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How much does timber decking cost? | 2024 cost guide

5th Feb '24 • By Jared Jeffery

In today's world, where outdoor living spaces have become essential for relaxation and entertainment, timber decks have gained immense popularity. Timber decks not only add beauty and charm to your home but also provide a functional and comfortable space for family gatherings and social events. For most homeowners considering installing a new deck, there is one question that comes to mind – how much does timber decking cost?

timber deck

Understanding the factors that influence the cost of timber decks is crucial for making informed decisions regarding your project. Factors such as the size of the deck, the type of timber used, the complexity of the design, and the location can significantly impact the overall cost. By having a clear understanding of these factors, you can plan your budget effectively and ensure that you get the most value for your investment.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the true value of timber decks and explore the various factors that influence their cost. Whether you are considering building a deck or looking to upgrade an existing one, this guide will provide you with valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and create a stunning outdoor space that fits your budget. So, let's get started and uncover the secrets behind the true value of timber decks.

Factors that influence the cost of timber decks

When it comes to the cost of timber decks, several factors come into play. Understanding these factors will give you a better idea of what to consider when planning your deck project. Let's take a closer look at each of these factors.

Material selection for timber decks

The type of timber you choose for your deck is one of the primary factors that will influence the cost. You can expect to pay between $200 to $500 per square metre for decking. Different types of timber have different price points, depending on their availability and durability. Hardwoods like teak are known for their strength and longevity but often come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, softwoods like pine and cedar are more affordable but may require more frequent maintenance.

In addition to the type of timber, the quality and grade of the wood will also impact the cost. Higher-grade timber will generally cost more but will provide better aesthetics and durability. It's essential to consider your budget and the desired look and lifespan of your deck when selecting the material.

Cost of Timber Per Square Metre 
Treated pine decking — $200 per square metre 
Hardwood timber decking — $320+ per square metre
Composite decking — $350+ per square metre 
Decking with roofing and stairs — $800+ per square metre
Elevated cyclone rate decking — $1000+ per square metre

Deck size and complexity

The size and complexity of your deck design will also play a significant role in determining its cost. Larger decks require more materials and labour, which can increase the overall cost. Additionally, decks with intricate designs, multiple levels, and unique features like built-in seating or pergolas will require more time and expertise to build, resulting in higher costs.

When planning your deck, consider the intended use and the space available. While larger decks may provide more room for entertaining, they may not be necessary if you have a smaller backyard. Finding the right balance between size and functionality will help you maximize the value of your deck within your budget.

Design features and customisation options

The design features and customisation options you choose for your deck will also impact the cost. From railing styles to lighting fixtures and decorative elements, each customisation adds to the overall expense. For example, glass or metal railings tend to be more expensive than traditional wooden railings, while adding built-in benches or storage will require additional materials and labour.

While it's tempting to include all the bells and whistles in your deck design, it's crucial to prioritise your needs and budget. Focus on the features that are most important to you and consider adding others as your budget allows. By being mindful of your choices, you can create a deck that reflects your style while staying within your financial means.

timber deck with daybeds

Labour and installation costs

Labour and installation costs are an essential part of the overall cost of building a timber deck. The complexity of the design, the size of the deck, and the expertise required by a carpenter will determine the labour costs involved. Additionally, the location of your property can also impact the labour costs, as certain areas may have higher wages or transportation expenses.

When hiring a professional to install your deck, it's essential to do your research and get multiple quotes. Consider the experience and reputation of the contractor, as well as any additional services they may offer, such as design assistance or maintenance packages. While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, remember that quality craftsmanship and expertise can make a significant difference in the longevity and value of your deck.

timber deck with outdoor setting

Maintenance and longevity of timber decks

Another factor to consider when evaluating the cost of timber decks is maintenance and longevity. While timber decks are known for their natural beauty and warmth, they do require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. This maintenance includes cleaning, sealing, and potentially refinishing the timber periodically.

The frequency of maintenance will depend on the type of timber used and the climate in your area. Softer woods may require more frequent maintenance to prevent warping, splitting, or rotting. On the other hand, hardwoods are generally more durable and require less maintenance.

When considering the cost of a timber deck, it's essential to factor in the long-term maintenance costs. While timber decks may require more upkeep compared to other decking materials, their natural beauty and ability to age gracefully can provide long-term value and enjoyment.

timber furniture on an outdoor deck

Additional costs to consider

In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are a few additional costs to consider when budgeting for a timber deck. These costs can include permits and inspections, site preparation, and any additional features or accessories you may want to add, such as outdoor furniture or a grill.

Permits and inspections are often required by local building codes and can vary in cost depending on your location. Site preparation costs may include clearing and levelling the area where the deck will be built, as well as any necessary groundwork or drainage improvements.

When planning your budget, it's essential to account for these additional costs to avoid any surprises along the way. Consulting with a professional or doing thorough research will help you get a better understanding of what to expect and ensure that you have a realistic budget for your timber deck project.

Comparing the cost of timber decks to other decking materials

When considering the cost of a timber deck, it's essential to compare it to other decking materials to make an informed decision. While timber decks may have a higher upfront cost compared to materials like composite or PVC, they offer unique benefits that warrant consideration.

Timber decks provide a natural and timeless aesthetic that many homeowners find appealing. They also have a warm and comfortable feel underfoot, making them ideal for barefoot relaxation. Additionally, timber is a renewable resource, making it a more sustainable choice compared to synthetic materials.

While synthetic decking materials may have lower maintenance requirements, they often lack the natural beauty and character that timber decks offer. It's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each material and consider your personal preferences and priorities when making a decision.

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top view of outdoor deck with chairs

Decking FAQs

When is the best time of year to install a deck?

The Australian climate provides suitable conditions to install a deck all year round, although you may want to avoid installing during heavy bouts of rain. 

How much will a new deck cost?

You can expect to pay between $200 to $500 per square metre for decking. This varies with your choice in timber and specs. 

How long does it take to build a new deck?

This depends on your specific job; how big the deck is going to be, what materials you have chosen (as some are easier to work with than others), access to your property and a number of other variables. The best way to receive an accurate time estimation is to ask your deck builder during the quote process!

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