How much does it cost to build a desk?
On average, building a standard deck can range from $5,000–$7,500 nationwide, while more custom or elegant deck designs can cost as much as $16,000–$24,000. Building a deck can range in total cost depending on many factors. Deck design choices will affect the total cost, as will your chosen materials.
Your deck builder will likely also ask if they will need to remove an existing deck, and whether or not you need old decking materials removed from the site. Several factors affect the cost of building a deck or porch, and a reliable deck builder will be able to walk you through your choices.
What will I find in this cost guide?
- What Affects the Cost of Building a Deck?
- Benefits of Hiring a Builder for Your Project
- Before You Hire a Builder
What Affects the Cost of Building a Deck?
The size of the project, materials uses, hourly labor rates, and design extras all affect the total cost of building a deck.
Each job is different, and no two decks cost exactly the same. Pricing also depends on region, company, labor costs, and material costs. A simple ground-level deck, or smaller deck, would cost less to build than larger decks or ones that have multiple levels requiring deck railings and other safety features.
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, built-ins, or a roof, and clarify what materials you want, such as composite wood or pressure-treated lumber. Be sure to specify what deck materials you want used for each element of your new deck, from deck framing to deck boards, to handrails.
The type of deck 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 materials cost 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.
Cost per Square Foot
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 square foot cost 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.
Hourly Labor Rates
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 deck design extras such as 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. Contractors who specialize in building decks can help you choose deck design features to help customize your project to your home and how you want to use the space. For example, Dawg Construction charges $4.50 per square foot for handrails built with pressure-treated.
Benefits of Hiring a Builder for Your Project
A carpenter or general contractor can add a new deck or porch to any home, multi-unit 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. There are a ton of options for design once you start getting ideas from someone who does this type of work regularly. Basically, if you can imagine yourself relaxing, entertaining, or grilling on it, a pro deck builder can build it for you. 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. Choosing the right deck design can upgrade your outdoor living space and help increase the enjoyment you get from your home. This is a home improvement project that can really make a difference when handled by a pro.
Before You Hire a Builder
Before beginning a building project, check to see if you need building permits in your area. Make sure you discuss building codes with your deck builder so you don’t start a project you’re not zoned to finish. And check out our other tips for smart hiring.