This is an all-too-common question. It would be great to know 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.
Low-maintenance deck design by Archadeck of Kansas City
Here are some of the factors that help determine how much a new deck should cost. There are three big variables to consider when budgeting for a new deck:
- Amenities (lighting, features, associated structures, skirting/lattice, custom steps – most decks have steps – size, shape, design of steps
TimberTech deck in Overland Park, KS
1. Size and shape of your new deck:
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 deck design is creating attractive shapes while keeping your project within budget.
Deck and screened porch design by Archadeck of Kansas City
2. Materials you plan to use for your new deck:
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. Even in woods, there are quite a few different price levels. As a general rule, the man-made materials are higher, but that pricing gap is smaller than it used to be. We now have composite options that rival the price of natural woods, like cedar. We will be happy to provide you with budget-minded options for natural wood and man-made decking materials.
When it comes to deck maintenance and long-term cost savings, man-made decking products make sense, as you will not spend money maintaining them. You will save money on maintenance products and/or labor, which is typically performed on natural wood decks annually.
In addition to decking materials is the railing cost. There are are so many different types of railings now. These include powder coated aluminum and steel options, wood, 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.
Composite deck design with pergola by Archadeck of Kansas City
3. Custom deck amenities:
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 the underneath support structure to be re-designed.
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.
Elevated deck and screened porch design by Archadeck of Kansas City
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 or more, 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 ready to build the deck of your dreams, or have additional questions regarding budget and deck design, give us a call at (913) 578-8990, to begin your journey to your ideal outdoor living space.