How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?

If you’ve come here looking for a cost estimate for building a new deck, let me give it to you straight away.

The average cost of building a deck in Australia is anywhere between $4,500 – $26,000 approx. This is based on a standard deck with a size between 10 – 50 sq. meters putting the average cost per square meter at $485.

Of course, the actual cost varies depending on several factors incl. size, material, site type, etc. The above estimate does not take any of these variations into consideration.

Labour costs should be one of the key considerations, as professional deck builders will charge by the hour or by the square meter. The size and complexity of the project will also affect labour costs.

In addition, the cost of materials must be considered. The subframe, made up ofbearers, joists, andstumps, will form the foundation of the deck and will account for a significant portion of the total cost.

Decking boards, which will be attached to the subframe, come in a variety of materials, each with its own price tag. You can check out this handy decking calculator to work out the cost of Decking Boards.

Finally, it is important to factor in the cost of extras such as ballustrade, stairs, and built-in features like seating.

Want to get the best value for your new deck? It all starts at the planning stage

There can be a fine line between choosing the best-looking, most expedient deck and choosing a big enough deck to serve your most basic needs and desires. This is where value for your money and space come into the equation.

Depending on your needs and desires, a decision will need to be made according to the size of your dream deck. The size of the deck will trump all other aspects since that will be your operating space.

It is therefore important to get the best value out of the size, type of space you will need, and then line this up with the cost factor.

To break it down simply, the average price range for a deck size up to 10 square metres is between $4,150 and $5,500, while 20 square metres range from $5,800 to $7,100. One can immediately gauge which size is better value for money.

The maximum prices gradually go up with each size bracket as shown below.

Deck Size Estimated Price Range
10 square meters $4,150 – $7,000
20 square meters $7,000 – $13,000
30 square meters $10,500 – $18,000
40 square meters $13,600 – $24,000
50 square meters $15,500 – $27,500
> 50 square meters $15,500 – $28,000 +

But interestingly, the ranges mesh within each area classification.

Getting the best value means you can perhaps get a 50-square-metre deck for a similar price as a 30-square-metre one. That is if the deck has been efficiently planned to minimise wastage and of course, if you have additional space/s that you’ve been considering for your decking project.

At the time of planning your deck, take note of whether council approval is required. The size, style, elevation, materials used and finishes all play a major part in determining if a permit is needed and the price.

How much does it cost to build a deck per square meter?

Putting it simply, the estimated cost per square meter for building a timber deck in Australia is anywhere between $300 – $1,000+.

We realise that’s a big range, but the actual cost depends on several factors as stipulated earlier.

Allow me to explain this variation using a simple example. Consider building a simple timber patio deck built from pine versus a high-end composite deck with stairs. While a basic patio deck will cost around $450 per square metre, a premium version like above can cost about $650+ per square metre.

Now, let’s build another hypothetical deck and presume that the labour and subframe costs are independent of the type of decking boards used in this case.

A comparison between the costs of different decking materials should give you a good idea of what your project will cost UPFRONT (more on this later) based on your choice of the decking material.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most used decking materials and their prices per square meter:

Decking Material Estimated price per square metre
Treated Pine $50
Hardwood Timber like Merbau $80
Composite Decking $100+
Complex Decking with inlaid patterns $150+

Costs will also vary depending on whether you’d like to have stairs or steps as a part of your decking area and its shape etc.

A decking area with more complex structures such as stairs and irregular shapes will increase the range to $800+ per square metre. The amount and cost of materials also align with the elevation required for a deck. For example, for a merbau (a type of hardwood) deck, the average price would be between $280 and $320 per square metre, but if it ought to be elevated, then more would need to be done and prices will change accordingly.

Other factors also come into play when deciding on the size, elevation and the site for the deck. For instance, a balustrade would need to be fitted in for decks elevated above a certain height, which will also add to the cost of your project.

How much is the cost-of-build for a traditional timber deck in Australia?

