A deck is a great extension of any home, especially if you appreciate the ambiance outdoors. Spending time on the deck alone or with family and guests can be very fun and relaxing at the same time. But before you decide on building a deck at home, read this article first and discover how much it costs to build a deck today.
Typical Cost Of Building A Deck
The average cost of building a deck is $10,000 or $33 per square foot.
This cost involves the price of labor as well as materials, concrete, excavation and site preparation, stairs and railings, and furnishings of a wooden 16×20 deck.
Factors That Affect The Price Of Building A Deck
Choice of materials. A deck is built with three features usually, which are the planks, framework, and railings. Your choice of materials for each of these features will greatly affect the cost of your deck. A wooden deck is basically less expensive as compared to a deck made with composite materials. A 16×20 deck made from composite materials usually cost $16,000 on average as compared to the $10,500 for a wood deck. When it comes to railings, you can expect that vinyl and aluminum railings will be more expensive as compared to wood railings.
Type of wood. If you have chosen a wood deck, the price will still vary depending on your choice of wood. Options usually include redwood, mahogany, red cedar, and ipe. Ipe is the cheapest as it costs $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot while redwood and red cedar can be the most expensive as their prices can average to $20 per square foot. On the other hand, mahogany is priced from $7 to $8 per square foot.
Size of the deck. The bigger the deck is, the more expensive the overall cost will become because of more materials and more manpower needed to complete the job.
Location. If you are in an urban area, expect that the cost of labor will be more expensive but the cost of materials can be cheaper. Moreover, if you are close to where the materials are produced, you can expect that the cost of materials will be cheaper.
Contractor. Your choice of contractor will basically affect the total cost of the job. Some contractors will price cheaply but others who are more experienced and more skilled can price expensively. If you try to build the deck yourself, the cost of building a deck can definitely go down. Here, you only have to spend on the materials, which can be $13 to $22 per square foot.
Staining or sealing the deck can be an added cost when building a deck. This is especially true for wood decks so as to protect it against the weather.
Installing electricity to the deck can also cost extra. Even at least a single electrical outlet in the deck can be an added expense.
Adding a pergola or awning is also an extra cost. A fabric awning will definitely make the deck usable all year round.
Renting or purchasing tools and equipment for DIY deck building can be an added cost. The needed tools and equipment can include auger, concrete mixer, drill, squares, hammer, circular saw, tape measure, and the like.
In some cities and states, you need to get a permit prior to building a deck. The price of getting permits varies from one location to another. Moreover, take note that an inspector can request for several changes in the deck if there is something wrong with the construction or design. This will be an added cost as well.
Tips Before You Decide To Build A Deck
Decide on the purpose of building a deck in the first place. This will help you determine the right size and materials to choose for the deck. Moreover, this will help you decide on whether you need to add furnishings like benches and awnings to make it more usable.
Find qualified contractors who can do the job for you. Make sure they are licensed and they are experienced enough in the field. If you choose to make the project yourself, purchase good plans and kits that will be easy for you to accomplish.
Get the necessary permits from the concerned authority before starting anything. Especially if you are doing the project yourself, make sure you follow the regulations on deck building. A failed score in the inspection can always mean an additional expense for you especially if the inspector will be requiring a lot of changes.
You may use this deck cost calculator to help you in estimating the cost of the whole project.