The average cost to install new composite decking is $8,850, and most composite decks cost $5,100 – $11,200. Large composite decks can cost as much as $20,000, and small and simple designs can cost as little as $3,600.
Composite decking is an eco-friendly building material made from recycled wood and plastic. Many homeowners choose composite decks because they are low maintenance, durable, and completely customizable. In addition, most composite decking comes with at least a 25 year warranty.
In this cost guide:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average costs to build a composite deck in 2023
|National average cost||$8,850|
|Typical price range||$5,100 – $11,200|
|Extreme low-end cost||$3,600|
|Extreme high-end cost||$20,000|
Most composite decks cost $5,100 – $11,200. If you want to stay on the low end of the spectrum, build a small, rectangular composite deck.
Composite deck cost estimator by size
The average American deck is 300 – 400 square feet, and most composite decks cost $25 – $50 per square foot to install. Please see typical project costs by deck size in the table below.
|Deck size (sq. ft.)||Typical cost|
|200||$5,000 – $10,000|
|300||$7,500 – $15,000|
|400||$10,000 – $20,000|
|500||$12,500 – $25,000|
Other factors that affect cost
These additional factors can also impact the cost of your composite decking project:
Composite deck boards typically cost $4.48 – $13.30 per square foot (boards only). The following factors impact the composite material cost:
- Quality: High-quality composite decking is more durable, comes with at least a 25-year warranty, and is typically more expensive than low-quality alternatives.
- Deck design: One of the great things about composite decking material is its completely customizable appearance. Lower-end composite decking boards don’t utilize this superpower. Intricate designs and textures are exclusive to higher-end materials.
- Protective coating: Some composite decking has a protective resin coating to prevent damage and fading, which adds about $1 per square foot.
Brand name impacts decking prices. Brands like Trex and AZEK have a long history of satisfied customers. Please see decking cost by brand in the table below.
|Brand||Typical cost per square foot|
|FiberOn||$4.48 – $13.18|
|TimberTech / AZEK||$7.15 – $13.40|
The shape of your deck also impacts its cost. Small, simple shapes like a rectangle are the most cost-effective. On the other hand, complex shapes with many sides and angles take longer to build and require greater carpentry skills, which means you’ll pay more in labor and material costs.
Before your deck builder can start on the deck, you may need site preparation services, including:
- Land clearing costs $100 – $735 for a quarter acre
- Removing an existing deck typically costs $5 – $10 per square foot
- Land leveling and grading can cost $800 – $4,000
Many homeowners enhance their composite deck with the following add-ons:
- Hidden fasteners give your deck a smooth look but cost more than standard fasteners.
- Trex composite deck stairs typically cost $20 – $50 per square foot.
- Most railings cost $25 – $30 / linear foot.
- DIY electricity kits start at about $30, and most electricians charge $45 to $100 per hour.
- Deck lighting typically costs $1,670 – $3,000, and good lighting is essential for nighttime entertainment.
- Fire pits are great for heat, light, and outdoor ambiance. Most fire pits cost $250 – $2,200.
- Pergolas have a grid-style roof that provides partial shade, and most pergolas cost $2,100 – $6,000. They are a great way to add shade, protection, and aesthetics to your deck.
- Gazebos have solid roofs that provide full shade and protection against the elements. Expect a gazebo to cost $5,365 to $9,025.
Here are some additional services to improve your outdoor living experience:
Depending on deck size and deck material, most new decks cost $3,920 – $10,540. Composite decking is an excellent option because it is eco-friendly, durable, and low-maintenance, but you may want to consider other, more affordable decking materials. The table below shows the typical cost of common deck types (material only).
|Decking material||Cost per square foot|
|Cedar||$3.40 – $6.00|
|Composite||$4.48 – $13.30|
|Ipe (exotic wood)||$9 – $16|
|Pine (pressure-treated)||$2 – $3.75|
|Redwood||$5.50 – $19|
Your deck will get damaged from time to time, and the average cost to repair a deck is $1,465. The amount of damage, type of damage, and decking material are all factors in the price of repairs.
|National average cost||$1,465|
|Typical price range||$575 – $2,600|
|Extreme low-end cost||$150|
|Extreme high-end cost||$6,670|
Flower beds are a great way to add color and fragrance to your yard, and flower bed installation typically costs $1,000 – $3,000. Additionally, flower beds increase curb appeal, mental health, and air quality. Choose a variety of brightly colored flowers to attract bees to your garden.
|National average cost||$2,500|
|Typical price range||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Extreme low-end cost||$850|
|Extreme high-end cost||$6,000|
Most professional xeriscaping costs $5 – $20 per square foot. Xeriscaping is a landscape design method that minimizes the need for irrigation, often including mulch, rocks, and drought-resistant plants.
|National average cost||$17,000|
|Typical price range||$10,000 – $19,000|
|Extreme low-end cost||$4,000|
|Extreme high-end cost||$24,000|
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
You may be tempted to build a composite deck yourself, but deck building takes skill, experience, and heavy equipment. Thus, building a DIY deck is a costly home improvement project. It typically takes at least 2 people 5 – 14 days to build a deck.
If you do not own the tools below, you will have to purchase them.
You will also have to rent the equipment below for the duration of the project.
|Equipment||Daily rental cost|
|Pneumatic nail gun||$29|
|Post hole digger||$10|
|Total Cost||$271 / day|
And you will have to purchase composite building material and hardware. For a typical composite deck, that will cost $2,460 – $5,320.
|DIY Composite Deck Cost||$4,000 – $8,200|
|Pro Composite Deck Cost||$5,100 – $11,200|
As you can see, there is only potential for little savings from doing it yourself. Furthermore, novice mistakes can cause the bill to get much higher than a professional would charge. Professional installation cost savings are offset by hefty equipment rental fees.
Cost of building a composite deck by location
Composite deck prices vary by location for the following reasons:
- Property taxes may increase after you build a composite deck because it increases the value of your home.
- Permits are required to build most decks, and the cost of a building permit differs from city to city.
- Homeowner’s insurance may increase.
- Labor costs depend on the local cost of living, the number of contractors in the area, and other factors.
It is usually cheaper to build a softwood deck (e.g., pine or cedar) than to make a composite deck. However, softwood decks have a much shorter lifespan and require more maintenance.
For example, pressure-treated pine decking material can cost as little as $2 per square foot and has a lifespan of 10 – 15 years. In comparison, composite decking typically costs $8.20 – $13.30 per square foot and has a lifespan of 25 – 30 years.
High-quality hardwood decks (e.g., ipe) can cost as much or more than a composite deck. Ipe is one of the best materials for durability and has a beautiful natural wood appearance. Ipe decking material usually costs $9 – $16 per square foot and can last 50 years or more.
Many homeowners say a composite deck is worth the money because composite decks are:
• Low maintenance
• Rot and insect resistant
• Made of recycled material
• Easy to clean
• Customizable in appearance
Composite decks require minimal maintenance, but they do require some maintenance and cleaning:
• Keep your deck debris-free by sweeping regularly and removing debris squished between deck boards.
• Use ammonia-free liquid dish soap (e.g., Dawn) mixed with warm water to clean grease immediately, as grease can stain composite.
• Pressure clean at least once a year.
Composite decks are a great low-maintenance alternative to real wood. Not only do composite decks resist the elements, but they are also easy to clean and can last twice as long as pine or cedar. So start enjoying the great outdoors, and contact a local deck-building pro today!
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Main Photo by: Fiberon – Flickr – CC BY-ND 2.0