The size of the deck aside, there comes the variable of the cost-of-build, which varies greatly according to what needs to be done. Starting off, and depending on the materials and finishes used, a mid-sized 15-square-metre timber deck could cost anywhere between $5,700 and $9,750+

However, the type of timber used has a great influence on a wooden deck and its total cost-of-build. Treated pine timber decking (timber only) will cost you around $50per square metre, but you could be paying more than $80 per square metre for hardwood timber decking options like Merbau.

How much is the cost-of-build for a composite timber deck in Australia?

Choosing the best type of timber according to your environment and desired look and feel is paramount in your decking planning process. The most common types of traditional decking timber are treated pine, merbau, , jarrah, and spotted gum.

However, composite decking is an increasingly popular timber alternative due to its extremely low maintenance over a long lifespan. It has the type of durability that can’t be achieved or accomplished with traditional timber. It is made from a combination of typically recycled plastic and timber fibres
The average cost of composite decking boards (material only) ranges from $100 per square metre to $180 per square metre, depending on the quality and the type used.

Add to that the cost of subframe and labour, you’re looking at the total cost-of-build for an average 15 square meter composite deck to be between $5,700 -9,750

While the UPFRONT costs for building a composite deck looks comparable to that of using hardwood timber, there is one stark difference that is often overlooked.

The cost of maintaining the deck, year after year, of a hardwood timber deck vs a composite deck. With low maintenance and no need for oiling or painting, the cost for maintaining a composite deck is $0, year after year.

Compare that to the cost of maintaining a merbau deck over 10 years – You could end up forking out an extra $5000 for maintaining a 15 sqm hardwood deck.

Don’t believe us? Check out this decking calculator to compare our Composite Decking with Merbau Timber.

Decking Estimator Dimension

How does the site and location of the deck effect its price?

To fully immerse yourself with all exterior surroundings, you may opt for a ground-level deck, which will use the least amount of subframe material and therefore cost less than a raised deck (using the same standard and affordable decking materials).

A flat and stable terrain needs to be assessed and considered in order to build a suitable deck. As you’d expect, this can also have an influence on the construction price.

Decking Estimator Materials

For instance, if the ground is slightly sloped, then the price will increase as the height of the stumps increases and the need for balustrade and stairs become more likely

Want to enjoy those quaint views from your platform? A raised deck would be prudent in that case which in turn will affect the prices further. To build a 6x4m raised deck, with the necessary balustrade and stairs, using standard decking materials can cost between $15,000 and $25,000+.

Building an elevated deck is a more complex project and therefore the prices will coincide with that.

Decking Estimator Colour Explorer

Another variable is whether the potential deck will be located in a bush-fire-prone area. When building a deck in Australia you are governed by a bushfire attack standard that has strict provisions around the type of decking material used and the construction of the deck. If your new deck is being built in a bushfire prone area you should account for this in your initial planning stage. For instance, Futurewood’s CleverDeck Xtreme composite decking is BAL 29 rated and meets the standard in a large number of bushfire classifications under the standard. It provides far better protection compared to various other composite and timber decking options.

How much does it cost to prepare a deck?

Now that the deck is designed, laid out, built and finally smiled upon, it mayneed ongoing protection to increase its longevity. Waterproofing and sealing are essential requirements for traditional timber decks which will also mean additional costs.

But if you decided to go for a high-quality composite deck, like Futurewood Xtreme, your preparation costs are NIL. There is no need to oil or paint your new deck as it already comes in a beautiful range of colours that run through the material.

In fact, a composite deck like Futurewood’s will last you for years without the need for annual maintenance chores like oiling and painting – a key drawback of traditional timber decks.

All these factors form a collective, and that collective is the product of your finished deck. Based on your fancies, everything needs to be weighed and factored in to get the best possible deck for its best possible purpose.

Decking Estimator Estimate

Use our Decking Calculator for an instant estimate on how much your new decking boards will cost. The calculator provides a cost comparison between hardwood (merbau) timber decking and composite timber (WPC) decking to determine which option will provide you with the most value for money. If you have any further questions about planning your deck, contact our team of experts for advice ranging from designs, suitability and decking options.