How much does composite decking cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does composite decking cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does composite decking cost?

$40 – $80cost per square foot installed
$5,750 – $11,500average cost to build (12'x12')
$16,000 – $32,000average cost to build (20'x20')

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$40 – $80 cost per square foot installed

$5,750 – $11,500 average cost to build (12'x12')

$16,000 – $32,000 average cost to build (20'x20')


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
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Sarah Noel
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Composite decking cost

Composite decking costs $40 to $80 per square foot installed, including the substructure. The cost to build a 20'x20' composite deck is $16,000 to $32,000. Composite decking material prices are $16 to $32 per square foot. Labor costs to build a composite deck are $24 to $48 per square foot.

Composite decking cost
Deck size (feet) Square feet Average cost installed*
8'x10' 80 $3,200 – $6,400
10'x10' 100 $4,000 – $8,000
10'x12' 120 $4,800 – $9,600
12'x12' 144 $5,750 – $11,500
12'x14' 168 $6,700 – $13,450
12'x16' 192 $7,680 – $15,350
12'x18' 216 $8,650 – $17,280
12'x20' 240 $9,600 – $19,200
14'x20' 280 $11,200 – $22,400
16'x16' 256 $10,250 – $20,480
20'x20' 400 $16,000 – $32,000
20'x24' 480 $19,200 – $38,400
24'x24' 576 $23,000 – $46,000

*For attached ground-level and elevated composite decks

Composite deck with railing, fireplace, BBQ pit, and dining area
Composite deck with railing, fireplace, BBQ pit, and dining area

Cost of composite decking by type

The following table shows composite deck building costs by type:

Cost of composite decking by type (per square foot installed) - Chart
Cost of composite decking by type (per square foot installed) - Chart
Cost of composite decking by type
Deck design type Cost per square foot installed*
Ground-level / platform
(Attached)
$40 – $50
Detached / floating
(Freestanding, no railings, no stairs)
$30 – $40
Elevated
(Attached)
$50 – $80
Second-story
(Attached)
$80 – $100
Multi-level
(Attached)
$90 – $130

*Price includes the substructure and decking surface.

  • A ground-level or platform deck is typically less than 30" to 36" tall, attached to the home at the back door, and has optional railings. Prices rise depending on the number of steps and if reinforced footers are necessary.

  • A detached or floating deck requires no railings, stairs, or deep footers extending below the frost line. This lightweight decking typically only has gravel and concrete blocks supporting it. Many states don't require permits for such decks because they aren't attached to the home.

  • An elevated deck stands at least 3' above ground but below the second story. This deck type has a reinforced concrete base, and building codes require railings too.

  • A second-story deck is popular since it creates a covered porch underneath. This decking needs large pillars and reinforced foundations.

  • A multi-level deck is the most expensive type and best suits 2+ story homes. Attached multi-level decks create several dining and lounging zones to expand your outdoor entertainment options.

Light brown composite decking overlooking the hillside with swinging chair
Light brown composite decking overlooking the hillside with swinging chair
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Cost factors to build a composite deck

The labor cost to build a composite deck is $24 to $48 per square foot on average. Labor fees are higher for composite decks than wooden decks since composite materials require more careful assembly with extra parts.

Composite deck cost calculator
Factor Cost per square foot*
Materials $16 – $32
Labor $24 – $48
Total cost to install $40 – $80

*Prices for attached ground-level platform decks and elevated decks, including a base.

Cost factors include:

  • Design – Color and texture impact project costs. Complex designs and wood-like textures cost the most, while basic colors are the cheapest.

  • Capped vs. uncapped – Capped composites have an outer layer for better elemental resistance, making them more expensive than uncapped decking.

  • Solid vs. hollow boards – Hollow composite decking is robust enough for most applications. Solid composite decking is stronger but more expensive.

  • Fastener type – Traditional fasteners are cost-effective and quick, while hidden ones offer a cleaner look but increase installation time and cost.

  • Posts – In colder climates, concrete footers should go below the frost line. Contractors shouldn't bury wooden deck posts that can rot in the ground.

  • Ground-level deck drainage – A new drainage system installation costs $1,000 to $4,000 minimum. Yard drainage is essential to prevent water pooling that can rot the deck supports.

  • Elevated deck drainage – Fees increase for an under-deck drainage and downspout system under a second-story deck.

  • Gravel base Pea gravel costs $0.85 to $2.80 per square foot delivered and installed. Gravel below an elevated or second-story deck prevents weeds and promotes rainwater drainage.

  • Railing – Adding a deck railing costs $20 to $60 per linear foot for wood or vinyl.

  • Stairs – Installing deck stairs will cost $20 to $30 per linear foot, plus $80 to $160 for the concrete stairway footing.

  • Prep work – The cost to level a yard is $500 to $1,000 to prepare the base.

  • Geographic location – Labor costs more in urban areas with a high demand for deck building than in rural or lower-cost regions.

  • Permits – A permit costs $50 to $150, depending on the deck size and local building codes.

  • Design – A structural engineer costs $100 to $220 per hour for labor on a site assessment and creating designs. An engineer's professional design is necessary to apply for a permit if the building plans are large or complex.

