How Much Does it Cost to Build a Deck in 2023?

The average cost to build a deck is $7,320, and most homeowners pay $3,920 – $10,540. Expect to pay about $21 per square foot for a deck.

 

The average cost to build a deck is $7,320, and most homeowners pay $3,920 – $10,540. However, some large and lavish decks cost as much as $17,000, and some small decks cost as little as $1,600. Expect to pay about $21 per square foot for a deck.

The cost of building a deck depends on square footage, decking material, and other cost factors. Softwoods, such as pine and cedar, are the cheapest decking materials. Although exotic wood, composite, and PVC decks are pricey, they are more durable than softwood decks. 

In this cost guide:

Average costs to build a deck in 2023

National average cost$7,320
Typical price range$3,920 – $10,540
Extreme low-end cost$1,600
Extreme high-end cost$17,000

If you are on a tight budget, consider a small single-story deck made of pressure-treated pine, but if you are looking for longevity, ipe (exotic wood) is the best material – and also one of the most expensive. 

Deck cost estimator by size

The typical American deck is 300 – 400 square feet, meaning the average deck costs about $21 per square foot. However, high-class decks can cost as much as $50 per square foot, and minimalistic models can cost as little as $15 per square foot. Please see typical pricing by size in the table below.

Deck size (sq. ft.)Typical price range
200$3,000 – $10,000
300$4,500 – $15,000
400$6,000 – $20,000
500$7,500 – $25,000

Other factors that affect cost

Deck material

Decking material costs $2 – $19 per square foot (not including labor and additional parts). If you have a small budget, consider building a pine deck; however, ipe and composite decks have much better resistance to the elements. Please see the typical pricing for decking materials in the table below. 

Decking materialCost per square foot (material only)
Cedar$3.40 – $6.00
Composite$8.20 – $13.30
Ipe (exotic wood)$9 – $16
Pine (pressure-treated)$2 – $3.75
PVC$10
Redwood$5.50 – $19

When choosing a deck material, consider the following:

  1. What is your budget? Pressure-treated pine works great for many homeowners on a tight budget. However, ipe decks can last 50 years or more compared to 10 – 15 years with a pine deck.
  1. Where are you building the deck? For example, composite decking holds up great in direct sunlight, and ipe doesn’t get as hot as other wood decks. 
  1. What is your outdoor decor? If you like a rustic look, you probably want to go with natural wood decking. However composite material has a very customizable appearance that can fit any outdoor living space.
  1. How much maintenance do you want to deal with? PVC decks require less maintenance than most decking material. 

Ipe vs. composite decks

Ipe (aka Brazilian Walnut and Lapacho) is an exotic hardwood from South America that typically costs $9 – $16 per square foot. It is known for its exquisite beauty and remarkable durability.

Composite decking is an eco-friendly option, typically made of recycled wood and plastic. Composite decks usually cost $8.20 – $13.30 per square foot and are more durable than most wooden decks.  

How do Ipe and composite compare?

  • Durability:  Ipe wood is more durable than composite decking. It is naturally insect, fungus, and weather-resistant and is almost twice as dense as standard wood.  Furthermore, it has a class A rating for fire resistance. As a result, ipe has a longer lifespan and requires fewer repairs than composite decking.  
  • Appearance: Homeowners everywhere admire ipe’s natural beauty, but it doesn’t allow much flexibility in appearance. Composite decking is offered in many colors and can be customized to look how you want it.  
  • Price: Although ipe costs more than composite material, it lasts about twice as long. As a result, you get more bang for your buck with ipe. However, high-end ipe decks can cost significantly more than a composite deck.

Softwoods (redwood, cedar, pine)

If you are on a budget, you might want to choose a softwood deck, such as:

  • Pressure-treated pine: Pine doesn’t have a natural resistance to the elements, so it needs a chemical treatment. It isn’t the strongest wood, but it is low-cost and easy to work with.
  • Cedar: Cedar is an attractive wood from the western U.S. and Canada that typically costs $3.40 – $6.00 per square foot. Because it is naturally resistant, it does not have to be pressure-treated with chemicals.
  • Redwood: Redwood is known for its beauty and remarkable resistance to the elements. Like cedar, redwood does not need chemical treatment. 

How do softwoods compare?

  • Durability: Redwood is the most durable softwood decking material, and a redwood deck can last up to 30 years. Next in line is cedar, and it has a typical lifespan of 15 – 20 years. Finally, pine is the least durable option, and a pine deck usually lasts 10 – 15 years. 
  • Appearance: Most people prefer the exquisite look of redwood. However, many homeowners build beautiful decks made from cedar or pine. 
  • Price: Pine is the cheapest softwood decking material, and redwood is the most expensive. Consider the cost per square foot, warranties, and service contracts to find the best deal. 

Deck design and style

Choose a simple deck without intricacy if you want to save money. However, if you have the cash, you may want to consider these lavish styles:

  • Wrap-around decks are usually attached to your home and typically cost $5,200 – $17,600. If your property has appealing scenery, wrap-around decks help you enjoy the view. 
  • Decks with intricate designs that include curves and detail cost $4,610 – $18,085.
  • Decks with built-in seating can cost $4,245 – $16,040. Small prefabricated seats are much more affordable than elaborate custom designs. 
  • Raised foundations are great on uneven terrain and in flood zones. Expect to pay about $3,970- $10,940 for a raised foundation deck.
  • Floating decks, also called freestanding decks, are not attached to your home and typically cost $6,000 – $24,000. Although great for parties, floating decks require a lot of maintenance. 
  • Multi-level decks are a great way to separate your deck into parts, and they typically cost $35 – $75 per square foot

Prep work

Before your contractor starts building your deck, you may need the following services to prepare the area for construction:

  • Deck removal typically costs $5 – $10 per square foot of your existing deck.
  • Land leveling and grading usually costs $800 – $4,000
  • Excavation costs $60 – $200 per cubic yard.

