Cost To Build A Composite Deck Per Square Foot

The composite decking boards come in a variety of different colors, styles, and brands. The most common ones are hardwood and composite (also known as composite decking). When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider how they will affect your life. Here are some pros and cons of each type:

Hardwood: Hardwood is more expensive than composite, but it is more durable than composite. It’s also more resistant to weather conditions like rain and snow. Composite: Composite has less weight per square foot than hardwood, so it’s easier to move around on your deck once it’s installed. It also comes in a wider range of colors and designs than hardwood does.

Building a new deck can be an exciting and rewarding project, but it’s also one that can get very expensive. The cost of building a composite deck is dependent on the size and complexity of the structure. There are many different factors involved in determining how much a composite deck will cost per square foot. It’s important to understand all the components required before making any financial decisions. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from permits to plumbing so you have a clear picture of what it takes to build your dream deck.

Cost To Build A Composite Deck Per Square Foot

The cost to build a composite deck per square foot depends on the size of the deck, and the type of materials used. The cost to build a composite deck is higher than a wood deck but lower than a stone deck.

As for what it costs per square foot, you’re looking at about $50-$75 for an average-sized 8×10 foot (~200 sq ft) wood or composite deck that uses pressure treated pine lumber or pressure treated Southern yellow pine (as opposed to exotic hardwoods used in many custom decks). This means your total material costs will be somewhere between $3-$4K depending on whether you use cedar siding or not (cedar siding adds about $1k).

Permits and Labor


If you’re looking to build a composite deck in your home, then permits are required. The size and complexity of your project will determine how much it will cost to get those permits. For example, if you need electrical work done or want to build a large porch on the front of your house with lots of stairs or railings, then there will be additional costs associated with getting all the proper documents in order.

Labor Costs

The labor costs for building a composite deck vary based on several factors: 1) who performs the work; 2) how long it takes them (how many days); 3) what materials are used; 4) where you live (labor rates vary state by state).

Architectural Fees

Architectural fees are one-time costs that you will pay to the architect for his or her expertise. They can vary depending on the complexity of your project, and they may be paid in installments.

Site Preparation

When it comes to the cost of building a deck, site preparation is the most important part of the process. You will need to start with a level surface and remove any existing vegetation or debris before you can begin installing your new decking material. This is because when you install your decking material, it needs to be installed over a solid foundation so that it will not appear uneven in any way. If you don’t prepare your site correctly, this could cause problems down the road with cracks forming in your flooring or even warping boards due to moisture buildup underneath them causing them to rot quicker than normal which could result in costly repairs later on down

the road

Excavation & Foundation

The first step in any deck project is the excavation. This is the process of digging out dirt, rocks and other materials until you have a solid footing for your deck foundation. If this sounds like some kind of scary monster lurking below your house, fear not: excavating for a deck is one of the easiest parts of building one. The amount of excavation needed depends on the size and shape of your deck—there are different depths that need to be reached depending on whether it’s going to be supported by posts or beams.

Structure Steel

Sturdy, durable and reliable, steel framing is a popular choice for decks. Steel framing is strong enough to hold up under the weight of heavy furniture and appliances, or even people who might be using your deck as a spot to hang out. However, this material is also more expensive than many other options.

Steel framing comes in two main forms: open-web steel joists and solid-steel beams (also called I-beams). Open-web joists are lighter than solid I-beams but still very strong; they’re an excellent choice for decks that don’t have a lot of weight on them (such as those with only one or two chairs). Solid I-beams are much heavier than open web joist; they’re best suited for larger structures where there’s lots of furniture or equipment being placed on the deck area.


As with any construction project, you want to get the best quality materials that you can afford.

Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, and gravel. It’s used to make a foundation for your deck that will support it as well as protect it from the ground below. The concrete is poured into a form or mold which allows for even distribution and gives your deck shape and structure.

Framing (Interior & Exterior)

Framing is the skeleton of your house, and it’s what supports everything else. Framing includes the wood or metal structure that provides a solid base for the walls and roof to sit on. It’s usually done before drywall installation because it’s important to have this part of your home in place before you move onto other tasks.

You can find many different types of framing materials, including wood (especially pine), steel, concrete block, and even foam insulation boards that are made from recycled plastic bottles. These different materials have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on your budget, needs, and location.