Composite decking patio with living room design
Composite decking patio with living room design

Features & customizations

Extra fees for special deck features to enhance outdoor entertainment can include:

Composite wood deck installed poolside with lounge chairs and plants
Composite wood deck installed poolside with lounge chairs and plants

Composite decking material prices

Price of composite decking by type

The price of composite decking board alone is $4 to $16 per square foot, depending on the type. Additional fees apply for the substructure, footers, stairs, and railings. Polyethylene decking is the most common.

Price of composite decking by type
Deck board type Material price per square foot*
Polyethylene $4 – $11
PVC $5 – $12
Polypropylene $5 – $16

*Prices include decking surface planks only.

  • Polyethylene (HDPE) decking most closely resembles real wood. However, PE and HDPE decking types retain more heat. This composite type is susceptible to some scratches and scuffs.

  • PVC decking has a more plastic appearance. This type is available in various colors. However, it expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, and is more susceptible to mold growth than polyethylene plastic decking.

  • Polypropylene (PP) decking typically comes in a matte finish. PP decking can withstand extreme heat better than other composite types. While this material does not warp in prolonged moisture, it can become brittle in colder climates.

Composite decking brands

The following table shows composite decking prices by brand:

Composite decking brands
Brand Material prices per square foot*
CertainTeed $7 – $9
Deckorators $5 – $9
Envision $5 – $16
Fiberon $7 – $14
Genovations $4 – $7
Gorilla $6 – $12
Veranda $3 – $8
Timebertech / Azek $6 – $13
Trex decking $5 – $15

*Prices for deck surface material only

Raised-look composite decking with backyard patio furniture
Raised-look composite decking with backyard patio furniture

Composite vs. wood decks

Composite decking costs $40 to $80 per square foot installed. The cost to build a wooden deck is $25 to $50 per square foot total. Composite decking costs more upfront but doesn't need resealing and outlasts many types of wood.

Get free estimates from deck builders near you.
Composite vs. wood decks
Composite decking Wooden decking
  • $40 to $80 per square foot installed
  • Lasts 25 to 50 years
  • Low maintenance
  • Many color & grain options to imitate wood
  • Doesn't rot & repels termites
  • Difficult to change colors
  • $25 to $50 per square foot installed
  • Lasts 10 to 25 years
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Natural look of wood
  • Choice to stain or paint a new color

Composite decking FAQs

What is composite decking?

Composite decking is a blend of wood fibers and synthetic materials like plastic, offering a durable alternative to traditional wood. Some types are almost entirely plastic while others have more recycled materials and chemical additives for increased durability and UV resistance.

Composite lumber can be heavier than natural wood, it lacks the structural strength of real wood. That's why composite parts are only for surface decking or railings, not the support structure.

Is composite decking worth it?

Composite decking is worth it for those who want a deck that requires the least upkeep. A composite deck also resists fading, scratching, rotting, and repels pests. Plus, composite materials don't warp like wooden decks, so they last longer.

How long does composite decking last?

Well-maintained composite decking lasts 25 to 50 years on average, depending on the brand, installation quality, weather conditions, and amount of foot traffic. Regularly inspect the deck for loose components and keep it dry and clear of debris to increase its longevity.

Does composite decking increase home value?

A composite deck can increase home value with its aesthetic appeal and longevity. The low maintenance requirements of this deck type are especially attractive to potential buyers.

Can you paint or stain composite decking?

You can paint or stain early pre-2010 generation composite decking that doesn’t have a cap or shell. Newer versions with a PVC cap resist paint or staining. Plus, painting some new brands of composite decking can void the warranty.

Professional deck painting and staining prices are:

Can you power wash composite decking?

You can power wash composite decking, but only on a very low setting to prevent damage. Power washing a composite deck may cause damage. Spray water at a gentle angle and consult the manufacturer's guidelines before cleaning.

Is composite decking slippery when wet?

Composite decking is typically not slippery when wet, but it depends on the brand. Most manufacturers add an anti-slip layer to help prevent people from falling. However, cheaper brands may not be well-coated. Regular deck cleaning is important to keep the non-slip features effective.

Composite decking surrounding pool in luxury home with surrounding palm trees
Composite decking surrounding pool in luxury home with surrounding palm trees

Getting estimates from composite deck installers

Before hiring a composite deck installer near you, be sure to:

  • Compare 3+ bids from licensed, bonded, and insured deck contractors.

  • Ask if they have certifications like:

    • Credentials from the deck vendor or manufacturer

    • A state contractor's license

    • Membership in The North American Deck and Railing Association

    • Affiliation with a local Carpenter's Union

  • Request a list of references from past clients.

  • Ask your neighbors or a local home improvement store if they know good local deck builders.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Beware of the cheapest bid that can indicate low-quality building results.

Questions to ask

Ask the following questions when hiring a company to install composite decking:

  • How many years have you been building composite decks?

  • Can you provide references or show photos of your composite decking projects?

  • What deck design do you recommend for my home?

  • Are there any unexpected costs beyond the initial quote?

  • How are additional expenses addressed if they arise?

  • Which specific composite decking brands or types are best?

  • Is there a manufacturer's warranty on the composite materials used?

  • What's the anticipated start date, and how long is the installation process?

  • Who should I contact with concerns, and how many workers are on your team?

  • How much of a deposit do you need to start?

  • Do you provide a guarantee on your installation work?

  • Who handles the acquisition of required permits?

  • Does the quote include a substructure, labor, materials, deliveries, and cleanup?

  • How will you manage debris disposal?

  • Are all your subcontractors licensed and insured?