Deck & Patio Cost Guide

Instead of moving in order to upgrade their house, many homeowners are investing in their current house to make it the home they really want. Adding a deck or patio is a great way to make the most out of the yard and landscape, an ideal spot to relax by oneself or with family and friends. This Remodeling Cost Guide will help you understand the potential costs involved with adding a deck or patio to your property, as well as what your many options are.

Deck Options and Prices

Let’s talk deck materials first. Your options include pressure-treated wood, which remains among the most popular materials. Other woods include cedar, pine, redwood and mahogany which require more maintenance than treated lumber. They’ll need to be stained, sealed or painted every 2-5 years, depending on how hard your climate is on decks.

Green materials are growing in popularity as well. They offer an alternative to wood and are better for the environment. Some of the most popular green decking materials are Trex, Timbertech and other brands of synthetic wood products, and composite decking from Certainteed and other manufacturers. Aluminum and PVC decking is also available. Non-wood products have the greater durability and require the least amount of maintenance. They are also more expensive.

In terms of costs, pressure-treated lumber is the least expensive for most outdoor deck projects. Materials will cost $5-$7 per square foot. Cedar and redwood decking is also affordable, with prices of $6-$8 per square foot. Synthetic wood products, composite and Brazilian hardwood cost in the $8-$10 range per square foot. Aluminum decking is $10-$12 per square foot and PVC vinyl is $11-$14 per square foot.

For patios, you’ve got just as many options for materials. Today’s most popular materials for patios are brick or paver stones, fieldstone, flagstone, natural stone, concrete slabs or poured concrete. If you choose poured concrete, it can be tinted, stamped or stained. Stamped concrete can be made to look like brick or paver stone. Stained concrete looks like granite.

For prices, concrete slabs or a simple poured concrete patio will cost the least, at $5-$10 per square foot. All of the others offer a range of styles and options, and are priced from about $9-$20 per square foot.

DIY Installation of Deck or Patio or Hire a Pro?

This can be a do-it-yourself job if you’ve got the time, skills and tools. For decks, you’ll need a level, power tools, deck screws, bolts and nuts, and concrete if you plan to anchor the main legs of the deck.

For patios, you’ll need tools to get the area level. For poured concrete, you’ll need to use wood to build a form for the deck. Paver stones and other types of stones are installed by hand. The job is slow and time-consuming, but not especially difficult. Many homeowners enjoy the satisfaction of doing the job themselves.

Busy homeowners often choose professional installation for their deck or patio. The contractors who do the work offer experience and a job that has a professional look to it when finished. Even if you’re considering doing the work yourself, it might be worth your time to gather a few price quotes from the experts. Then you can determine if your time and effort to do the job is worth the cost savings.

If you get professional prices, request at least 3 written estimates. This will allow you to find lower prices while giving you the opportunity to discuss the project with each contractor. The result will be finding a contractor you’re comfortable using. While saving on installation is an important factor when possible, the key is to have it done right.

This deck and patio cost guide provides you with realistic pricing for your project. It will help you plan the addition of a new deck or patio which will give you many hours of enjoyment in the years to come.

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