Okie dokie, it's time for the numbers!!! Many people are curious as to how much we spent to build our deck (see the complete deck story here). I was actually very curious myself because when I did research beforehand, there is very little information out there on the prices of decks. Many of the construction forums I read say that this is because there are so many variables... i.e. two decks of the same size could be vastly different in price depending on shape, products, height, etc.
Well I went ahead and calculated the price of all of our materials. I also happen to have the prices from our supplier for some of the other types of composite material as well as your standard pressure treated wood, so I'll give you some info on that too.
First, a comparison of the type of decking we used (Timbertech XML), with one of the cheapest composites you can get (Trex Select), with regular old pressure treated wood. I did not include the price for the drainage system supplies since I imagine most people will not need that. I'll provide some info on that below.
Here's a little summary of what you see in the breakdown below: If you were to build our exact 480+ square foot, 6' high deck with the exact products we used, it would cost you about $11,750 in materials, which comes out to about $24 per square foot. If you were to build our exact size/shape/height deck using the cheapest composite decking available, it would cost you about $9,500 in materials, which comes out to about $20 per sf. If you were to build our exact size/shape/height deck using pressure treated wood, it would cost you about $6,300 in materials, which comes out to about $13 per sf.
|Almost $12K for this beauty!|
I have heard that one of the standard deck sizes that Ryan Homes offers is 10'x12'. The materials for that size deck would be less than $2,400 for standard composite and less than $1,600 for wood. It would probably be even lower since their decks have standard steps, if any.
All right, here is the math (this girl loves a good spreadsheet!):
|Deck Price Comparisons (480 sf deck)|
Pressure Treated Wood
|3.||Screws, straps, etc||$100.00||$100.00||$100.00|
|10.||Concrete pad for steps||$500.00||$500.00||$500.00|
|Price for our 480 sf Deck:||$11,756.20||$9,539.70||$6,307.50|
|Price per Square Foot||$24.49||$19.87||$13.14|
|Price for 10'x12' Deck||$2,939.05||$2,384.93||$1,576.88|
Let me explain the breakdown...
- The footings (we needed 15) and 18'x5' concrete pad at the bottom of our steps were done by a contractor (my cousin to be exact).
- We purchased the pressure treated framing lumber from Home Depot and this included everything we needed for the posts, beams, joists, stringers, ledger board as well as delivery. You'll notice that the price for the wood deck is less. The composite decking manufacturers suggest that you space your joists 12" on center with their products. With wood, you can get away with 16" O.C., so I just multiplied the composite number by 0.75 (12/16).
- Screws, straps, etc: I forgot to keep the receipts for all of the hardware we used for the framing, so I just threw a number in there... it wasn't significant.
- The deck boards were obviously the most expensive aspect and this is also where you have the most options, so you can really keep your cost down by choosing a less expensive product.
- We used RDI Original vinyl railing systems. In my estimate I assumed that if you were doing a wood deck, you would also use the wood railings. The price for those is based on the quote we were given from our supplier as well.
- The hidden fasteners are special screw systems which you use with "grooved" composite boards so that you don't see the screws in your deck. It really does look awesome. I did not include this in the wood deck option since this system is not available for regular pressure treated boards.
- Deck screws: We still needed a bunch of regular deck screws for the steps, fascia and the edges where you couldn't use the hidden fasteners.
- We used PVC lattice. You can actually get the pattern in two different sizes and we opted for the smaller size so that you can't see under our deck as much. Again, this was the more expensive option and regular wood lattice is significantly cheaper.
- We also used PVC fascia (are you getting the idea that we don't plan on a lot of future maintenance??), but again going with the regular wood fascia will save you some money.
The drainage system for our deck cost just over $1,000, including the heavy duty plastic and 3" thick gravel that we laid on the ground under the deck.
The one thing I did not include was the price of tools. There are some pricey tools that are definitely required. We were lucky that we either owned or were able to borrow everything we needed.
I hope this helped some people who are considering building a deck. If you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll try to answer as best I can!