The cost to build a deck has a typical range of $4,800 to $24,000. Labor and materials account for roughly half of the budget, resulting in a total cost of about $60 per square foot. A 16-foot by 20-foot deck with footings, posts, railings with balusters, and a built-in bench will set you back around $19,200.

Second-story installations and unique designs raise the base price by 30% to 60% or $8 to $22 per square foot. The total cost of your project is determined by a number of factors, including the size, design, location, construction materials, and functional add-ons. You should also account for any significant additions, such as an outdoor kitchen, pool, or hot tub.


Estimating Deck Building Cost by Size

Most decks cost around $60 per square foot. Other factors, however, can have an impact on this figure, such as:

  • Complexity of design
  • Second story installation
  • Material type
  • Regional pricing difference

If you want a large or elaborate installation, you’ll have to pay a lot more than if you just want a small platform. It all boils down to practicality. 

The chart below assumes a first-floor installation with mid-grade materials and railings, balusters, and stairs. The majority of them are between 300 and 400 square feet.

Deck Size Square Feet Cost
8×10 80 $4,800
10×10 100 $6,000
10×12 120 $7,200
12×12 144 $8,640
12×20 240 $14,400
14×20 280 $16,800
16×16 256 $15,360
20×20 400 $24,000


Cost to Build a Deck Based on Material

average cost build deck

The cost of materials to build a deck ranges from $6.60 to $8.80 per square foot on average. The three most popular materials for building outdoor decks in the United States are pressure-treated wood, hardwood, and recycled composite.

Wood Deck

Materials for building a deck with a natural wood range from $5.50 to $38.50 per square foot. Wood decks are attractive and popular among homeowners, but they require more maintenance, such as regular staining and sealing.

  • Redwood: Redwood costs range from $5 to $35 per square foot and is the most common wood used in deck construction. Unfortunately, if not properly maintained, it is susceptible to mold and sun damage.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is the most cost-effective material for decking, with a range of $5 to $15 per square foot. To stay in good shape, it, like cedar, requires annual maintenance.
  • Cedar: Cedar costs $4 to $9 per square foot and is naturally resistant to weathering, insects, and rot. Additionally, yearly sanding, sealing, and staining are required.
  • Ipe: Ipe is a Brazilian hardwood that can cost anywhere between $25 and $65 per square foot. It is mold-resistant and usually lasts for over 40 years. It is, however, the most costly wood to work with.
  • Tigerwood: Tigerwood is one of the most used hardwoods for decking, with prices ranging from $7 to $16 per square foot. Tigerwood, like Ipe, is a long-lasting wood that requires special tools to drill holes in for installation.

Pressure Treated Deck

The average cost of a pressure-treated wood deck is $10 to $40 per square foot including installation. In the United States, pressure-treated wood (PTW) is used on nearly 75% of all decks.

After being chemically treated under pressure, it is fabricated to make the wood more resistant to insects, mold, and rot.

Composite Deck

Installed composite decking costs $25 to $45 per square foot, with the national average of $35 per square foot. Recycled composite decking is a decking material that is made to look like real wood and is becoming increasingly popular. It’s made of recycled plastic, with the most common materials being polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Cost of Lumber to Build A Deck

The most common woods used in decking typically cost $6 to $8 per square foot in lumber. That means premium hardwoods and composite materials will set you back anywhere from $20 to $35 per square foot.

Labor Costs to Build a Deck

The cost of labor to build a deck in your home ranges from $8 to $22 per square foot. It depends on the size, materials used, the level built on, the conditions of the area, and any additional features such as built-in seating or stairs.

Second Story Deck vs. Ground Level Decks

second story deck costs

Photo by Birgit Loit on Unsplash

For additional posts and stairs, adding a deck to the second story costs $40 to $50 per square foot. Accessibility issues could drive up the price even more. Besides, Installing one over a garden or pool, for instance, necessitates the use of additional scaffolding.

On the other hand, ground-level decks are about half the price of a standard style, ranging from $20 to $25 per square foot. This is due to the lack of stairs and, in some cases, railings.

Cost to Build a Roof Deck

A basic rooftop deck will set you back at least $25,000 to build. Luxury additions, such as an outdoor kitchen, can quickly push the price tag over $50,000. This type, on the other hand, provides the best return on investment. When you’re remodeling your home with this addition, you can expect a complete return on your investment. Interestingly, the return could be up to 1.5 times in some southern climates.

Staining, Sealing, and Waterproofing Costs

Keep in mind to include the cost of routine maintenance in your deck building budget. Further, most maintenance includes power washing and resealing, staining, or painting.

  • Pressure washing: Costs anywhere between $165 to $550. You will want to do this before resealing or painting.
  • Deck staining: Costs anywhere between $605 to $1,100. For a DIYer, this price of staining would be around $35 per gallon.
  • Waterproofing or sealing: Expect to spend between $550 to $1,650. Sealer runs from $33 to $55 per gallon.
  • Refinishing a deck: Refinishing costs anywhere between $1400 to $7,500. This can remove all old stains, sealants, and paints, and sand the surfaces smoothly.

Costs of Permits to Build a Deck

Before you start building your deck, you’ll need to get a building permit. This is crucial because if you don’t have a permit, you can be fined, or even worse, you could be forced to tear down your deck. The cost of a permit varies widely from one location to another. It could be anywhere from $50 to $500 or more. Factors influencing the cost include the size of the deck, your location, and the complexity of the project. You may not need one if you are replacing an existing deck or you’re not changing your home design blueprint. It is best to always check first with your local authorities.

DIY or Hire a Professional?

diy cost to build a deck

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

A deck is an amazing home addition idea. However, if you build a deck yourself and any part of it turns out to be defective, you could be held liable for any resulting damages or injuries.

However, if you have decided to build one yourself, keep the following risks and pitfalls in mind:

  • Uneven boards
  • Inadequate foundation support can lead to bending and bowing.
  • Improperly supported stairs and rails
  • Building code violations cost time and money.

Please note that these are rough estimates and the actual costs may vary. Additionally, costs can vary significantly based on your location, the size and condition of your deck, as well as the products and equipment you choose to use.

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