Doors, Windows, Trimwork & Cabinetry

Doors and windows are often the most expensive part of a deck. Windows are usually the most expensive part of your new deck, but trimwork can also be very costly. It’s important to think about all of these costs when determining how much money you’ll need for your new composite deck.

If you’re looking to save some cash on your next build, consider upgrading or replacing doors or windows with more affordable options. You can use vinyl shutters as cheaper alternatives to storm doors, or even invest in an automated opener instead of traditional sliding glass doors if that’s what fits into your budget best.

Drywall Insulation

What most people don’t realize is that there are many things you can do to save money on your project. For example, if you’re building a deck in the wintertime (when it’s cold outside), insulate it with drywall insulation before you install the decking.

This will keep your deck cooler and more comfortable to walk on during those hot summer months.

But what exactly is drywall insulation? Drywall is basically a type of paper board made from recycled fibers that has been pressed together into sheets. These sheets are used as an alternative to traditional concrete when constructing homes since they weigh less than concrete while providing similar strength properties like thermal resistance, mold resistance, fire retardency, and durability over time without any maintenance required by homeowners unlike other materials such as wood or metal which need regular maintenance such as staining every few years depending on how often they get wet or exposed

Interior Finishes

Interior finishes can make or break the look of your deck. The right cabinets, countertops, flooring, and lighting can add a lot of value to your home. It’s important to choose those elements carefully so they mesh with the rest of your interior design.

Kitchen and bathroom fixtures are essential in any home and will likely be included with any new deck you build. However, if you have existing fixtures that need replacing or updating—or if you’re looking for something different—you may want to consider customizing them for your new space.

Ceiling fans are another one-of-a-kind addition that can help define an outdoor room’s style and personality. Many homeowners choose to install them above their dining table or bar area; however, it all depends on what feels best for each individual homeowner’s preferences and needs.

Roofing/Siding/Gutters/Sheet Metal Flashing

Roofing or siding needs to be installed on the exterior of your deck, and gutters are also required if you’re building a roof. Sheet metal flashing is also necessary to cover any gaps between the roof and wall of your home.

In general, roofing or siding for a deck can be made of wood or metal. For example, cedar shingles are often used for decks; however, they’re expensive compared to other options such as asphalt shingles ($5–$8/square foot). Wood shakes are another option that’s more costly than asphalt ($15–$20/square foot), but they last longer and look more natural compared with asphalt shingles. Metal roofs can range from $10–$30 per square foot depending on its thickness and durability level (low-quality metal roofs will cost less at around $10 per square foot).

Electrical Work

Electrical work is the most expensive part of building a deck. Electrical wire, conduit and switches can all add up quickly. To save money on electrical you can do some of the work yourself or use energy efficient fixtures like LED lighting.

HVAC, Humidity and Lighting

You can use square footage to determine the total cost of a deck project. The first step is to calculate the square footage of your deck. To do this, measure each side of every surface that makes up part of your deck, including any steps or railings. Then add up all these measurements and divide them by 4 (if there are four sides). This will give you an approximation of how much material there is in square feet (square feet = length x width). Once you know how much area is involved in your project, multiply that number by $1 per square foot for materials costs and labor costs if they were included in your estimate for construction. For example, if 40 feet of decking costs $20 per foot: 40 x $20 = $800 materials only. If you need help with other aspects of estimating costs or calculating materials and labor expenses related to building a new composite deck on your property please contact us.


Plumbing is another cost that will vary depending on the type of deck you choose. It’s important to note that plumbing should be done by a professional, as it is complex and requires many parts to be functional. However, if you’re willing to take on this task yourself, don’t worry too much about any difficulties arising from improper installation.

The reason why plumbing matters so much is because it’s directly related to how well your deck stands up under pressure. Without proper drainage systems in place, water can pool up underneath your deck and cause problems with its structural integrity over time. This would make it more susceptible to rotting and damage from insects or animals such as termites or raccoons (which are notorious for chewing through wood).


When it comes to cost, the sky is the limit. But as you can see from our breakdown, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how much your project will cost. If you need help finding estimates for your particular job, reach out to an expert at HomeAdvisor. We’d be happy to chat over the phone or offer advice based on what we know about your home.

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