How Much Does Composite Decking Cost?

Margaret Wack
Written by Margaret Wack
Reviewed by Andy Kilborn
Updated December 15, 2021
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 $7,700, with an average of $5,200 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 deck with composite decking 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.

How Much Does Composite Decking Cost per Square Foot?

Composite decking costs an average of $25 to $54 per square foot.

This type of decking is made from a mixture of wood and plastic. The combination of these two materials gives high-quality composite decking the look and feel of a classic wood deck, while also increasing its durability and longevity. Choosing composite decking means you can spend more time enjoying morning cups of coffee on your deck and less time worrying about maintenance and repairs.

“Composite decking is a great option—while it costs more upfront, the durability and ease of maintenance makes those costs more worthwhile,” says Andy Kilborn, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Andy’s Handyman.

How Much Does Composite Decking Cost Near You?

Whether your deck looks out on mountain vistas, ocean views, or just your own backyard, you can expect to pay about the same for a composite deck. Composite decking prices don’t vary much by area, with an average of $5,200 across the country for a 144-square-foot deck. Some factors that do affect costs include the size of your deck and the brand of composite decking you choose.

How Much Composite Decking Can I Get on My Budget?

Your budget will help to determine what size deck you’re able to build. Here’s a quick breakdown:

$2,000

With a budget of $2,000, you can afford composite decking for a 55-square-foot deck. If you’re looking to stretch your budget even further, you could consider taking a DIY approach. Installing decking yourself can help lower costs as long as you have the skills and time required to do so.

$4,000

On a $4,000 budget, you can afford composite decking for a 110-square-foot deck. Be sure to compare quotes from different contractors to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

$6,000

With a budget of $6,000, you can afford composite decking for a 165-square-foot deck, just a few square feet larger than the average deck size of 144 square feet.

$8,000

On an $8,000 budget, you can afford composite decking for a 220-square-foot deck. If you have a larger budget and are looking to build or replace a large deck, composite decking is a great investment. It’s durable, lasts a long time, and requires little maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Composite Decking Yourself?

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 be considering rolling up your sleeves and making this a DIY project.

That said, it’s often easier for professional contractors to source composite decking materials than it is for homeowners to do so, since many manufacturers sell directly to contractors rather than to individuals. This can limit your options if you decide to complete the project yourself.

If you make a mistake on a DIY decking project, it could also cost you more money to repair. 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.

Composite Decking Cost Breakdown

Many different factors contribute to the overall cost of composite decking. These include materials, labor, and any necessary permits.

Materials

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.

Labor

Labor costs to install composite decking run between $1,500 and $2,000 per project or $10 to $14 per square foot. Working with an experienced decking professional can help ensure that your project goes smoothly and you’ll be able to enjoy your new deck as soon as possible.

Permits

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.

How Much Does Composite Decking Cost by Type?

Composite decking is an affordable and durable decking material option. Types of composite decking include textured grain, two-faced, plastic-wrapped, and embossed grain.

Textured Grain

Textured grain composite decking costs an average of $5 per square foot. This type of decking features artificial wood grain designed to make your deck look like real wood. The grain also hides scratches and helps reduce the appearance of normal wear and tear.

Two-Faced

Two-faced grain composite decking costs about $4 to $5 per square foot. As the name suggests, this decking type has two “faces”: One side of the decking has a natural, wood-like appearance, while the other side has a grooved pattern.

Plastic Wrapped

Plastic wrapped composite decking is wrapped with a durable outer shell on either three or four sides. The shell makes your deck even more resistant to weather and other damage. This type of decking costs an average of $6 per square foot.

Embossed Grain

Want your deck to look and feel as natural as possible? Embossed grain composite decking mimics the appearance and texture of real wood thanks to a realistic-looking etched finish. This type of decking costs about $5 per square foot.

What Factors Influence the Price of Composite Decking?

The two main factors influencing composite decking costs are the size of your deck and the decking brand you choose. The fasteners you choose can also play a role. 

Deck Size

The size of your deck is a major contributing factor to the cost of composite decking. For instance, composite decking for 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.

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.

Fasteners 

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 cost. More traditional fasteners that install through the top are more affordable and are installed more quickly.

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

FAQs about Composite Decking

Why should I pick composite decking for my deck?

Homeowners pick composite decking for many reasons, including cost, durability, and maintenance requirements. Composite decking is usually less expensive 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. In contrast, composite decking materials cost an average of $4 to $12 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). 

Is composite decking worth the cost?

With an average cost of $25 to $54 per square foot including materials and labor, composite decking is an affordable option for your deck. High-quality composite decking imitates the look and feel of a classic wood deck, while also featuring increased durability and longevity.

Should I install composite decking myself?

While it can be tempting to cut costs by taking a DIY approach to decking installation, we recommend hiring a professional. A local professional deck contractor can install your deck as quickly and safely as possible.

How much does a composite pool deck cost?

A pool deck costs an average of $5,000. If you’re interested in a new pool deck, get in touch with a pool deck builder near you.

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