Summary: How much does decking cost, average cost of decking materials and average decking installation cost.
Decking has been popular for years in the USA and is now being increasingly used in the UK. Essentially, decking is flat, grooved wooden planks which are used to cover outdoor areas that need to support weight. Decking must always be installed below a damp proof course. It has been proven that decking can add value to a home so, by installing a deck, you will be investing in your home.
|Decking (Labour & materials)|
|£80 – £110 (m²)||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
Overall costs, depending on the tradespeople you use, the size of the deck and the type of materials will range from perhaps £25 per square metre from DIY decking using budget wood through to £100+ per square metre for a professional installation using premium materials.
There are various types of decking. Hardwood is naturally more durable and does not need chemical treatment. This type of decking is often used to create steps and different levels in a garden or to cover unattractive surfaces. Teak wood has good weather resistant qualities which is why it is so often used for garden furniture. There is a natural oil in the wood so sealants and preservatives are not required. Another wood used for decking is Iroko which is a hardwood from Africa and sometimes called African Teak. Although this wood starts off as a yellowish colour, it soon darkens to become dark brown. Iroko is ideal for decking as it is unaffected by fungus, insects or naturally occurring chemicals. Also sometimes used is Cumaru hardwood which emanates from South America and is exceptionally strong with an excellent fire rating. Together with its anti insect and anti decay characteristics, this wood is perfect for decking. However, almost all decks are made from pressure treated softwoods. This is because they are readily available as well as cost effective and easy to work with.
Costs to consider
Decking costs can vary substantially. Depending on your budget you might decide to go for the cheaper softwood option but this will still look fantastic years from now. Compare your local timber yards with builders’ merchants and take the time to look at the different types of decking that are available. This needs to be a considered decision as it is one that you will be living with many years from now.
A garden can look most attractive when different types of material are used. For instance you might already have a stone or concrete patio and decking would complement this beautifully. It is worth taking time to make a sketch as to where your decking is going to go and to decide for what purpose it is to be used. You might simply want to put a deckchair on it and use it on a sunny day. Or you might want to hold parties on it in which case you need a large area of garden which will be permanently covered. If you want to put heavy structures, such as a hot tub or heavy concrete planters, on decking then it is important to get weight calculations from a structural engineer. Another thing to bear in mind is that decks can be slippery. Ensure the surface is clean at all times and free of fine moss, mildew or algae. Brush your deck with a stiff brush and once a year and use a deck cleaning product or power washer.
Decking can be quite expensive and, as well as the planks, support beams need to be used and calculated into the cost. If you are confident enough to do the job yourself take your measurements along to your DIY merchant and they will calculate the cost of materials for you. If you intend to employ someone else to do the work then get three estimates. Try to get estimates from someone who has been recommended to you or whose work you have seen.
When considering decking it is usually the case that for a small deck no planning permission is required. If in doubt contact your local authority. Using a decking professional will give you access to the wealth of designs possible and expert advice as to finishes and maintenance procedures. Of course it is possible for the DIYer to tackle decking, although a fair degree of competence is required.
You should derive years of pleasure from your deck as rot proof wood and durable timber will have been used in its construction. A properly built deck will last for years if correctly looked after. Bear in mind that any timber conforming to TDA DeckMark Quality Scheme will have a 15 to 25 year performance warranty.
Don’t fear that you will be damaging the environment. Responsible timber producers will insist that resources are properly managed which includes conserving forests through sustainable techniques. Timber is totally renewable through replanting schemes and in the last decade Europe has increased its areas of productive forest year on year.