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The Cost of Building a Deck/Patio

Last modified: 2019/03/19 | Approximate reading time 11 mins

Redoing your deck or patio forces you to choose from a wide range of materials which can really make your choice a difficult one. Although the characteristics of the materials available for your future deck or patio may directly influence your decision, keep in mind that the price will also be a determining factor of what your finished deck will look like.

Here at RenoQuotes, we’ve prepared a guide to help you navigate the different characteristics and prices of the various materials used in the construction of a deck.

The price of materials for the construction of a deck or patio

Composite wood

Made from the combination of recycled wood and plastic waste, composite wood has proven to be an increasingly popular option over the years. A great selling point of composite wood is that it is a fairly low maintenance material, while also delivering a high degree of resistance to moisture, rotting, fungi, insects and even termite infestation.

You can also easily maintain it by applying an anti-mould solution at least one or twice annually. During its lifetime (which is estimated to be roughly 25 years), This material will also resist fading heavily and will not crack. Finally, it’s worth noting that its non-slip boards will remain cool underfoot during the summer season, which is definitely a major advantage.

Despite all the positive aspects, composite wood does have some drawbacks. First, let’s mention that it is a material that is available in only a limited number of colour variations. As a material, it is rather heavy, so this means it will take a lot of strength to transport and install it.

Finally, let us emphasize that this is a premium material and therefore quite expensive. It is crucial to remember that composite wood is sensitive to expansion, meaning you will need to place each board with specific spacing that takes this factor into account. In terms of pricing, it will typically cost between $5.50 and $8 per square foot to build your new deck or patio of this material. If you wish for the design and installation to be done by a trusted profession, be prepared to pay between $50 and $60 per square foot.

Wooden patio_RenoQuotes.com

Photo: Pixabay

Western red cedar

This species of wood has a very distinct smell and is coated with a natural oil that helps protect it against pests and mould. In keeping with the green principles of a growing number of consumers, it is sustainable as it comes from a renewable wood species. A huge selling point is the elegance conveyed by its beautiful wood grain, something that easily contributes to its popularity.

However, you will still need to make sure your deck is adequately protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as this species of wood is very susceptible to fading. To counteract this negative effect, you can dilute a zinc oxide-based product in your paint before applying it, which will help guard the original colour of the wood from the sun. The application of a translucent finish will also allow it to retain its natural lustre for longer.

Also, you may wish to consider applying a dark-coloured translucent dye which helps to absorb ultraviolet rays much more easily than other dyes. Since western red cedar is a relatively soft wood you should be aware that it can be easily damaged.

In regard to the price of western red cedar, building your deck or patio will cost about $4 per square foot. If you use the services of a licensed professional to design and build your new deck, it will cost you about $35 per square foot.

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Exotic wood species

Ipe wood

This wood species offers a very interesting degree of resistance against mould, fungi and insects. Its natural colour is beautiful and makes a very significant aesthetic statement. With a lifespan close to 50 years, this wood which comes from Brazil will cost about $10 to $12 per square foot. Its hardness, however, makes it particularly difficult to work with. This is a high-end material that can be out of reach for some budgets.

Teak

This species of wood has bright yellowish colouring and much like Ipe is considered an exotic species. Completely insensitive to rot, this species is clearly one of the best options in terms of its overall durability. Its almost oily sheen and the beauty of its natural colour give it a particularly elegant appearance. Remember that teak requires the application of a layer of oil to help seal in and preserve its colour. As the colour begins to fade, you should reapply a coating of the oil to maintain its natural beauty.

For an investment of $10 to $12 per square foot, this may be an obvious choice for building a deck with a luxurious feel. It is also relevant to know that teak is protected from corrosion and will not be affected by its proximity to metal. As its price indicates, this is more of a premium option.

Pressure-treated wood

Pressure-treated wood is treated with quaternary alkaline copper to prevent fungus, insects or termites from contributing to its premature degradation. Although the products now used to protect wood are free of arsenic, the fact remains that the wood is technically undergoing a chemical process. As a result, there is no danger of unanimity among consumers who care more about environmentally-friendly production. The lifespan of a pressure-treated wood deck or patio is somewhere between 10 and 15 years.

As pressure-treated wood is sometimes of the spruce variety, this can cause some inconveniences. This is due to the fact that the wood is not dried and this tends to make it ooze a surplus of the treatment that’s been applied for its preservation as well as a slight amount of resin during its first year. Note that opting for white pine wood can help to avoid these inconveniences.

This species of wood is easy to work with thanks to its tenderness and its uniform appearance. It is also rather easy to maintain and has a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years.

At a rate of about $2 to $5 per square foot, treated wood is one of the most economical options for building your deck or patio. Of course, for its design and installation, you should be prepared to spend between $30 and $40 per square foot.

Torrefied wood

Under the spectrum of torrefied wood, it is possible to find a very large selection of wood essences such as cherry, ash, oak, poplar, aspen as well as gray and white pine. Unlike pressure-treated wood, torrefied wood takes advantage of the heat generated by the baking process to provide protection against the harmful effects of insects, mould and rotting.

The heat also gives the wood a high degree of impermeability and allows it to have an appearance that highlights its texture. Its greatest advantage as a material is probably its inability to rot. Being more expensive than treated wood, you should expect to spend from $5 to $10 for each square foot. If you hire a professional to do the work, plan to spend $50 to $60 per square foot.

Paving stones

Available in a wide array of colours and sizes, paving stones are exceptionally durable and do not require much maintenance. However, this material can only be installed on the ground, which is something to keep in mind when planning your deck or patio. Usually, paving stones cost anywhere between $4 to $9 per square foot while of course, professional installation will cost you roughly between $15 and $25 per square foot.

