Looking for a way to improve your outdoor space? This deck cost guide is one in a series from our landscaping costs section, providing you with all the cost factors you need to know and understand to get started. Decking in particular, is a great way of adding additional socialising space for a relatively small amount of money. The total cost to install decking is between £20 to £130 per square metre for the most popular materials, with most decks costing £60-£90/m2.
This home improvement cost page covers three ranges of decking from budget to premium. Decking cost factors and sample deck projects are included that allow you to estimate what your actual cost will be.
Overall Deck Cost, With Materials and Labour
Let’s start with a summary table.
|Deck Item||Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
|£20 – £60/m2||£50- £90/m2||£70 – £130/m2|
|Material||Treated Pine||Non-slip Timber or||Ipe or Premium|
|DIY||Yes or No||Yes or No||Yes or No|
|Railings & Stairs||Yes or No||Yes or No||Yes or No|
|Ground Works||None or Minor||Significant||Significant|
|Deck Design||Simple to Complex||Simple to Complex||Complex|
1). The starting cost in each range is for DIY installation, no railings or stairs and very little grounds work.
2). Overlapping costs: These show that you can spend, for example, £60 per square metre on a treated pine deck with railings, complex design and professional installation or you can get a basic composite deck with no railings and DIY installation for about the same cost.
A similar comparison would be between a non-slip pine or basic composite deck with significant ground works, railings, stairs and pro installation for the same cost as an ipe or premium composite deck with no railings and simple design.
There is more information on your material options in the Cost Factors below.
3). Costs include the decking, fasteners and other installation supplies.
Garden Decking Cost Factors
Your cost will be determined by these features.
- Decking Material – There are three general cost ranges.
- Standard pressure-treated pine is the low-cost option.
- Treated timber with non-slip strips and basic composite decking like UltraShield are midrange options.
- Hardwood like ipe and premium composite decking like Trex are the most expensive decking materials.
- Railing and Stairs – These features might be required by the height of the deck. They account for 30% to 50% of material and labour costs.
- Who Installs – You’ll save from 20% for an ipe deck and almost 50% for a pressure-treated timber deck if you install it yourself.
- Ground Works or Not – If you build the decking on a patio or piers without excavation, your cost will be lower.
- Deck Design – A rectangular, four-corner, single-level deck is the easiest to fit, so labour costs are lower than if the deck has more corners and is multi-tiered.
- Your Location – Decking costs, like everything else, are higher in and around London than elsewhere.
Sample Decking Costs
This table below gives an overview for the costs for installed decking.
|Deck Size||Decking Material||Groundwork||Deck Design||Cost w/o Railing||
Cost w/ Railing
|20 m2||Treated Pine||None/Minimal||Simple||£750||£1,100|
|20m2||Ipe or Premium Composite||None/Minimal||Simple||£1,800||£2,250|
|40 m2||Treated Pine||Substantial||Complex||£1,800||£2,400|
|40m2||Ipe or Premium Composite||Substantial||Complex||£4,100||£5,200|
Labour rates for most decking installers ranges from £15-£25 per square metre. That’s what you’ll save with DIY decking.
Steps to Fitting a Deck
If you’re thinking of doing the work yourself, here is what is required.
- Groundwork, if necessary, includes digging holes and pouring footings for deck posts/legs to rest on. This isn’t necessary if you’re installing the decking a patio or piers laid on the turf.
- Lay membrane that prevents weeds from growing
- Build the timber framework to support the decking boards. Treated timber is used for most frames, regardless of the actual decking material.
- Decking boards are installed and fastened to the frame.
- Finish board are installed around the perimeter to conceal the frame
- If needed, stairs and railings are installed.
- Apply oil or colourant to protect the deck
Is Permitting Required
It isn’t for most ground-level decks. If you’re building an elevated deck, you might need permitting.
Is DIY Decking Installation an Option
If you’re experienced using a power saw and drill plus hand tools, it’s possible to install your own deck. Many homeowners do the job and are quite pleased with the results. Before you start, read a manual on installation and watch a few tutorial videos. Finding a friend that has done it before will prove to be a great help as well.
Keep these cautions in mind! If any of the work is poorly done, the deck might be unsafe, look terrible or be prone to early failure. If you’re comfortable with those risks, then DIY decking should be considered.
For the best appearance and long-term performance, hiring a decking installer makes sense. The work is usually done by decking specialists, but landscape gardeners and carpenters might also have skills in deck fitting.
Get Several Estimates for Best Price
Asking several professionals to give you a decking quote ensures competitive pricing. Interview each about the experience of the crew that will be fitting the decking.
This is the best way to find the right balance between a fair cost and quality work.
Frequently Asked Questions for your Decking Installation?
- Q. Does composite deck fade?
- Ans. Composite decking is fade resistant, but it may possibly fade over time in strong sunlight. If the Composite decking fades it will get lighter in tone as it fades.
- Q. How long does Composite decking last?
- Ans. Composite decking are created from recycled materials (plastic and wood), they are then encapsulated with an outer protective layer, but as composite decking is weather, and rot resistant it is estimated to last for 25+ years.