Do you know the average cost of a deck in 2016? Is it $5,000? Is it $20,000? Unfortunately (or fortunately) the answer is not that simple.
At Archadeck of Salt Lake, we provide an initial phone consultation to all of our potential deck clients. During the call, we try to gain as much knowledge as we can about the project you have in mind, including your budget. While many hesitate to give us a budget in trying to gain a competitive quote, due to the large variety of decking options that can affect the cost we need a starting point.
We often find during early discussions with clients that there is a great misconception about the cost of building a deck in 2016. Sometimes homeowners have lived in their home for 20 years and have never tackled a project this size, skewing their perception of the cost. We also find that many people have no perspective for the cost of materials, the amount of labor and the amount of time and expertise that goes into building a high-quality deck that will last for many years of fabulous outdoor living.
To remove some of the mystery of what a quality deck build can cost, we’ve outlined a few of the major cost factors involved in your Salt Lake deck construction cost, along with two decks we’ve built with a price comparison for an example.
The size of your deck is one of the largest factors in pricing your deck. Larger decks require more materials and more time to build. Taller decks also add to the cost, especially if you get above 9 feet from ground level. With the terrain in Salt Lake, this can be a common scenario with a steeply sloping backyard. Whenever we build a deck at a higher elevation, we bring in scaffolding and we require our crew to keep safety above all else, including the targeted timeline, which can add to the labor cost.
There is a large variety of materials for you to choose from in today’s decking world. For the main decking, you can choose from wood, hardwood, fully synthetic or capped composite. Each of these choices comes with its own upfront cost. You’ll find that the most expensive upfront can be the most affordable over the life of your deck as they last longer and require less maintenance. Sometimes your deck location and height will dictate this choice, but mostly it will be for you and your budget to decide.
As if choosing from all of those wasn’t enough in the tough choices department, you’ll then have a large variety of material choices for railings, fasteners, and substructures. Choosing hidden fasteners for today’s modern deck look can increase your material costs. Select from a pressure treated wood frame, steel framing or a dry deck substructure to create a dry covered porch under your deck. Railings can be wood, vinyl caps, aluminum, powder-coated steel, cable or glass. All of these choices affect your deck cost.
Accessories & Intricate Designs
Similar size decks can vary broadly in price if you add items such as built-in benches, planters, outdoor fire pits, kitchens, fireplaces, more support for hot tubs, custom inlays, curved shapes, pergolas or other shade structures. With each added item your material and labor costs will go up while your outdoor lifestyle will become more luxurious.
While the cost of labor will be built into your quote from any deck builder, the quality of this labor can alter the cost of your deck. When it comes to the safety of your family and friends and the longevity of your deck, it is not a place to cut corners. It is possible that a deck builder with lower labor costs is cutting corners on worker’s compensation or liability insurance which could fall on you if there is an incident on your construction site. Also, keep in mind, a deck that is not properly installed will void any manufacturer warranties on materials.
So, what does all of this add up to?
The deck above was $21,000.
• 200 square feet
• Redwood Decking
• Multiple Levels
• Upper level is 18 feet above ground level
• Powder-coated steel railing
The deck above was $38,000.
• 256 square feet
• TimberTech Terrain Legacy Decking
• TimberTech RadianceRail Express (low-maintenance post sleeves with aluminum balusters)
• Aluminum Pergola
As you can see from the images – similar size decks with a few design choice changes can be a $17,000 difference in cost. We hope these images and prices will help you see what your backyard dream could look like and cost. We urge you not to choose the lowest priced deck builder but choose the deck builder who will do the job right and be a professional throughout the process. At Archadeck of Salt Lake, we promise to provide you with the best deck to fit your needs and budget. Call today for a deck design consultation 801-683-2355