Paving stones_RenoQuotes.com

Fibreglass

The benefits of a fibreglass deck or patio are notable. First off, it should be mentioned that a fibreglass deck requires very little maintenance, needing only soapy water to keep it looking clean. Of course, for a deeper cleaning, soapy water and a soft bristle brush should be enough to do the trick. Since fibreglass is perfectly waterproof, you don’t need to be worried about water seeping in and damaging your deck.

Thanks to the way fibreglass is produced, it makes it possible to create a deck of virtually any size and thanks to the large selection of colours, you will undoubtedly have a very unique deck. Fibreglass also offers great resistance to ultraviolet rays, fire, corrosive products and even freezing temperatures. The lifespan of a fibreglass deck is roughly 20 to 25 years, meaning you and your family will be able to take full advantage of it for years to come.

While you can easily choose a dark shade for your fibreglass deck or patio, it is ideal to opt for a light shade. This is of course due to the fact that a dark shade will absorb more sunlight and then can become very hot, making it uncomfortable to walk barefoot.

Moreover, this intense heat can force the fibreglass to dilate, leaving visible cracks on the surface. Any cracks will need to be filled immediately so as to avoid water permeating the crack and causing it to spread. Unfortunately, a fibreglass deck is not the most sustainable choice since it will most likely end up in a landfill at the end of its lifecycle.

Something else worth considering about a fibreglass deck is that during the winter months, the surface can become very slippery, so it is important to use caution. One recommendation is to spread sand to help melt the ice and limit your chances of slipping. Lastly, if you leave items such as furniture in the same place season over season, it could leave markings around the item, which will be difficult to remove. Therefore, consider taking the items off the deck and keeping them in storage when the deck isn’t in use, this is especially important for metal objects since they have a greater chance of leaving marks.

A fibreglass deck will cost you an average of $15 per square foot while refurbishing the surface by sanding will cost you about $2 to $3 per square foot.

Why not opt for a concrete deck or patio?

As we know, concrete is a very heavy material to work with. However, this also contributes to its excellent stability. Far from being bland, concrete is available in a wide range of finishes. Considering this, you may decide that a stamped concrete deck is the most beautiful choice for your backyard. Stamped concrete comes from applying a pattern on the surface in order to give it the appearance of another material, such as wood, ceramic or even brick.

One of concrete's biggest advantages is without a doubt its exceptional durability. Very resistant to cold and temperatures changes in general, concrete is only slightly prone to cracking. Another great benefit of concrete is its easy maintenance, only needing a simple washing with a high-pressure jet to help clear any dirt.

As for drawbacks, concrete certainly does not offer the warm effect that wood does. Also, concrete is not available in many colours which can be a deal breaker for some. If you decide to install a deck made of concrete, it is absolutely necessary to call on the services of a licensed professional to carry out the work, which will, of course, add to the cost.

What is the cost of a concrete deck?

If a concrete deck or patio seems like the perfect solution for your home, you should plan for a generous budget. Consider a minimum of $50 per square foot (including labour and deck framing) which will most likely cover most costs associated with your new deck.

Some examples of what a 12 x 12 deck costs

Since a deck with dimensions of 12 x 12 is an ideal size to set up a dining table with chairs, a barbecue, and sun chairs, here is how much you should consider spending on a deck of this size based on the material you’ve chosen:

Pressure treated wood: between $288 and $720 (for materials only), $4 320 to $5 760 (with labour included);

Western red cedar: approximately $576 (for materials only), approximately $5 040 (with labour included);

Paving stones: between $576 and $1 296 (for materials only), $2160 to $3600 (with labour included);

Torrefied wood: between $720 and $1 440 (for materials only), $7200 to $8640 (with labour included);

Composite wood: between $792 and $1 152 (for materials only), $7200 to $8640 (with labour included);

Ipe wood and teak: between $1 440 and $1 728 (for materials only).

The regulations in place to build a deck or patio

Before proceeding to the construction phase of your deck, it is essential to make sure that you are informed about the necessary steps to building a deck or patio based on your municipality’s regulations, and of course to obtain a building permit. As different municipalities vary in their regulations, it is important to make sure there are no issues with your plans as early as possible.

Backyard deck with fireplace_RenoQuotes.com

Photo: Pixabay

Overview of the average prices for deck and patio materials

Type of patio project or material Average price

Treated wood patio (materials only):

approx. $5.50 to $8/square foot

Installation of a treated wood patio:

approx. $30 to $40/square foot

Western red cedar patio (materials only):

approx. $4/ square foot

Installation of a western red cedar patio:

approx. $35/ square foot

Ipe wood patio (materials only) :

approx. $10 to $12/square foot

Teck patio (materials only) :

approx. $10 to $12/square foot

Pressure treated wood patio (materials only):

approx. $2 to $5/square foot

Installation of a pressure treated wood patio:

approx. $30 to $40/square foot

Torrefied wood patio (materials only):

approx. $5 to $10/square foot

Installation of a torrefied wood patio:

approx. $50 to $60/square foot

Paver stone patio (materials only)  :

approx. $4 to $9/square foot

Installation of a paver stone patio:

approx. $15 to $25/square foot

Fibreglass patio:

approx. $15/square foot

Concrete patio :

starting at 50$/square foot

 

Here are some other interesting articles about patios published on our home renovation blog: 

To find out about the average prices of different home renovation projects, check out our Home renovation price guide. 

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