How much does it cost to build a deck?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to build a deck?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to build a deck?

$25 – $50cost per square foot installed
$3,600 – $7,200average cost to build (12'x12')
$10,000 – $20,000average cost to build (20'x20')

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

$25 – $50 cost per square foot installed

$3,600 – $7,200 average cost to build (12'x12')

$10,000 – $20,000 average cost to build (20'x20')


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Sarah Noel
Written by
Sarah Noel
Edited by
Tamatha Hazen
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Cost to build a deck

The cost to build a new deck is $25 to $50 per square foot total, depending on the material and type. Deck replacement costs $30 to $55 per square foot installed. Building a 12'x12' deck costs $3,600 to $7,200 on average. A 20'x20' deck installation costs $10,000 to $20,000.

  • Deck material prices are $14 to $28 per square foot for pressure-treated pine.

  • The labor cost to build a new deck is $11 to $22 per square foot.

Cost to build a deck by size
Deck size (feet) Square feet Average cost installed*
8'x10' 80 $2,000 – $4,000
10'x10' 100 $2,500 – $5,000
10'x12' 120 $3,000 – $6,000
12'x12' 144 $3,600 – $7,200
12'x14' 168 $4,200 – $8,400
12'x16' 192 $4,800 – $9,600
12'x18' 216 $5,400 – $10,800
12'x20' 240 $6,000 – $12,000
14'x20' 280 $7,000 – $14,000
16'x16' 256 $6,400 – $12,800
20'x20' 400 $10,000 – $20,000
20'x24' 480 $12,000 – $24,000
24'x24' 576 $14,400 – $28,800

*For pressure-treated pine wood decks attached to a 1-story home

Large multi-level walk-out deck overlooking trees and hills
Large multi-level walk-out deck overlooking trees and hills
Get free estimates from deck builders near you.

New deck cost by material

A new deck costs $25 to $50 per square foot installed on average, depending on the material. Pressure-treated pine is the cheapest while exotic hardwoods like Ipe are the most expensive. The prices in the table below are for average attached decks on 1-story homes.

Cost of a new deck by material
Material Cost per square foot installed*
Pressure-treated pine wood $25 – $50
Ipe $50 – $70
Cedar $30 – $47
Redwood $28 – $54
Tigerwood $40 – $64
Mahogany $30 – $57
Bamboo $27 – $52
Composite $40 – $80
Trex composite $45 – $70
Aluminum $100 – $125

*Price includes a complete new deck system with the joist-support base.

New deck installation with stained and sealed natural wood
New deck installation with stained and sealed natural wood

Pressure-treated pine wood

Pressure-treated pine wood decking costs $25 to $50 per square foot installed. Sellers chemically treat pressure-treated pine to protect it from weather damage, rotting, and pests. Builders advise staining and sealing pine every year to maintain it.

While not the strongest wood, pine is the most affordable and easiest to work with.

Building a small 10x10 deck with pressure treated lumber
Building a small 10x10 deck with pressure treated lumber

Ipe

Ipe decking costs $50 to $70 per square foot installed. This Brazilian hardwood lasts 40 to 70 years due to its high density. Ipe is resistant to mold and needs minimal maintenance. While long-lasting, Ipe wood is difficult to work with and takes longer to install.

Cedar

Cedar decking costs $30 to $47 per square foot installed. Cedar wood naturally resists weather damage and pests, eliminating the need for chemical treatments. This wood absorbs sealants and stains well. However, cedar's softness makes it prone to damage, requiring annual resealing and maintenance.

Redwood

Redwood decking costs $28 to $54 per square foot installed. Redwood comes in light to dark reddish-brown shades, is durable, and resists warping. Other benefits include repelling insects and resisting decay. However, this wood is vulnerable to mold and UV damage without annual resealing.

Multiple level redwood deck with railings
Multiple level redwood deck with railings

Tigerwood

Tigerwood decking costs $40 to $64 per square foot installed. This exotic hardwood, also known as "Gonçalo Alves," has unique black stripes in an orange-toned wood. The durable South American wood naturally resists water damage. However, installation can cost more than average for special tools and extra time.

Mahogany

Mahogany decking costs $30 to $57 per square foot installed for average decks less than 3' tall and attached to the home. This reddish-brown hardwood type resists moisture damage and warping with weather changes. Mahogany lasts 25 to 40 years when resealed every 1 to 2 years.

Bamboo

Bamboo decking costs $27 to $52 per square foot installed for average attached decks on 1-story homes. Strand-woven and engineered bamboo deck materials are among the strongest bamboo types that can last for 15 to 25 years or more.

