When it comes to any home improvement project, cost is a major consideration. Whether you are taking the DIY approach or hiring a contractor, taking the time to understand the costs associated with your project is important.
There are three factors you need to consider: size, materials and labor.
The size of your composite deck plays a significant role in the overall cost of your project. Traditional square and rectangular-shaped decks tend to be more affordable and DIY-friendly compared to more complex designs. Common deck dimensions are 12'x16' and 16'x20'. If you want to create a multidimensional deck space with various levels or layouts that require stairs, you can expect to pay more for your project. Most professionals will quote your project based on square footage with elements such as stairs quoted separately.
The amount of material needed for your project is dependent upon the size of your deck and the design features you choose. Built-in elements such as seating, planter boxes or a custom-designed inlay will require more material and add more cost to your project. Generally speaking, your material costs will be determined by decking, railing and substructure needs.
Decking is available in a variety of technologies and price points. You can expect to pay between $2.00 to $6.00 per linear foot depending on whether you choose an entry-level Traditional Composite or a premium decking such as Deckorators® Surestone™ mineral-based composite technology
A great way to estimate your decking material cost is to multiply the linear foot cost by 2.1 to determine price-per-square-foot. For example, a 12'x16' sq.-ft. deck is 192 sq. ft. If your decking costs $4 per linear foot, your estimated price-per-square-foot will be $8.40 and your estimated decking material cost will be $1,612.80. This number accounts for decking material costs only and does not include the cost of professional installation or fasteners.
Surestone™ Technology Decking
Aluminum railing is a popular choice that adds safety and style to your outdoor space. You can expect to pay between $40-$70 per linear foot depending on the aluminum and/or cable railing system you select. For example, if your railing system costs $55 per linear foot and your project requires 40 ft. of railing, the estimated railing material cost will be $2,200. This does not include the cost of labor or additional accessories.
The majority of decks are built on a wood substructure such as pressure-treated lumber. Materials such as lumber, hardware and concrete are all features that should be considered in your estimate. The height of your deck, whether or not your deck will include stairs, and changes in lumber pricing - $12.00 to $16.00 per square foot - are all factors that may affect cost. While the lumber market may vary, using $14 per sq. ft. will provide a rough estimate for pressure-treated substructure costs. It's not a bulletproof estimate, as angles, corners and distance in elevation add to the cost significantly. This is only framing material, not labor.
*Disclaimer: This diagram is for visual reference and deck frame element identification only.
While you can save on labor and build your deck yourself, hiring a licensed contractor saves time and can produce a higher-quality finished deck. When hiring a contractor, you don’t have to worry about buying expensive tools, knowing the local building codes, applying for a building permit, estimating materials or figuring out the design. Deckorators has Certified Pros who are expertly trained to design and build your outdoor space. Labor cost varies by contractor; however, a good way to get a rough estimate for your total project cost, including labor, is to double your total material cost. For example, if the estimated cost of your decking, railing and substructure is $6,000, you can expect professional installation to be around $6,000 - for a total estimated project cost of $12,000.
- Consider the time of year - Deck prices typically peak in the summer when contractors and materials are in demand, so try a fall or spring build to save on cost.
- Build with a number in mind - It’s important to establish a budget for your project and communicate that to your builder.