How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?

working cutting wood with saw

February 25, 2021

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There’s nothing quite like experiencing the natural beauty of the Puget Sound.  The sublime waterfront views, the picturesque landscape of the Cascades, the gentle breezes drifting off the Sound, these are all unique aspects of life in this region found nowhere else.  But of course, you already knew that, it’s a big part of why you chose to live here in the first place.

One of the best ways to experience this natural beauty year-round, right in your own backyard is to build a new deck. Building a deck is a great way to expand your functional living space into the outdoors while adding character and value to your home at the same time.  Decks can provide you with a lively space for entertaining guests, or a serene and relaxing natural retreat for you and the family.

Before you build though, you should take the time to get an idea of what you should expect to pay for your new deck.  Depending on the features and design of your deck, building a quality deck can honestly become quite expensive, especially if you don’t have a deck plan in place.

That being said, it’s important not to be conservative with your costs.  A high quality deck is a worthwhile investment that can add beauty, functional living space, and substantial value to your home.  A shoddy deck can potentially devalue your home and detract from its appeal or, worse yet, be unsafe.

While specific costs can vary throughout the Greater Seattle area based on a number of factors, the expert deck builders here at MasterDecks have put together a handy guide to help you understand what you need to consider when determining how much it costs to build a deck.

The Main Factors That Influence Deck Cost

The four main factors that influence the cost of a deck are the deck size, the materials cost, the cost of labor, and any unique deck design features.

According to HomeAdvisor, as of 2020 the cost of most decks ranged between $4,153 and $11,219, with $7,686 being the national average cost of a new deck. The total average cost per square foot was between $30 to $60 with labor and materials each consuming about 50% of that budget.

It’s important to note, however, that prices here in the Puget Sound area can vary quite a bit from the national average.  Depending on your specific neighborhood, property landscape, and local deck permitting costs the cost can change even more.  In the Greater Seattle area the average cost of decks per square foot is closer to $65 to $110 per square foot.

That’s why it’s best to get a consultation from a local, professional deck builder like MasterDecks, in order to get a more accurate estimate of your costs.  We offer free in-home estimates on our projects so you can be clear on what you’re paying up front, without any hidden or unexpected costs.

Types of Materials

The main consideration when determining the cost of a new deck is the type of material that you would like to use to build your deck.  In the Greater Seattle area, there are a wide range of options for building a good quality deck, from cedar and hardwood, to composite materials, porcelain tile, and more.

Because each of these has a unique price point, the type of material you’d like to use on your deck is the number one factor in calculating the cost of your new deck.  Popular options available from MasterDecks include:

Cedar Deck with View
Hardwood Deck Example
Composite Deck Example

Labor Cost

The second thing to keep in mind when considering how much it costs to build a deck is the cost of labor. 

While you can technically save on these expenses taking the do-it-yourself approach, decks that are professionally built by licensed contractors can save you both time and hassle in the long run.  Professionally built decks are also typically high quality, better constructed, and can be more intricate than a DIY deck.  This means spending the extra money on a licensed contractor now will translate to more added value for your home in the long run.

As with most costs related to building a deck, the cost of hiring a professional deck builder can vary.  Labor costs can also fluctuate depending on your location, landscape, and type of material that you select as some projects can be more work intestinal than others.  

At MasterDecks, we promise to let you know what the cost of labor will be when we provide our estimate. We will base our labor cost on the intricacy of your project and will let you know upfront what you’ll pay.  That way there are no surprises when you get your final bill.

Deck Size

The next thing to consider when determining the cost of your deck project is the size of your deck.  Both material and labor costs for decks are determined by square feet.  That means a 10×10 foot deck will generally cost less than a 20×20 foot deck that uses the same materials, features, and design. 

Of course, width and length, aren’t the only factors that determine the size of your deck.  The height of your deck is also an important factor in pricing as well.  Second story, and multi-story decks usually result in additional costs over ground level and floating decks in order to ensure that they are properly supported and safe.

Deck Design

Last but not least, the actual design of your deck will influence the cost.  Whether you’re adding a freestanding deck, a wrap around deck, a multi-story deck, or any number of other variables, each type will have its own unique costs associated with it.  

DIY projects and many contractors don’t come with the benefit of having someone help you design your deck. Therefore, hiring a deck designer in the first place can also add additional costs to your new deck build.  
MasterDecks, helps relieve this cost by helping you with the deck design process as part of our fee. We have a designer on staff that will help you determine the layout, materials and colors that will work best for your outdoor space.  We’ll even provide you with renderings to see what your deck looks like before we build.

Aluminum Deck Rail with Glass
Masterdecks Patio Cover
Composite Deck Example

Add Ons & Accessories

In most cases, building a new deck doesn’t just mean that you’re building a flat, empty slab.  Depending on your style and how you want your deck to function, you’ll likely have some add-ons and accessories that will go with your deck.

At the bare minimum most decks should have a deck railing, not only to provide safety, but to give your deck added style.  The cost of deck railings can vary quite substantially depending on the type of material used with the national average ranging from $420 to $680 per linear foot in 2020.

Other common add-ons and accessories that could add to the cost of your new deck build include:

  • Deck Stairs
  • Deck Covers
  • Underdeck Ceilings
  • Built-in Benches & Seating
  • Firepits & Fireplaces
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Outdoor Living Areas
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Outdoor Heating
  • Pergolas
  • … and more

As an affiliate of USI Custom Outdoor living, MasterDecks is a part of an all-star lineup of companies that can build you any of the add-ons listed above, and more.  If the team that builds your deck can’t do it, we have someone on hand who can.

Feel free to ask us during your free consultation about other deck add-ons and accessories you might be interested in and we’ll help you determine what it will cost and how to incorporate these features into your deck design.

Additional Expenses to Consider

Aside from the costs associated with the deck build itself there are a few more expenses you should keep in mind when building a new deck:

Building Permits: In most cases you will likely need a building permit to build a new deck.  Permit costs can vary by city or municipality, so be sure to check with your local government offices to determine how much your building permit will cost.

Property Taxes: Since a new deck will increase your home value, that means your property taxes will ultimately go up.  Contact the Washington State Department of Revenue for more information on how your property taxes could be affected.

Is a Deck Worth The Investment?

Now that you have some answer to your question, “how much does it cost to build a deck?”, you might be wondering if spending the money on a new deck is worth the investment.

At MasterDecks, we believe that the answer to this question is a resounding yes! Not only does a new deck provide you with a beautiful outdoor living space, but it adds tangible resale value to your home.

But you don’t have to just take our word for it.  According to Remodeling Magazine’s most recent Cost vs. Value Comparison, a new wood deck built in the Greater Seattle area can recoup an average of 95.1% of it’s cost, and a new composite deck 88.1% of it’s value.  That means you get a beautiful, new outdoor living area and can recoup the majority of your investment.

Deck Financing

To make the costs of building your deck easier, deck financing and home improvement loans are available from a number of sources.  Deck financing gives you the freedom to make the investment in your home now, and pay for it when you are able.

At MasterDecks we work with reputable financial partners that can help you get the loan you need to make your dream deck a reality.

Call us at (425) 243-0396  or contact us today to get your free on-site estimate, and we’ll help direct you to the right financial partner for your project.

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