This wood is more lightweight than most types and can scratch and dent more easily.

Composite

Composite decking costs $40 to $80 per square foot installed. Composite decking contains recycled wood and plastics, so it's a durable alternative to traditional wood. This material resists cracking and UV damage, so it doesn't require resealing annually. Prices vary according to the finish and quality.

Trex decking costs $45 to $70 per square foot installed. This brand of composite decking is very popular because this company was the first to make composite decking. Most Trex deck products come with a 20 to 25 year warranty.

Aluminum

Aluminum decking costs $100 to $125 per square foot installed, and prices increase for adding a railing depending on the type. Aluminum decking typically has a special protective coating that imitates the look of wood and provides the lowest-maintenance building material for decks.

Aluminum is resistant to common decking issues like stains, rot, and insects but can be prone to dents.

Deck building cost by type

The deck design type also influences the deck building costs. Elevated, second story, and multi-level decks take longer to build and require scaffolding, which increases costs.

Cost to build a new deck by type (per square foot installed) - Chart
Cost to build a new deck by type (per square foot installed) - Chart
Cost to build a new deck by type
Deck design type Cost per square foot installed*
Ground-level / platform
(Attached)
$25 – $30
Detached / floating
(Freestanding, no railings, no stairs)
$20 – $25
Elevated
(Attached)
$30 – $50
Second story
(Attached)
$50 – $60
Multi-level
(Attached)
$60 – $100

*Average prices for new deck construction with common local wood types only.

Multi-level deck with built-in seating
Multi-level deck with built-in seating

Ground-level or platform deck

A ground-level or platform wooden deck costs $25 to $30 per square foot installed for a simple patio-style design attached to the home. These decks are less than 30" to 36" tall, so a railing is optional rather than a requirement. Prices increase depending on the number of steps.

  • Footers that go below the frost line are important on a platform deck to keep it level with the attached home. Freezing ground can otherwise push up the deck posts to make it uneven and cause cracks in the decking.

  • Prices will increase if you need bigger reinforced footers under a ground-level platform deck for heavy items on it like a pergola or hot tub.

Detached or floating deck

A detached or floating wooden deck costs $20 to $25 per square foot installed. This deck type has no railings nor stairs, is closest to the ground, and doesn't need footers below the frost line. A simple gravel base and concrete blocks can be sufficient to support the deck joists.

Elevated deck

An elevated deck costs $30 to $50 per square foot installed for raised and attached wooden decks at least 3' above ground but shorter than the second story. The foundation below it is typically a solid reinforced concrete base. All elevated decks typically require railings according to building codes.

Raised wooden walk out deck construction with railing stairs and steps
Raised wooden walk out deck construction with railing stairs and steps

Second-story deck

A second-story deck costs $50 to $60 per square foot installed with pressure-treated pine wood. Prices can increase according to the design of any attached stairs and the railing type. Second-story decks are popular because they create a covered porch beneath them.

Large pillars and reinforced foundations are needed to support a second-story deck, which is what makes it more expensive than average decking.

Multi-level deck

A multi-level deck costs $60 to $100 per square foot installed with average wood types. Prices increase when including high-quality handrails or building in areas that require deeper foundations.

Multi-level deck projects require highly customized designs to create 3+ levels of decking connected with stairs.

  • This decking is expensive due to the added supports that bear its extra weight.

  • Multi-level decks are ideal for homes with 2+ stories.

  • Connected decks can expand the outdoor entertainment area into several sections, such as a dining space, a hot tub area, and a place for lounging.

deck with split levels
deck with split levels

Deck cost estimator

The labor cost to build a deck is $11 to $25 per square foot, depending on the material, style, and whether it's a new installation or replacement.

Deck cost calculator
Factor Cost per square foot*
(new install)
Cost per square foot*
(replacement)
Materials $14 – $28 $27 – $30
Labor $11 – $22 $13 – $25
Total cost to install $25 – $50 $30 – $55

*Prices for basic decks of pressure-treated pine wood on 1-story homes

Deck in backyard with stairs and built in lighting
Deck in backyard with stairs and built in lighting

Cost factors include:

  • Deck size – Larger decks cost more overall but have typically lower per square foot costs for materials and labor.

  • Design complexity – The deck's shape, accessibility, and features like built-in seating increase the total project cost.

  • Replacement vs. new installation – Deck replacement has higher costs to remove and haul away the old decking.

  • Pool decks – A safety fence is typically required around an elevated pool deck, which takes extra labor to design and customize it around the pool's shape.

