Building a deck is a great way to expand your home’s living space. It’s also an excellent way to get outside and enjoy the weather while having fun with friends and family.
If you’re thinking about building a deck in Massachusetts, there are several steps you need to take before construction begins. The first step is to determine where exactly you want to build it. If you have property that is sloped or uneven, this could be problematic because it will make it difficult for you to find a level area where your deck will be safe from erosion and damage from rainwater runoff. Next, hire a local contractor who specializes in decks so that he or she can give you advice about how much material will be required for your particular project size.
After choosing where on your property would work best for building a deck, contact local contractors who specialize in decks so that they can provide advice about how much material will be needed for your particular project size. Then, choose the type of material that best suits your needs as well as any additional amenities (such as railings) that may be desired by anyone who plans on using this new space regularly throughout each year ahead.
Decks are a great way to add value to your home, but they can also be expensive if you’re building one yourself. The cost to build a deck will vary depending on the size of the deck and what materials you use.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?
Building a deck can expand your outdoor living space and provide another gathering place for warm-weather activities. The national average cost to install a new deck is $7,696, but a typical range is $4,160 to $11,257.
- Typical Range: $4,160 to $11,257
- National Average: $7,696
A great backyard can become even more appealing with a beautiful deck on which to enjoy barbecues, fire pits, and family gatherings in the summer. If you’ve decided a deck is the perfect addition to your backyard, you may be wondering, “How much does it cost to build a deck?” Several design factors affect the overall price of a deck, particularly size, materials used, structural requirements, deck design, extra features, and more. On average, the cost to build a deck is $7,696, which quickly translates to a boost in property value.
Pressure-Treated Deck Cost
The cost of a pressure-treated wood deck is around $2.15 to $5.50 a square foot for materials or $15 to $18 a square foot installed. Pressure-treated wood is one of the least expensive materials used to build decks. The wood is usually pine but can be other softwoods. The wood is soaked in a preservative – usually CCA (carbon copper arsenate) – and put under pressure, driving the chemicals inside and preventing wood rot. Pressure-treated wood requires galvanized screws and fasteners to prevent rusting. The wood may have a greenish tone to it from the treatment. It needs to be painted or sealed during installation.
Steel Deck Cost
Expect to pay between $3.25 and $6.75 per square foot for materials for a steel deck or $16 to $20 a square foot installed. Steel is not as common as wood but can create modern-looking decks. Steel tends to be hot underfoot, which can make it uncomfortable on sunny days. It can also be difficult to work with, and you need to find a steel decking specialist. While the cost of steel decking is relatively low, you may find that you need to pay much higher costs for installation because of the increased labor. The cost of steel is volatile, so get the project priced out before you build to get the most accurate costs.
Redwood Deck Cost
The cost per square foot for redwood ranges from $6 to $36 a square foot for materials or $18 to $47 a square foot installed. Redwood is uncommon for decking, but if you do not want pressure-treated wood, redwood is a good option. Redwood is rot, insect, and water-resistant, so it does not require chemicals to make it last for years. It ranges in color, durability, and price, depending on if you use sapwood or heartwood and where the redwood is coming from. The farther the material needs to be shipped to you from the forest, the more it costs. Redwood in California costs much less than redwood in New Jersey.
Ipe Deck Cost
Ipe costs between $8 and $10 a square foot on average for materials or $30 to $47 a square foot installed. Ipe is a popular exotic hardwood for decks. It has a rich, dark color and is so dense that it resists burning nearly as well as concrete. Ipe is prized for its longevity. It can last for years with little maintenance and show no signs of wear. Because it is so incredibly hard and dense, however, it can be very difficult to work with. Installers are more likely to charge twice for the installation labor of ipe than for pressure-treated wood.
Fiberglass Deck Cost
The material for a fiberglass deck costs between $9 and $17 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $21 to $40 a square foot. Fiberglass decking is a subtype of composite decking. The decking is a blend or composite of materials. Sometimes, the materials are used throughout the plank. At other times, the core is made of a wood-pulp blend, while the exterior wrapper is something more durable. Fiberglass decking contains fiberglass particles in the outer wrapper or core. Fiberglass decking is considered low-maintenance and durable. It may get hot underfoot, depending on the manufacturer.
