A carpenter or general contractor can add a new deck or porch to any home, multiunit building or office. New decks can be made of wood (typically pressure-treated lumber), composite wood (long lasting but nearly three times the price of lumber), concrete or aluminum. Deck professionals can remove an old deck before building a new one or start from scratch, building a new porch with a roof, railings, latticework and more. Several factors affect the cost of building a deck or porch.
The size of the deck, materials used and various extra touches all affect the total cost. Each job is different, and no two decks cost exactly the same. Pricing also depends on region, company, and labor and material costs. Here are three examples of deck costs from Dawg Construction in Louisville, Kentucky:
12x12-foot deck remodel: $4,300
Three men working two and one-half days
Demo old decking and remove debris
- Redeck existing frame and put in new handrails
12x16-foot porch roof: $5,300
Estimate three men working five days
- Includes framing, vinyl, seals and finish work
12x16-foot two-story deck: $6,000
Tear down old deck
Build new deck on hillside from the ground up
- Includes 20-foot staircase to the ground
To get an accurate price estimate for a deck project, be as specific as possible when requesting a quote. Provide general measurements of the deck size, state whether you want add-ons such as handrails or a roof, and clarify what materials you want, such as composite wood or pressure-treated lumber.
The type of materials you choose will affect the cost of your new deck or porch. Aluminum is typically the least expensive option, and hardwood or redwood costs more. Composite wood costs three times more than pressure-treated lumber. Dawg Construction charges the same for labor to install a composite wood deck, but because of the materials cost, the overall price will be much higher. When choosing materials, in addition to the cost per square foot, the location of the deck and how it will be used should also be part of the equation. For a natural look, cedar or redwood is a good choice—both are more expensive than some other materials, but they are attractive. Pressure-treated wood can withstand the elements and will result in a long-lasting deck. For a low-maintenance deck, composite decking made from recycled materials, wood chips or sawdust is a good option.
The larger the deck, the more materials it will require and the more people hours it will take to construct—all of which results in increased costs. Based on the materials and the design, contractors often quote a cost per square foot for a project. According to Taylor Made General Contracting in Erie, Colorado, an average deck in the Denver region is usually around 200–300 square feet. Depending on multiple variables, a deck project usually takes around two or three weeks to complete and costs around $5,000–$7,500. More elegant decks from Taylor Made General Contracting have cost as much as $16,000–$24,000.
Some contractors charge hourly rates for remodeling existing decks (as opposed to build a new one from the ground up). Dawg Construction doesn’t provide exact cost estimates in these situations based on the cost per square foot because unforeseen variables such as rotten wood or structural faults are only revealed after the crew begins to remove the old deck. The company does, however, provide ballpark estimates to get started.
In addition to a flat deck, many people want handrails, staircases, roofs or latticework for a more finished look. Some decks need underpinnings if they are elevated. All of these extra components require additional materials, time and design expertise, and they will increase the total cost. For example, Dawg Construction charges $4.50 per square foot for handrails built with pressure-treated.
- Before beginning a building project, check to see if you need permits in your area.