  • Climate – The frost line depth in your location dictates the depth of the concrete footers to support the deck posts, which costs more in cold climates. Contractors shouldn't bury deck posts since they can rot or suffer water damage.

  • Ground-level deck drainage – A new drainage system installation costs $1,000 to $4,000 minimum. Installing adequate yard drainage before building the deck is crucial to prevent water pooling and causing your deck supports to rot.

  • Elevated deck drainage – Fees increase for adding this custom-built trough and downspout system. Intended for a second-story deck, an under-deck drainage system keeps the porch below it dry when it rains.

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

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

  • Stairs – Building deck stairs will cost $20 to $30 per linear foot, plus $80 to $160 for the concrete stairway footing. Prices increase according to the excavation needed and total size of the stairs.

  • Adding a roof – The cost to cover a deck is $10 to $60 per square foot, depending on the type of deck roofing.

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

  • Finish – The cost to stain a deck is $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot. Deck painting costs $2 to $5 per square foot depending on your choice of color and the job size. Resealing or staining a deck 1 to 2 times annually protects the deck from weather damages.

  • Geographic location – Labor costs are typically higher 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 geographical location.

  • Design – A structural engineer costs $100 to $220 per hour for labor on a site assessment and making designs. A complex deck design requires an engineer's professional design to be submitted with the permit application.

Luxury deck with privacy walls
Luxury deck with privacy walls

Features & customizations

Additional fees for deck features to enhance outdoor entertainment can include:

Get free estimates from deck builders near you.

DIY cost to build a deck yourself

The DIY cost to build a 12'x12' deck yourself is $2,000 to $4,000 on average, or $14 to $28 per square foot for materials alone. Skilled homeowners with the right tools can construct basic decks. Small, single-level floating decks are the simplest to build.

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

Deck building FAQs

Does building a deck add value to your home?

Building a deck raises the total property value of your home and boosts curb appeal to new buyers. A new wooden deck gives you a 45% to 55% return on the construction cost upon reselling a home. Composite decks have a slightly lower ROI but raise the property value more.

However, a new deck is not a home extension and will not increase the total square footage of the home.

How long does it take to build a deck?

Building a deck takes 5 to 7 days minimum for a simple deck structure at ground level that's 100 to 300 square feet. Constructing a new elevated deck larger than 300 square feet typically takes 2 to 4 weeks. Allow 1 to 2 more days for demolition when replacing the deck.

Permit processing will also take a week or longer, as will additional site preparation according to your local ground conditions.

How long does a deck last?

A wooden deck lasts 10 to 25 years, and a composite deck lasts 25 to 50 years. The longevity of a deck depends on the quality of the design, materials, and installation. Decks have a shorter lifespan in rainy climates, especially when builders didn't design them properly to repel water.

Should I repair or replace my deck?

Whether you should repair or replace your deck depends on its age, condition, material, and the extent of the damage. Consider replacing the deck if it's more than 20 years old or if repair costs exceed half the price of a new deck.

  • Most deck repairs cost $750 to $2,500.

  • The average 20'x20' deck replacement costs $12,000 to $22,000.

Can I build a deck directly on the ground?

The only deck you can build directly on the ground is a concrete deck if you've compacted gravel into the ground first and you have well-draining soil.

A ground-level wooden or composite deck needs supports like risers or posts beneath it for airflow to prevent moisture damage. Taller and elevated decks need concrete footers to support the posts. Most building materials will absorb rainwater and shouldn't be left on the ground.

Get free estimates from deck builders near you.

Does building a deck increase property taxes?

Building a deck typically will increase property taxes when the value of your home increases because of this addition. Check with your local tax office for all the details on how much how building a deck may impact your tax bill.

Getting estimates from deck contractors

Before hiring a deck builder near you, be sure to:

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

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

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • 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 the Carpenter's Union

  • Request a list of references from past clients.

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

Questions to ask

Ask the following questions when hiring a deck building company:

  • How many years have you been building decks?

  • Do you have references or a portfolio of previous deck projects?

  • What are some design options that go best with my house?

  • Are there any potential extra costs not included in the initial estimate?

  • How do you handle unforeseen expenses?

  • What type of materials do you recommend and why?

  • Is there a warranty for the materials used?

  • What is the expected start date, and how long will the construction process take?

  • How can I contact the job supervisor, and how big is your crew?

  • What is the payment schedule, and how much deposit do you need?

  • Do you offer a warranty or guarantee on your workmanship?

  • Who is responsible for obtaining the necessary permits?

  • Are the fees for all labor, materials, deliveries, and cleanup included in the price?

  • How do you handle waste and debris removal?

  • Are your subcontractors all insured and licensed?