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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated November 13, 2021
a large brown deck interspersed with bushes and trees in the backyard of a large white house
© chuckcollier/E+/Getty Images.

The national average cost to build a deck is $7,630. Most installations range between $4,090 and $11,220. Deck prices vary based on the type of build, labor, and materials.

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What better way to elevate your outdoor living than with a new deck? You might never go inside again. But before you plan any weekend barbecues or lazy afternoon lounges, you’ll have to figure out your cost to build a deck. By considering labor, deck material costs, and size, you can get an idea of what to expect.

What Is the Cost to Build a Deck Per Square Foot?

The average cost of building a deck is about $7,630, with most installations ranging between $4,090 and $11,220. Depending on materials, design, and labor, you might pay between $30 to $60 per square foot. If you’re installing a deck on the second floor, or if you have any unique styles in mind, this could add between $8 and $20 per square foot to your deck cost.

First-Story Deck Dimensions and Average Installation Costs*

  • 8’x10’ (80 sq. ft.): $2,400–$4,800

  • 10’x10’ (100 sq. ft.): $3,000–$6,000

  • 10’x12’ (120 sq. ft.): $3,600–$7,200

  • 12’x12’ (144 sq. ft.): $4,320–$8,640

  • 12’x16’ (180 sq. ft.): $5,400–$10,800

  • 16’x16’ (256 sq. ft): $7,680–$15,360

  • 12’x20’ (240 sq. ft.): $7,200–$14,400

  • 14’x20’ (280 sq. ft.): $8,400–$16,800

  • 16’x20’ (320 sq. ft.): $9,600–$19,200

  • 12’x24’ (288 sq. ft.): $8,640–$17,280

Second-Story Deck Dimensions and Average Instalation Costs*

  • 8'x10' (80 sq. ft.): $3,040-$6,400

  • 10'x10' (100 sq. ft.): $3,800-$8,000

  • 10'x12' (120 sq. ft.): $4,560-$9,600

  • 12'x12' (144 sq. ft.): $5,472-$11,520

  • 12'x16' (180 sq. ft.): $6,840-$14,400

  • 16'x16' (256 sq. ft.): $9,728-$20,480

  • 12'x20' (240 sq. ft.): $9,120-$19,200

  • 14'x20' (280 sq. ft.): $10,640-$22,400

  • 16'x20' (320 sq. ft.): $12,160-$25,600

  • 12'x24' (288 sq. ft.): $10,944-$23,040

*Cost figures include the average price of professional installation.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck Near You?

Depending on where you live, the average cost to build a deck varies due to fluctuating material and labor costs.

Here are some average deck installation cost estimates for similar builds in major U.S. cities:

  • Los Angeles: $12,330

  • New York City: $8,490

  • Chicago: $6,320

  • Boston: $8,890

  • Denver: $8,960

  • Houston: $6,140

  • Nashville, TN: $7,480

  • Tampa, FL: $4,870

  • Lincoln, NE: $6,630

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck Yourself?

DIY-ing your deck installation will cost you around 65% of the price it would cost to hire a professional, saving you an average of $15 to $35 per square foot

While the cost savings are an undeniable plus, this isn’t a project you can just jump into. A lack of preparation can turn the fondest deck dreams into a nightmarish haze of mismeasured cuts, unlevel surfaces, and surprise expenses. But with proper preparation, you can avoid that fate.

Material Cost to Build a Deck Per Square Foot

To figure the cost to build a deck yourself, the list below represents average deck material costs. Pressure-treated wood costs about $15 to $20 per square foot. This includes railings, framework, moorings, hardware, and other structural components. 

