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How Much Does it Cost to Build a Deck?

2/13/2015

Category: Decks

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Was building a deck one of your New Year’s resolutions? It’s time to stop putting this project away and move to the planning phase. But before you fall in love with a design you can’t afford, it pays to research the reasonable price for an average deck in your area. You could ask your neighbors how much they paid their Maryland deck contractor or you could read this article and start budgeting right away!

To get a general idea, let’s look at some national and state averages:

  • The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report estimates a mid-range composite deck to cost around $15,437. This is the price for a single-level 16×20 foot platform deck with 4 concrete anchors, 3 steps of stairs and railings on three sides.
  • According to the costs reported by Improve.net members, the national average price for a deck is $6,148, with $14,000 being the top of the budget. To build a deck in Maryland, however, the site users reported to have spent close to $10,000 on average and $25,000 maximum.
  • HomeAdvisor members have reported that their average price was around $6,000, and some paid up to $15,000 for their deck. Once again, for Maryland these numbers are higher and Maryland homeowners paid on average $8,000 and up to $20,000 for a high-end construction.

What do these numbers tell us? First of all, they tell us that the cost of building a deck varies, and how much you pay will largely depend on your wish list. Second of all, you can see that Marylanders have spent more on their decks than the national average. There could be many explanations of these statistics. Maybe Maryland residents have an expensive taste, bigger budgets, or maybe certain materials cost more around here. Either way, this data is just to give you a general idea. The exact cost of your deck will depend on many factors.

What Affects the Cost of Your Deck

Decking

If you go with the basic lumber, you could expect to pay under $10 per square foot. However, if you opt to use more expensive hardwoods like cedar and redwood or composite decking, the cost will rise to around $35 per square foot. When choosing between pressure-treated wood and composite materials, keep in mind the future maintenance costs, which composite decking virtually eliminates.

Size

Naturally, the bigger the deck, the more materials are used and the higher the price. Besides decking itself, also consider stairs and railings. For a multi-level deck, for example, you would need double the railings and double the steps.

Concrete

Concrete in deck construction is used to secure the support posts that hold your deck. If your deck has multiple levels, you might have more support posts than an average platform deck, which would require more concrete. The price of concrete averages around $75 – $150 per cubic yard, and an average deck needs about 1-2 yards.

Labor

Building a deck is a labor-intensive job—it’s way more complex than nailing boards together. First, a thought-through design is crucial to both usability and safety of your deck. Second, attention to detail is what often makes the difference between an alright deck and a fantastic deck. When looking for a Maryland deck builder, be sure to check that they are experienced, licensed and insured. Don’t always go for the lowest price, because you get what you pay for. Choose a contractor who is knowledgeable, easy to talk to and who runs a legitimate business. Seasoned contractors often have established relationships with decking suppliers and might be able to get you a discount.

Additional Expenses

  • The cost of obtaining a building permit.
  • The cost of installing outdoor electrical outlets on the deck.
  • The cost of benches, planters and other furnishings made with the same decking material
  • The cost of adding the new deck to your homeowner’s insurance
  • If you are replacing your deck, also consider the cost of demolition and disposal of the old structure.

This should give you enough information to start budgeting for your deck. And if you need help or have questions, feel free to contact Archway Remodeling and we’ll be happy to provide more insights into the deck building process.

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