As the dog days of summer draw near, many families and homeowners look around and wonder where the time has gone. What about those projects you swore you’d finally accomplish this year? What about that new outdoor deck? It’s always on the list of projects and investments to consider, but somehow it keeps getting pushed back, year after year.
Maybe this is because the household budget is tight. Perhaps other unexpected concerns have arisen, making new projects impossible for the time being. Or maybe you haven’t really looked into the actual cost of a new outdoor deck.
How much would it really cost to install one this year?
The short answer is between $4,000 – $10,000. However, you could be lower or significantly higher than this range, depending on four important factors.
The bigger your deck, the more materials you’ll need. Outdoor deck builders also tend to bill “per square foot” for outdoor deck installations. An average sized deck between 200 and 500 square feet will usually fall comfortably within the average price range. If your deck is on the sprawling side, with square footage greater than 500, you’ll likely surpass the $10,000 mark for materials and labor.
Outdoor decks have traditionally been built with natural hardwood, but many homeowners are now choosing to construct decks out of newer composite materials. These can mimic the appearance of natural wood, yet last quite a bit longer and do a better job of standing up to the elements. Using composite decking materials will definitely drive the cost up, however.
A simple platform with stairs and a hand rail is one thing; but people are getting more and more creative with outdoor decks. Built in seating, outdoor kitchens, multiple “tier” designs, and other attractive features may quickly increase the overall cost of your project. A reputable deck builder will, however, work closely with each client to try and realize their goals without compromising the budget.
Many people choose to focus on contractors whose fee structure fall into the “competitive” or “middle of the road” categories. Looking for the absolute cheapest cost might put you in the company of certain contractors who aren’t as skilled or reputable as others.
This is another factor that can affect the cost of your outdoor deck. If you live in a trendy area of town where everything generally costs more, you can expect outdoor deck builders to try and charge more. That’s why it’s good to look for honest contractors with a reputation for serving a wide range of cities and towns in your area. You’re more likely to get an honest deal and be able to stretch your budget further.
How to set up your project
In many areas, it’s possible to build an outdoor deck year round. Finding a qualified specialist with whom you can discuss your goals and outline your project is an important first step. At the same time, do your own research. Get familiar with the cost of outdoor decks, and how those costs are actually determined. This will give you more bargaining power and help make sure you get the highest quality installation at the fairest price.
Enjoy your new outdoor deck! Please feel free to leave your comments here.