Composite Deck Cost
The material for a composite deck costs between $9 and $17 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $21 to $40 a square foot. Composite decking refers to any blend of materials that may include plastic, wood, wood pulp, fiber cement , or vinyl in a deck plank or railing. Composite decking is a popular alternative to wood, as it looks like wood decking but does not require the same level of upkeep, and can hold up well under harsh weather. Some composites are water-resistant, while others may swell when not installed properly. Some get very hot underfoot, while others stay cool. But most composite decking is easy to install and can last for years with little-to-no maintenance.
Vinyl Deck Cost
The material for a vinyl deck costs between $10 and $18 a square foot on average. Installed, the costs are $22 to $41 a square foot. Vinyl or PVC decking is a subtype of composite decking. Vinyl decking usually has a vinyl exterior around the standard composite interior, but some decking planks may use one material throughout. Vinyl decking is very low-maintenance, water-resistant, and does not need painting. It does not get hot underfoot, making it good for sunny decks.
Mahogany Deck Cost
Mahogany ranges from $12 to $17 a square foot on average for the material. Installed, costs are $30 to $47 a square foot. Mahogany is another hardwood that gets good results on decks. Mahogany is a dense, durable hardwood with a rich color that holds up well long term. This is another material that can increase the labor cost significantly because it is dense and difficult to work with. Cutting, nailing, and fastening mahogany takes longer than other woods, so the cost of installation reflects that.
Aluminum Deck Cost
Aluminum decks cost around $14 to $15 a square foot for the material and $26 to $37 a square foot installed. For those who want a metal deck that does not get as hot in the sun as steel, aluminum is a good choice. Aluminum is a lightweight metal that can create a contemporary-looking deck. It is easier to work with and install, but it can be very noisy. It makes echoing and pinging noises when walked on and struck, and it dents easily. But it is flame and insect-resistant and does not rot.
Cedar Deck Cost
Expect to pay between $17 and $35 a square foot on average for cedar decking material. The cost of cedar decking installed averages $30 to $47 a square foot. Cedar is a popular material for the home’s exterior, including the deck. Cedar is naturally rot and insect-resistant, and it is easier to work with than most hardwoods. Cedar does not need to be stained or painted, but if you do, you need a primer first because cedar “bleeds” through the paint. Cedar’s price has increased recently because of availability and continued popularity.
What Is a Good Deck Size?
The size of your deck will be determined by several factors. The most important are the size of your home, how many people you plan to entertain, and your budget. For example, if you have room for a large deck and entertain often then it will make sense to go with something larger than if you have limited space or don’t have plans for entertaining guests outside. If you decide on having multiple levels, then consider this when planning as it will require more materials and labor costs due to needing more lumber as well as possibly needing stairs or an elevator lift installed if they are taking up more than one story.
How to plan your deck installation
Know your limits: A deck is a permanent addition to your home, just like a bathroom remodel or finished basement. Additions must follow local building and zoning codes, such as required distance from property lines, that may limit the size and scope of the project, Wormer said. Upkeep is another limiting factor to consider: Composite decking and other synthetic materials generally cost more but require less maintenance, making them cheaper in the long run.
Make a budget: Start with a list of “wants” and “must-haves,” as well as the amount you’re willing to spend. Then, think about the size and value of your home, as well as how long you plan to live there. A large, luxurious home might look funny with a small, simple deck. And an oversized deck with lots of personal features may not make sense for a small house you might outgrow in a few years. Work with a professional builder to fit as many must-have elements into the design as your budget will allow, Wormer said.
Long-term costs like taxes and insurance belong in your deck budget, too. A call to the local tax assessor’s office and your homeowners insurance company during the planning stages can prevent unpleasant surprises.
Balance cost with benefits: When planning a deck, increased comfort and living space should be the main goal. Should you ever refinance or sell, improved home value and marketability may be a happy side effect.
Anything that creates more space outside, where people can envision themselves hanging out with friends, can really help sway the market, says Ryan Lundquist, a certified residential appraiser in the Sacramento, California area. Just don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return on your investment: According to Remodeling’s report, on average, a homeowner can recoup around 67% of the cost of a composite deck or about 72% of the cost of a wood deck.
Find the right contractor: Peace of mind and a workmanship warranty are usually worth the added cost of hiring a pro. Still, some homework is required to find the right one. Make sure to:
- Compare quotes from three or more deck contractors to ensure a fair price
- Read credible reviews of all potential contractors as well as the materials they use
- Request pictures of past deck projects, and don’t be afraid to ask whether the initial timeline and estimate were met
- Ask the contractor’s previous clients if they are satisfied with the service and finished product
- Confirm that contractors are bonded, licensed, and insured (if required) by contacting your local building department or state consumer protection agency before hiring them.