Deck Dimensions (Square Footage) and the Average Cost of Materials

  • 8'x10’ (80 sq. ft.): $1,200–$1,600

  • 10’x10’ (100 sq. ft.): $1,500–$2,000

  • 10’x12’ (120 sq. ft.): $1,800–$2,400

  • 12’x12’ (144 sq. ft.): $2,160–$2,880

  • 12’x16’ (180 sq. ft.): $2,700–$3,600

  • 16’x16’ (256 sq. ft.): $3,840–$5,120

  • 12'x20’ (240 sq. ft.): $3,600–$4,800

  • 14’x20’ (280 sq. ft.): $4,200–$5,600

  • 16’x20’ (320 sq. ft.): $4,800–$6,400

  • 12’x24’ (288 sq. ft.): $4,320–$5,760

In addition to that, you should plan on setting aside around $600 for tools. If you’ve got any of these tucked away in your tool shed, then you’re in great shape. If you don’t, it never hurts to ask your family and neighbors if they have any you can borrow.

Tools Needed and Their Average Price

  • Circular saw: $60

  • Hand saw: $10

  • Drill, driver, and bits: $300

  • Chalk line: $7

  • Tape measure: $15

  • Carpenter’s level: $10

  • Shovel: $25

  • Work gloves: $10

  • Protective eyewear: $5

  • Ear protection: $15

  • Hammer: $10

  • Wheelbarrow: $100

Total: $567

The cost to pull a permit is another important point to consider. This can be anywhere from $225 to $500, or more depending on where you live. Most pros will take care of this for you, but if you’re handling everything yourself, be sure it’s on your to-do list. 

Remember: you are responsible for building a safe structure, so be thorough with your plans. If you don’t think you’re equipped for this project, don’t stress—there’s always a skilled deck builder near you who can help bring your vision to life.

Staining and Treating

Depending on the materials you chose and your personal preference, you might want to consider the cost to stain your deck. Deck staining typically goes for around $30 per gallon.

Your deck material costs should also factor in the yearly cost of maintenance to keep your deck looking brand new. You’ll want to pressure wash the deck for about $150 to $400, but be sure to do a spot check so you don’t hurt your wood. Then, you’ll need to reseal the deck, which runs around $20 to $40 per gallon.

Time and Personal Labor Cost to Build a Deck

One last deck cost to consider is the extra time and energy it will take to DIY instead of hiring a professional. Unless you’re Bob the Builder, or you have an army of people helping you, it will likely take at least a few solid weekends to get your deck built. This doesn’t include time spent drawing up your plans, picking up tools and supplies from the hardware store, and researching how to do it right. Not to mention the extra-fun task of obtaining any necessary permits and inspections.

Breakdown of the Cost to Build a Deck

There are many points to consider before you get the ball rolling on your dream deck. Below is a breakdown of the major components to factor into your plans.

Labor Cost to Build a Deck

Professional labor generally goes for about $15 to $35 per square foot, accounting for roughly half the total cost of building a deck. You can save a good amount of cash by taking on the project yourself, but be sure to account for the extra price of tools, materials, and (most importantly) your free time.

Deck Material Costs

Your deck material costs could range anywhere between $20 and $45 per square foot. Cheaper materials can be tempting, but they tend to sneak in extra expenses when it comes to maintenance and possible future repairs.

Maintenance Costs

Speaking of maintenance, your less expensive materials like wood usually require a good amount. You’ll need to plan on spending around $700 to $1,600 per year to have your deck power washed and resealed. 

You can hire a deck sealing contractor or, if you’re DIY-ing it, sealer goes for about $20 to $40 per gallon. Power washer rentals cost around $70 to $300 per day, or you can find a power washing contractor. This is not something you want to skip, as your deck could splinter, rot, or become a breakfast buffet for insects. 

You’ll also need to stain your deck every two to three years for around $540 to $1,050, or more if you’re working with a larger surface area. 

“When planning to install a deck, always remember to factor in future maintenance costs, as they often get overlooked,” says Andrew Kilborn, owner of Andy’s Handyman.

Taxes on Your New Deck Build

Uncle Sam won’t be attending your future barbecues, but he might still want a piece of the pie. Yep, that’s right: you might need to punch extra property taxes into your deck cost calculator. What you pay, if anything, will vary based on the area you live in.

