Patio & Deck Cost Estimator | Average Price to Build a Deck

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Unlike adding a new bedroom or bathroom to your house, the kinds of house extension such as adding a deck and patio allow more room for you to get creative.  In addition, it adds value to your home and increases your living space without the high expense of adding the entire room to the house.

Estimating the Cost of a Deck

So, how much does it cost to build a deck? There really is no simple answer, because it is dependent on many different factors. Before you start purchasing materials or begin construction, it's vital to make a sensible, realistic plan - and this includes producing an estimated cost of your project. Without careful planning, it's easy for any construction project to spiral out of control, which is often how people end up with substandard, incomplete work. So, what are the important elements when calculating the estimated cost of building a deck?

How Big Will the Deck Be?

This is probably the most important factor when calculating the cost to build a patio deck. You might find that you have to decide between size or quality; if you have your heart set on specific materials or products, it's possible that you will have to 'round down' the square footage of the deck that you'll eventually end up with. The average price to build a deck will fluctuate a great deal depending on the finished size of the project.

How Will You Construct The Deck?

This is the stage where a lack of planning can mean big expenses. Before you purchase anything, it's important that you take a critical look at the area that you are planning to build on; Is the area going to require levelling, or other work prior to construction commencing?

If preparation work is required, is this something that you will be able to do yourself, or are you going to require the services of a contractor? Is specialist equipment required, and if so, is there going to be a cost associated with hiring or buying it?

Once you have the figures for the preparatory stages, it's time to move onto the materials themselves. It can be helpful to draw out a rough sketch of the deck that you have in mind, and then systematically go through each area to work out the materials that will be required for each part.

You may wish to consider things like balustrades, sealant, framing, fixtures and fasteners, non-slip stair treads and waterproofing. Again, the average cost to build a deck can vary wildly depending on the complexity of the project, so if you are budget minded it might be best to keep the structure simple.

All Of Those Little Extras...

Of course, you might just want a simple platform deck where you can enjoy a cold drink in the summer, but if you are interested in something more ambitious, there are lots of optional extras that you can consider.


Not only is lighting important for safety, if you're trying to create an outdoor living space it's crucial to create a mood or atmosphere. Your lighting could be as simple as candle lanterns, or you could be considering flush LED lights to illuminate the stairs and edges of your deck. Either way, if you plan on using the deck in the evening, you'll need to factor this in.


If you're not lucky enough to be basking in the year-round sun, a good patio heater is likely to be a sound investment. Again, the type that you buy is likely to be dictated by the area of the deck, with bigger decks costing more to heat. If you are using gas heaters, safety is an important consideration - it's best to steer clear of secondhand or reconditioned gas heaters wherever possible unless they are accompanied by a valid safety certificate


It's going to be hard to use your lovely new deck unless you have somewhere to sit. Before you start planning the size or shape of your deck, you should give some serious thought to how and when it will be used, and the same goes for your seating; if it's going to be for occasional outdoor meals, a simple patio set will probably suffice - however, if it's going to be used daily and/or year round, you might need to consider something more robust.


How will building your deck affect your current landscaping? If fitting it is likely to be disruptive or involve the loss of plants or grass, you will also need to add the cost of re-turfing, seeding or re-planting the areas that have been affected. Even if you are confident that this won't be required, it's worth thinking about whether or not you would like to dress your deck with containers or other greenery to complete the look.

So, How Much Does It Cost To Build a Deck by Size?

According to Home Advisor, on the average, homeowners spend about $7,000 to build a 200 to 500 square foot deck. However, a smaller deck can be relatively low at cost. It can get as low as $2,000. The cost to build a deck in your own home will depend on many factors as listed above.


Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and there may well be other factors that are entirely unique to your property. The important thing is that when you're calculating the cost to build a patio deck you spend plenty of time in the planning stage to ensure that you don't have any nasty surprises or unexpected expenses once you do start building.

Posted by

Joe McCord works at REAA.

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