Add-ons

Do you want to stargaze from your deck on a cool November night? Or maybe host a private outdoor party with a hot tub? No matter what you want to do with your deck, there are add-ons to make it happen.

Add-onTypical cost
Electricity$30+
Fire pit$250 – $2,200
Flooring$750 –  $1,600
Furniture$100 – $5,000
Heater$100 – $375
Hot tub$4,500 – $10,000
Lighting$1,670 – $3,000
Misting system $115 – $500
Patio bar$175 – $1,800
Planters$100 – $375
Privacy screen$20 / panel
Railings$25 – $30 / linear foot
Stairs$175 – $1,650

Related services 

Deck repair

Most deck repairs cost $575 – $2,600. The cost of repairing a deck depends on the deck type and the damage’s extent. Minor repairs can cost as little as $150, and extensive repairs can cost several thousand dollars.

National average cost$1,465
Typical price range$575 – $2,600
Extreme low-end cost$150
Extreme high-end cost$6,670

Pergola installation

Pergolas add shade to your deck and help protect furniture and other add-ons. Expect a new pergola to cost $2,100 – $6,000, but large pergolas made of fiberglass or teak may cost significantly more.

National average cost$4,000
Typical price range$2,100 – $6,000
Extreme low-end cost$1,050
Extreme high-end cost$11,000

Gazebo installation

Gazebos are solid-roofed structures that provide more shade and protection than a pergola. Most gazebos cost $5,365 – $9,025, depending on square footage, building material, and gazebo style. 

National average cost$7,590
Typical price range$5,365 – $9,025
Extreme low-end cost$325
Extreme high-end cost$27,000

Walkways

Many homeowners accent their decks with a decorative walkway. Most walkways cost $1,080 – $2,160. For example, if you build a floating deck, you might want to make a walkway to get to it from the house. Also, you can create a walkway from your deck to a separate outdoor space. 

National average cost$1,620
Typical price range$1,080 – $2,160
Extreme low-end cost$700
Extreme high-end cost$2,770

Pro cost vs. DIY cost

It might be tempting to try to save money by building the deck yourself. However, you may not end up saving any money, as you can see from the DIY cost breakdown below.

Equipment costs

If you don’t already have them, you’ll need to purchase the tools in the table below.

EquipmentTypical Cost
Clamps$6
Hammer$18
Level$35
Mixing paddle$14
Protective equipment$50
Sawhorses$30
Speed Square$7
Tape Measure$18
Total Cost$178

In addition to purchasing the equipment above, you can rent the tools in the table below. 

EquipmentDaily rental cost
Air compressor$53
Circular saw$23
Impact driver$25
Miter saw$35
Pneumatic nail gun$29
Post hole digger$10
Power sander$43
Table saw$53
Total Cost$271 / day

Material costs

Depending on the type of material, you can expect to pay $600 – $7,600 for a 300 – 400 square foot deck. For example, a pressure-treated pine deck will need $600 – $1,500 in decking material, and composite decking will cost $2,460 – $5,320. That’s the cost without professional construction.

Cost Comparison 

It can take up to ten days for an experienced builder to complete a deck, but let’s assume you work quickly and rent equipment for 5 days. 

DIY Deck Cost$2,133 – $6,853
Professional Deck installation$3,920 – $10,540

Keep in mind the prices above assume you did everything right the first time and worked quickly. Equipment rental and material costs add up fast; one mistake can cost you more than you save. We recommend hiring an experienced and insured contractor to build your deck. 

Cost of building a deck by location

The cost of building a deck varies by location for the following reasons:

  • Property taxes: Adding a deck increases your home’s resale value and may raise property taxes. Contact your local tax collector for details. 
  • Building permits: You will probably need a permit for deck building, but prices and requirements vary by location. Rural areas usually have less requirements than cities.  Rooftop decks can be the trickiest to get approved. 
  • Climate: Your climate affects the materials you can use, and some environments require extra protection. For example, composite decks hold up the best in ice and snow, and ipe decks do great in the heat. Areas prone to flooding may require a raised foundation. 
  • Labor: Cities with a higher cost of living typically have higher labor costs.
  • Materials: Locally available materials typically cost less than materials that are shipped.  The further the materials travel, the higher the cost of materials.
  • Homeowners insurance: Your new deck may increase homeowners insurance premiums. Contact your insurance agent for more information.

FAQ

How much should a 20×20 deck cost?

Most 20 x 20 decks cost  $6,000 – $20,000. The cost of the deck depends on the decking material, features, and design. 

How do people pay for a deck?

If you have the cash, paying for a deck in full is a great way to save money on interest. Otherwise, you can use a personal or home equity loan. In addition, some deck builders offer financing. Most deck loans have to be paid back within 2-7 years.

What is a good size deck?

The best size for your deck depends on your home. Most contractors recommend that decks are less than 20% of the size of your home. The average American home is 2,480 square feet, and the average American deck is 300 – 400 square feet.

Final Thoughts

Decks are great for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. However, choosing the right deck can be daunting with so many choices. Thankfully, an experienced contractor can help you pick the perfect deck for your budget and lifestyle. Contact a local deck contractor today! 

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo by: woodleywonderworks – Flickr – CC BY 2.0

Michelle Selzer

Michelle Selzer is a web developer, technical writer, and Linux enthusiast from the hills of Tennessee. Her hobbies include collecting toys, hiking to waterfalls, and writing short fan-fiction stories.