This is an all-too-common question. It would be great to new that a new wood deck should cost within a particular range. The problem is the range of possibilities and options. Gone are the days of yesteryear when a deck was often a relatively small rectangular shape made of pressure-treated wood with a couple of stairs. Just look at any magazine or at the homes of your neighbors and friends. Today’s decks are anything but straight and narrow.
Here are some of the factors that help determine how much a new deck should cost:
There are 3 big variables to consider
- Amenities (lighting, features, associated structures, skirting/lattice, custom steps – most decks have steps – size, shape, design of steps
The first variable is the size and shape of your new deck. Will it be a fairly standard shape or will it have a variety of different angles? Will your new deck be low to the ground or will it be quite elevated. A significant factor is the height up in the air. It’s an important consideration because the higher in the air; the more expensive it is to build. It takes more work and also more materials. There are other factors as it relates to size and shape. If the deck is an unusual shape, has a variety of angles, or includes special areas such as a grill bump out, this will affect the price. These special features not only require more construction time but require more material. Further, depending on the standard shapes and sizes that the various materials come in, special design features may require additional material. Unusual artistic shapes create more labor, more time, higher costs.
It’s also important to note that different sizes require different degrees of structural support. It’s a component of longevity and price. The key to good design is creative attractive shapes with getting too much more expensive.
It’s easy to underestimate the cost of materials. not only are many more materials needed than deck boards, bolts, and nails; each of these has a variety of options. There are many man-made products at many different prices. That range is quite wide. Even in woods, there are quite a few different price levels. As a general rule, the man-made materials are higher. How much higher? It depends on these common factors we’ve noted.
In addition to decking materials is the railing cost. There are are so many different types of railings now. These include wood railings, blended (post and rail made of different material), vinyl, composite and more. Therefore, railing prices vary widely. Believe it or not, different railings can vary the price by thousands of dollars.
Deck amenities can include lighting, custom flooring and even electrical options. Deck lighting can be typical or more custom. In addition to the lighting choices, there are different quality levels within each of those choices. A custom flooring pattern is an amenity that adds to labor and could add to materials cost because there could be more waste. Some custom flooring options even require underneath to be redesigned.
Another key amenity are steps. There are many options besides the standard set of stairs and these can achieve different objectives. For example, wider stairs can also be used for some overflow seating or even for placing some potted plants to the edges. You may want a larger landing or to add a landing to a long stair set so the stairs take up a smaller footprint in your yard.
The range of options is really, really wide – so much wider than it was 10-20 yrs. ago. Not only is there a range within a category, there is a range from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer. The exact same size deck made with the least expensive wood and railing could be more than doubled or tripled with all the fancy materials, amenities and features such as high end railings, or lighting.
If that isn’t enough, there’s yet another factor to consider which is building permits. Each city determines the price for their permit. In this area, a deck permit can be up to $500 which is a significant part of the overall price.
The bottom line is that as designers, we’re trying to blend the deck design with all the different features into the overall budget goals.
If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your call.