Factors that Determine Cost of Decks

So you have been planning to get an outdoor deck installed! Maybe you have set some money aside for the project and are now doing some research to find out all the facts that you can before you commit. That is a fantastic idea. We all know that decks are a wonderful investment.

They add extra useable space by extending the living of your home and allowing your yard to be far more accessible.

Decks increase your property’s monetary value on the real estate market, as well. They are perfect for entertaining, for quiet personal time and to create special memories with loved ones. In a nutshell, adding a deck to your space is a just a wonderful thing to do.

That being said, there are certain factors that you need to keep in mind while going through the process of setting your budget and choosing a contractor.

There are hidden costs and the choices you make determine the cost that you will charged.

To Contract or Not to Contract?

Yes, there are Do-It-Yourself kits out there to help you install your own deck. You can find them on the internet or at most home improvement centres. They are far less expensive that contracting out. Kits can be done.

If you are a whiz at following directions and inserting piece “A” into slot “B”, you could try it but it is still a complicated process and there is no guarantee that the finished product will look anything like the picture presented.

There are many problems associated with these pre-fab kits. The biggest one being that they do not come with individual instructions to help you install the deck correctly onto your landscape. Your land may need the knowledge of an experienced installer to correctly build your deck.

Also, contractors will install top of the line products that cannot be found in the pre-fab kit. A few years from now, you will appreciate the extra money you put in to have your deck professionally installed.

Deck Material Matters

On top of all the choices to be made, one of the biggest that you will encounter will be what materials to choose for your deck’s construction. Deck frames are usually made from Pressure Treated wood or “PT”. While the customer does not have a choice of material for the frame, they can choose the materials used for the rest of the deck.

You need to plan for your railings and stairs, flooring, trim and anything else that you plan to add. There is a vast variety of materials to pick from and the cost of materials will depend on what you choose.

If your budget is tight, then the least expensive material would be the best option for up-front costs but may not suit your needs in the long run. In this case, the least expensive material to use is pressure treated pine. However, there will be maintenance issues with this material later, as it is known to splinter and shrinks.

Mahogany and cedar, on the other hand, are excellent choices and hold up better through the test of time. For these woods, you will be charged a little more and they will also still need to be treated and maintained at least once a year.

Composite (man-made) materials are another popular option. They require less attention and are very low maintenance. Their downfall is that they are more expensive than woods. Also, they are not great in hot weather. They hold in the heat which can create a painful scenario in the summer time. Choose the material that will fit your budget and lifestyle now and in the future.

The Size of Deck

We all have an image of the deck we want in mind when we plan. Just watch your size. Even though that wrap around or multi-leveled deck sounds fabulous, it will be very expensive to create and install. Know the size you want and the estimated monetary figure before you charge ahead. Then do not veer from your course.

Many decide to add on to the size of their deck once they see the actual footage being installed, but just adding on a few inches can drastically increase the bill. The reason is because, the bigger you go the more joists, girders and columns need to be added to support the larger size.

This will rack up the fees in no time and you will see a huge increase in your bill. Instead, stick to your guns. Stick to the plan and do not be thrown off course. Install what you have originally determined. Once it is completed you will love it.

Design and Accessorize

It is common sense to figure that the more elaborate you plan your deck the more expensive it will be to install. Multi-leveled decks are more expensive to create than the standard single level size. But other factors come into play here as well.

Don’t forget the added expensive of all materials included. From decorative floorings such as tiling or rock, to lattice work for coverings, all play a part in adding money to the bill.

Watch the accessories that you add, as well. Built-ins can get very pricey. Those beautiful built-in benches or fire pit options come with a hefty price tag. As do added planters, built-in space for braais, tables, etc. It may be more economical to add your own later without the fancy custom design work.

Site Challenges

Unique conditions in your landscape can greatly impact the overall cost of the project. The place where you want to set your deck may need an overhaul to achieve your dream.

Is the ground uneven? Will there be run-ins with water or gas lines? Are there trees in the way? How high will the deck need to be off the ground? Can the installers get the proper machinery in your limited space or will they need to dig out their holes for the posts by hand?

All these factors will determine the equipment and amount of time that will be required to fulfil the task. And all this work will be reflected on your bill.

So, with all of this in mind, what should you do? Well, for starters, make your plan along with a budget. Think of what you want and then do your research to see how much it will cost. Cut or add on from there. Call local contractors and get estimates.

Compare each contractor to see who will provide the best services for your project. Don’t just go with the cheapest one. Sometimes that will not save you money in the long run.

Choose the one that is economical plus has the best recommendations and credentials. The company that uses the highest quality materials and the one that has the most experienced team to expertly tackle your project, and have it installed in a timely manner, will be the best choice.

Once you have found your contractor, signed the contracts and know what to expect, just sit back and relax in the knowledge that you have done a great job in providing for the new deck for your home.