Deck Prices for Your Insurance

A deck is a prime way to enjoy outdoor living, but it’s also something that people can trip on (or fall off of). On top of that, it’s an extra asset in case anything unthinkable happens, such as a fire or a tornado. For these reasons, your homeowner’s insurance premiums could go up to compensate for the extra liability. Talk to your provider to find out the details.

man measuring and building wooden deck
Avalon_Studio/E+/Getty Images.

Aside from size, your biggest deck cost factor is the materials you use. Decking board, a.k.a. the surface you walk on, generally goes for $5 to $30 per square foot. Most homeowners choose wood or composite, but you’ve got a few other options as well.

Listed below are some of the most popular decking material choices on a couple of standard deck sizes.

Material and 12x12 Deck Cost (Boards Only)

  • Pressure-treated lumber: $288–$720

  • Composite decking: $1,728–$3,168

  • Plastic/vinyl/PVC: $720–$1,872

  • Ipe wood: $1,440–$2,880

  • Tigerwood: $1,008–$2,160

  • Mahogany: $1,152–$1,584

  • Redwood: $720–$4,320

  • Bamboo: $432–$1,440

  • Cedar: $432–$1,008

  • Aluminum/metal: $2,160–$2,880

Material and 16x12 Deck Cost (Boards Only)

  • Pressure-treated lumber: $384–$960

  • Composite decking: $2,304–$4,224

  • Plastic/vinyl/PVC: $960–$2,496

  • Ipe wood: $1,920–$3,840

  • Tigerwood: $1,344–$2,880

  • Mahogany: $1,536–$2,112

  • Redwood: $960–$5,760

  • Bamboo: $576–$1,920

  • Cedar: $576–$1,344

  • Aluminum/metal: $2,880–$3,840

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated lumber is a classic material that goes for around $2 to $5 per square foot. Including all beams, railings, planking, and bolts, you can expect to pay around $15 to $20 per square foot for this type of deck.

Composite Decking

Most composite deck material costs around $12 to $22 per square foot. The cost of Trex decking, a popular choice for composite materials, goes for around $8 to $26 per square foot. Factoring in labor and structural components, you might pay around $30 to $40 per square foot

Composite costs significantly more than wood but requires no maintenance aside from the occasional cleaning. It’s also made of mostly recycled materials and sometimes even plastic bags, which is a huge bonus for you (and the ocean, too).

But keep in mind: Depending on the color, some composite can heat up on warm, funn

Vinyl/PVC

Vinyl or PVC deck material costs about $5 to $13 per square foot. Unlike composites, vinyl or PVC is only made of plastic. This makes it extremely long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free. However, it can fade over time and is more susceptible to dents and gouges.

Ipe Wood

Ipe is an exotic hardwood that costs around $10 to $20 per square foot. It’s a more expensive choice, but it’s very durable, earning the nickname “ironwood.” That said, it’s also more difficult to work with, so it could drive up your labor cost.

Tigerwood

Another exotic hardwood option is tigerwood for about $7 to $15 per square foot. Just like the big cat for which it's named, this wood carries a distinct striped pattern. It’s also durable, but again, this makes it harder to install. Account for extra labor costs if you go with this option.

Mahogany

Mahogany deck prices go for around $8 to $11 per square foot. While this is a moderately expensive choice, it has lower maintenance needs than pressure-treated wood and a gorgeous natural appearance.

Redwood

Redwood decking costs $5 to $30 per square foot but makes up for its higher price tag in durability. It naturally repels pests and fades to a beautiful silvery grey over time. However, it is susceptible to mold and UV damage if you don’t keep up with yearly inspections and maintenance.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a newer material on the market that costs $3 to $10 per square foot. It’s a strong and relatively inexpensive choice that resists mold and rot, though it’s not ideal for northern climates. It can also be difficult to install and requires resealing every year. If you select this material for your deck, be sure it comes from a sustainable source, as some dealers damage natural habitats with their harvesting practices.