The Average Cost of a Deck in Massachusetts Construction
The average cost of a deck in Massachusetts construction is $12,000. Achieving this price point depends on the materials used and the size of your deck.
The average cost of a deck in MA can be significantly reduced by using less expensive materials like composite decks or treated lumber. The same goes for smaller decks that aren’t meant to hold large gatherings.
Basic Decking in Massachusetts Costs $12 to $22 Per Square Foot
The average cost to build a deck in Massachusetts is $12 to $22 per square foot, but this can vary greatly depending on your specific project.
The most expensive part of building a deck is the lumber that’s used for its framing and construction. The cost of lumber can be reduced by purchasing it in bulk from a local home center or hardware store. If you’re looking for even more savings on materials, using reclaimed wood or composite boards may also be an option for reducing costs.
Creating a Multi-Level Deck in Massachusetts Will Increase the Price
A multi-level deck in Massachusetts will increase the price of your project. This is because adding a level to your deck requires extra materials and labor, as well as permits and planning. In addition, there may be additional costs associated with electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems that need to be added onto the overall cost.
The average cost to build a two-tiered patio is $40 per square foot ($4 per square foot for materials). If you want something bigger than what we’ve discussed here, it’s best to get at least three bids from contractors in your area so you can compare prices before committing yourself.
The Lumber You Use for Your Deck Boards Will Impact Your Total Price
You can expect to pay more for higher-grade lumber. The difference in price between the Grade A and Grade B lumber is usually less than 20%. For example, if a decking board costs $2.50 per linear foot (LF) of grade A material and $1.90 per LF of grade B material, you would use approximately 1/3 less grade B boards compared with the same amount of grade A boards.
Lumber prices vary depending on the grade. The lower grades are typically used for structural framing while higher grades are used in interior applications such as cabinetry, flooring, siding, and furniture manufacturing.
A Custom-Built Deck in Massachusetts Costs More Than a Prefabricated One
Custom-built decks cost more than prefabricated ones, so if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider the latter. This is because custom-built decks are usually more expensive because of the labor involved. However, if you have a good contractor and manage to stay within your budget, then it’s possible for a custom deck to be cheaper than one made from pre-fabricated materials. If not careful when choosing your contractors or builders, however, this could end up costing you more money than you wanted or expected.
What is the most common deck size?
The most common deck size is 8×8, which is a good size for two people to relax on. If you’re building a deck for entertaining or want your friends to be able to sit around it, go with 12×12. Some families prefer the extra space offered by 16×16 and 20×20 decks so they can sit comfortably while eating dinner on their back porch.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Build a Deck
The price of a deck includes the following:
- Lumber and materials. The material cost of building a deck will vary depending on the lumber used and other factors. The cost ranges from $7 to $25 per square foot for standard framing lumber, such as 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s, or 2 x 8s. For pressure-treated species such as cedar, pine, and redwood, you can expect material costs to be higher.
- Labor. The average labor cost ranges from $16 to $35 per square foot for building an 8-by-12-foot deck with 12 inches between joists (the spacing between support beams). If your project is larger or more complex than this example, then you should expect it to require more time on site by the crew working on it—and thus higher labor prices will be incurred.
The cost to build a deck in MA varies with the size and materials used.
The costs of building a deck vary widely depending on the size, materials used, and location. The size of your deck may influence the cost as well as what type of materials you choose for it. There are also additional amenities that can be added onto your deck that will increase its cost.
Here are some general guidelines for estimating how much it will cost for you to build a deck in MA:
- For example: A small 12 x 12 square foot wooden deck could cost around $5,000 fully installed complete with railings and steps. If you don’t want wood rails and stairs but would like iron ones instead then it would likely increase the price by $500-$1000 depending on how fancy they look.
- For example: Another example is if we take our original estimate of around $5000 but add custom railing posts made out of steel instead then maybe we get something closer to $6000-$7000 completely installed with all materials included. This number could change drastically based off which material choices were made though so always consult with local contractors before making any decisions.
In final words,
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, but what we’ve tried to get across is that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to building a deck in Massachusetts. The size, materials used and type of deck will all impact the cost to build a deck in MA. The key is knowing what you want before getting your quotes so you can make sure you’re not spending too much or having something built that won’t work for your needs.