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Deck Building Cost Calculator

National Average

How much does it cost to build a deck? The national average to build a deck ranges from . The total cost of your project depends on numerous factors including the size of your deck, the decking material you use, and your geographic location. Use this calculator to estimate the cost to build a deck based on the information you input.

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Cost to Build a Deck

What factors affect the cost of building a deck?

The cost to build a deck depends on the following variables:

Deck Size:

The size of your deck will be one of the main determinants of the cost of your project. Residential decks typically range in size from 200 to 500 square feet. The larger and more elaborate your deck design is, the more it will cost. Your costs will also increase if you opt for an unconventional deck shape. 

Decking Type:

Material costs are another significant factor in the overall price of your project. The two most common materials for decks are natural wood and plastic composite. While composite decks can be more expensive than some types of wooden decks, costs vary widely depending on the quality of materials. 

Pressure-treated wood is another popular option because it’s long-lasting and cost-effective. While the chemicals used on pressure-treated wood help to prevent moisture damage, increasing the deck’s durability, they are toxic and you shouldn’t come in contact with pressure-treated wood unless it has been sealed.


Your labor costs can vary greatly depending on your geographic location. If you’re in an area with a higher cost of living, you’ll likely incur higher labor costs. To estimate the cost of labor in your area, refer to the calculator above and update your ZIP code.

Decking Materials

Below are some of the most common decking materials. To see how these different material types affect your deck estimate, refer to the calculator above and update your information.

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The most common and by far the most affordable roofing material, asphalt shingles are both lightweight and relatively easy to install. While asphalt roofing is commonly bought in 3-tab 25-year-warranty shingles, it’s also available in dimensional 30-year shingles and premium 50-year shingles.

If you’re considering a natural wood, keep the cost of maintenance in mind, as wooden decks require regular weatherproofing and refinishing to stay in prime condition. But if they do become damaged or faded, you can always stain or refinish your wood deck to look like new, an option not available with composite decks.

  • Redwood: A beautiful and durable wood, redwood is a softwood prized for its warm and clean grain, which is often free of knots. Because of its distinctive grain patterns, natural beauty and resistance to decay and insect damage, it’s a higher-end decking material. It’s also one of the most sustainable decking materials, because it’s responsibly sourced and recyclable. Compared with other woods, redwood is relatively low-maintenance, and doesn’t need to be chemically treated.

  • Cedar: Also a softwood, Cedar is a lightweight wood that is rot- and pest-resistant. It’s more affordable material than redwood, and a popular choice due to its warm tone, timeless appeal and durability. Because it’s renewable and doesn’t require chemical treatment, it’s another environmentally-friendly decking material.

  • Teak: While it’s on the more expensive end of the spectrum, teak is a tropical hardwood that resists moisture, so it’s a great choice for areas with lots of rain or snow. Thanks to its naturally occurring oils, it’s also rot- and pest-resistant, making it a durable and low-maintenance decking choice. When sourced from a responsibly managed forest, it can be a sustainable choice. 

  • Ipe: A very strong and long-lasting wood, ipe is another tropical hardwood known for its durability, stability and natural beauty. Because it is so hard, it must be pre-drilled with holes before installation. Its natural pest-resistant qualities work best if it’s not coated with any paint or sealant. As for its cost, ipe is typically on the higher end of the spectrum of wood decking options. 

  • Tigerwood: Similarly strong and pest-resistant, tigerwood has a vibrant color with highlights or stripes, hence the name “tigerwood.” It’s also a sustainable option, as it grows quickly, is not endangered and requires no chemical treatment. Tigerwood is a moderately expensive choice, though can be more expensive depending on its availability. 

  • Bamboo: One of the most sustainable options on the market, bamboo is popular for its sturdiness and clean grain. While it’s actually a plant, bamboo grows at a much faster rate than other wood species, which is why it’s an eco-friendly choice. If you live in a place with lots of snow or rain, however, you’ll need a good sealant on your bamboo to prevent water damage. Compared with other hardwoods, bamboo is usually a more cost-effective option. 

  • Pine: Pine is a popular decking material choice thanks to its classic look and reasonable price. To avoid water damage, it needs to be pressure-treated, and will need to be sealed again every couple of years to keep it in working condition. 


Composite decks have become an increasingly popular choice because of their durability and low-maintenance requirements. They’re usually made out of polyethylene, polypropylene or PVC. Because composite decks last longer than wooden decks and require very little maintenance, some homeowners see the higher sticker price as a good trade-off.

Still, composite decks come with some downsides. For one, they’re not always ideal in hot weather — precisely when you’ll likely want to use your new deck. Some composite decks can become too hot to walk on, so as you’re exploring your options, keep this in mind. Lighter-colored decking materials and decks with heat-reflecting technologies minimize heat absorption and reduce surface temperatures, which make them more comfortable to walk on. 

If you’re interested in a sustainable deck material, oil-based plastic composites are not the best option. They are not easily recyclable because of the mix of natural and synthetic materials used, and are not biodegradable. It also requires much more energy to produce plastics than it does for trees to grow using solar energy.

  • Polyethylene: The most affordable composite material, polyethylene decks are made of a mix of plastics and woods. As a composite material, polyethylene is highly durable, and any decking made out of it should last for a few decades. Because it has some wood, polyethylene can also be stained different colors.

  • Polypropylene: Because it’s a bit more durable and long-lasting than polyethylene, polypropylene is usually slightly more expensive than polyethylene. Also a mix of wood and plastics, polypropylene decks can be stained different colors.

  • PVC: Also known as polyvinyl chloride, PVC is extremely durable and is the most costly synthetic decking material. PVC decks are able to withstand a wide range of extreme weather with little maintenance. Because they don’t contain any wood, however, they cannot be stained. 

Other Deck Cost Considerations:

Beyond the main variables that factor into your deck estimate, keep these additional cost considerations in mind:

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Home Valuation:

While your return on investment (ROI) depends on various factors, the average ROI of a deck is 70%. In some cases, the ROI can be as much as 80%.

Sustainability Savings:

If you’re looking for a natural, biodegradable material, wooden decking is the most environmentally friendly option. Trees capture carbon from the environment, so maintaining forests for lumber is a much cleaner solution than building factories to produce plastics. That said, the cost of different wood decking materials can vary significantly. To see how they compare, refer to the cost calculator above.

Timeless Design:

Of course you’ll want a deck that stands the test of time, but it’s also wise to choose a decking material with a timeless appeal. For example, some natural wood materials may be more of an initial investment, but their classic looks will never go out of style.

Looking for a Deck Builder?

Building a new deck can be a rewarding home improvement project that greatly enhances your outdoor living space. With the help of an experienced contractor, you’ll have guidance as you navigate the process. Not only will they help to ensure your project runs smoothly and efficiently, but they can lend their expertise with logistics such as the permitting process and building codes in your ZIP code. Ready to search for a professional deck builder in your area? Find one here

Looking for other ways to elevate your outdoor space? Perhaps you’re interested in sprucing up your yard with new landscaping. If so, find local landscape architects and designers here. Considering adding or updating a patio? Search here to find stone, paver and concrete contractors.