A porch or deck can create comfortable living and entertaining areas that take advantage of the outdoor space at your home. Rates for building a new porch or deck commonly range from $15 to $35 per square foot, though a number of factors will influence the complexity and expense of the project. A qualified pro can help you plan and budget for a deck or porch that meets your needs and complements the size and style of your home.
Deck and Porch Sizes
When planning the size of your new porch or deck, be sure to consider its primary purpose, the space needed for furnishings, and the amount and pattern of foot traffic to design a structure that is adequately sized for your lifestyle and the scale of your home. The overall size of your porch or deck will directly affect construction costs, since material requirements will increase with its size. For some projects, costs per square foot go down as the scale of a job increases, but when it comes to a structural job like building a deck, expenses may go up disproportionately. Larger beams and additional posts needed to properly support the structure can price the job in a higher bracket.
A number of features can customize your porch or deck to increase comfort, beauty, and convenience in outdoor living spaces. Upgrading from standard pressure treated railings to a custom railing system could cost $30 or more per linear foot. Built-in benches, planters or storage boxes could add $100 to $500 per unit. Installing protection or cover can increase the comfort of the space; a screened enclosure, pergola or patio cover might add between $500 and $2,000 to the bottom line. Adding a more traditional roof structure for a porch could double the cost of building an open deck.
The finish of your wood deck or porch is essential to protect and preserve building materials and can make a significant design statement. Stained finishes are a popular way to accentuate the character of wood, while painted porches and decks can be smoothly integrated with the color scheme of your home. The application of waterproofing products to a deck provides protection for wood surfaces without making a significant change to its appearance. Rates for applying various deck finishes are comparable on new construction, and this part of the job may be left for a painter or other pro after construction is complete. The overall size of the area and intricacy of trim or other details are most likely to influence the cost of this part of the job, which could range from $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot.
Natural Wood Decks and Porches
Redwood is an exceptionally durable material, standing up to years of exposure with minimal protection. The advantages of redwood come at a price; you can expect to pay at least $30 per square foot for a new deck. Like redwood, cedar is naturally resistant to rot, lasting longer and often requiring less care than other softwoods. Depending on your location, cedar may be more economical than redwood, and is often used for decking over structures framed from stronger wood species. Prices for cedar decks are likely to start at $20 per square foot. The climate in your area will help determine what sealants and maintenance are appropriate for a cedar or redwood structure.
Pressure Treated Pine
Pressure treated lumber is commonly used for outdoor construction, since is treated with chemicals that improve its resistance to rot. Pressure treated pine is a popular, flexible, and economical choice for porches and decks, used for structural framing as well as for decking boards, railings, and special features. With the same considerations for size and design as projects built with other materials, building decks and porches with pressure treated pine generally costs between $12 and $18 per square foot across the country.
Vinyl and Composite Decking
Vinyl and composite construction products provide a low-maintenance option for decks and porches, with no sealing or painting needed to protect surfaces from the elements. Framing and supporting structures are generally built from pressure treated wood, with the engineered materials used for decking and surfaces, railings, and trim details. The features and details of your project will influence the cost of the job, but the cost of vinyl and composite decks and porches is often comparable to natural woods, ranging between $25 and $40 per square foot.
|$2,800 - $3,850||$5,700 - $10,800||$8,400 - $17,500|
Style, features, and material choices can have a huge impact on the cost of building a new porch or deck. See how these factors can affect the price of a modest 240 square foot build.
Just Getting Outside: $2,800 - $3,850
- • Style: A basic deck helps make more out of any yard. A rectangular shape is an uncomplicated and economical design.
- • Features: Keeping things simple with a standard railing and stairway makes for a straightforward project.
- • Materials: Pressure treated lumber is perfect for an affordable and durable finish. Since the wood is rot-resistant on its own, no extra sealer or coating is needed.
Updating With a Classic: $5,700 - $10,800
- • Style: A classic farmer’s porch can make a whole new statement about a home, as well as offer covered outdoor living space. Since the build requires a roof structure, it’s more complex than a basic deck.
- • Features: Semi-custom railings and exterior trim dress this porch up and set it apart from a simple covered deck. Asphalt shingles keep the roofing budget manageable, but the added components and details increase the budget considerably.
- • Materials: Pressure treated material is used to get the classic look and feel of wood with the benefit of moisture resistance. In order to achieve the right look though, the deck, railings, and trim are painted or stained.
Upgrades All Around: $8,400 - $17,500
- • Style: This project takes the basic deck up a few notches with improvements in design and materials. An irregular shape or tiers elevate the design and complexity of the project.
- • Features: A designer railing, inset stairs and a pergola take this deck from functional to fabulous. It takes skill to incorporate these details, and a carpenter who can pull it off comes at a premium.
- • Materials: The material choice on this project pushes the job over the top when compared to others. Natural redwood lends class and character to the job, but doubles the material budget.
Find A Deck or Porch Build Contractor
Along with size, details and materials of your project, the specific features of your home and grounds influence the complexity and expense of a deck or porch build. Your deck build contractor can evaluate the installation site to determine how installing foundations, integrating the structure with your house, and finishing wood surfaces will influence the overall cost of the job.