Cedar

Cedar decking planks cost $3 to $7 per square foot and naturally resist bugs, moisture, and UV rays. This environmentally-friendly softwood is pretty inexpensive, though it demands consistent maintenance and can get damaged easily.

Aluminum/Metal

Metal or aluminum deck material costs $15 to $20 per square foot. It’s not a common choice but still has its advantages. It’s lightweight, long-lasting, waterproof, and low-maintenance. Plus, if it’s on your second story, you can enjoy a seamless roof for your outdoor living space below.

New Deck Framing Cost: Steel vs. Wood

Once you have your planks picked out, you’ll need to think about framing. You can choose either wood or steel, but know steel framing costs about 50% to 100% more than wood. Many composite decks have steel frames. However, both options keep their shape well and don’t rot or warp.

What Is the Cost of Building a Deck by Style?

Looking for something a little more “outside the box” than your typical ground-level deck? Maybe you’ve seen standard platform-style decks and you’ve got a different vision in mind. You might be wondering “how much does it cost to build a deck with a roof on it?” Or “how much does it cost to build a deck with stairs?”

Below are some build options to give you a better idea of your new deck cost.

Floating Deck Cost

If you want a floating deck, this will cost you about $20 to $60 per square foot. These decks don’t actually float (cue disappointment)—they’re just not attached to your home the way a traditional deck is. Because of this, they’ll need a few more support posts to keep them structurally sound.

Elevated Concrete Deck Prices

An elevated concrete deck will cost you around $30 to $75 per square foot. Your final cost will vary based on the dimensions of your slab and what finishes you choose.

Covered Deck Cost

If you don’t like letting a little rain prevent you from enjoying your deck, an enclosed or covered deck will cost you around $6,000 to $26,000 depending on its size. As a bonus, you’ll get extra protection from the sun. Not great for your tan, but it beats turning into a lobster after a long day outdoors.

Stairs

If you’re thinking about stairs, this could run you an additional $15 to $25 per square foot. This is because they’re very time-consuming and labor-intensive to install.

Sunroom

Can’t decide on whether you’d rather be inside or outside? A sunroom gives you the best of both worlds, costing anywhere between $20,000 and $60,000

What Factors Influence the Cost of Building a Deck?

As mentioned before, the biggest factors that affect your deck installation cost are labor, materials, and size. But there’s still something else to consider: no shade to the people who like sitting on the ground, but furniture is probably a thing you’ll want for your deck.

Here are a few additional items to consider that will turn your new deck into your dream entertaining space:

  • Outdoor lighting fixtures: $8–$30+ each

  • Heaters: $100–$300

  • Outdoor misting system: $1,800–$3,100

  • "Chat set” of furniture with four chairs and low table: $350

  • Four-piece sofa, chairs, and table: $500

  • Propane fireplace: $300–$700

  • Retractable deck awning: $300+

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to have all this cash upfront. You can always budget and save up for the pieces you want the most. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dream deck doesn’t have to be, either.

home wood deck with patio furniture overlooking hills with trees
David Papazian/The Image Bank/Getty Images.

FAQs About Deck Cost

How much does it cost to repair a deck?

Hopefully it won’t come to that for a long time, but deck repairs generally cost around $700 to $2,500.

How much should I charge to build a deck?

If you're thinking about starting your own deck-building business, you should charge based on the difficulty, time, and materials it takes. A good place to start is around $30 to $75 per square foot.

Why is composite decking so much more expensive than wood?

Composite decking might cost more upfront, but it really delivers value in terms of durability. Unlike wood, composite material resists common deck problems such as rotting, fading, warping, and all the other things you don’t want a deck to do. The extra processes lead to a higher price tag, but you’ll save big in maintenance costs down the road.

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