards, which can add up over time. Composite decking doesn’t require staining or painting, and its boards won’t rot.

3 Tips to Reduce Costs When Installing Composite Decking

worker installing brown composite decking
Photo: ronstik / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Who doesn’t love saving money? Consider these three tips when installing your synthetic deck.

1. Stick With Simpler Textures

The most expensive composite deck products typically contain elegant and complex textures and patterns. $25 to $54 per square foot is the low- to high-end cost for composite deck materials and labor, meaning you could save as much as 50% on materials by choosing a simpler pattern or design.

2. Tackle Some (or All) of the Project DIY

If designing and building a composite deck from scratch isn’t for you, you might hire a contractor to build the substructure, then finish the rest yourself. $9 to $16 per square foot is a good guideline to consider when hiring a contractor to just build the substructure.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

As always, asking for multiple quotes from contractors can help you find the best price. If the quotes are competitive, you might be able to get a reduced warranty or some other perk from a contractor who is looking to win your business.

Ben Kissam contributed to this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Composite decking is usually less expensive ($4 to $12 per square foot) than wood decking, which ranges from $10 to $22 per square foot, or PVC or vinyl decking, which ranges from $5 to $13 per square foot. 

It’s also much more durable and can last up to 25 years without a lot of maintenance (which means no more weekends spent staining those deck railings).

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