Most contractors determine their deck cost per square foot.
"The 3 biggest things that decide the cost of your deck are the size of your deck, the material you choose, and the options you add to it." - John (owner)
Our average deck is around 400 square feet or 20' wide by 20' long. Most houses are better suited for a more rectangular shaped deck, say like a 14' by 28'. Knowing that decks are usually priced per square foot can help you better speak the language of deck builders.
Deck Stairs and Steps
One factor that can make a significant difference in the cost of your deck is the number of steps it takes to reach the ground. Steps are very labor intensive to build and install so they tend to be rather expensive. So a Pressure Treated deck about 3'-4' above the ground should cost somewhere between $30-$35 per square foot including railing & steps. However, a small deck like a 10'X12' or 12'X14' that is 8'-9' above the ground may cost as much as $48-$55 per square foot because it needs a long flight of steps.
Additional features such as diagonal flooring, flower boxes, deck planters, benches, pergolas, etc will increase the price, as well as removal of your old deck. Check out How Much Does a Deck Cost for pricing info on our optional features.
On average synthetic decks run about 40% more than pressure treated decks ($40-$50 per square foot). But again keep in mind that for smaller decks with long flights of steps, the cost per square foot will be higher. A 10'X12' deck 8' above the ground, with synthetic floor and railings, could cost as much as $70-$75 per square foot with the steps included.
As you make your decision, this may seem like a lot, but compare that to the cost of years of maintenance for a pressure treated wood deck.
For a full description of the difference in materials, make sure to read the section called Deck Flooring Materials. Of course, the type of railings you choose will also make a difference in the price of your deck. We have a lot more info and prices on our Which Deck Railing Should You Choose? page.
A quote or estimate from Decks R Us includes everything. And we guarantee it won’t be one penny more when we are all finished. We give you this quote in writing.
Make sure when considering any deck builder that the price or the quote includes everything and that it’s guaranteed not to jump by $1,000 by the time the final bill comes in, assuming there have been no additions or big changes to the design.