Compare Wood vs Composite Deck Cost
Quick Summary: Composite vs Wood Deck Cost
On average, a pressure-treated wood deck will cost between $15 to $25 per square foot including installation. A cedar wood deck will cost $30 or more per square foot. A composite deck will cost $30 to $45 per square foot installed.
Wood is the original and most common choice for decking. It is durable, economical and lasts for decades if properly maintained.
The vast majority of decks are made with Southern yellow pine, a cheaper wood that is pressure treated to prevent weather damage, rotting and insect damage. Higher-quality woods such as cedar and redwood don’t require any type of pre-treatment because they contain natural preservatives.
2016 Average Deck Construction Cost Calculator
How Much Does a Wood Deck Cost?
The price of a wood deck depends on the type of wood, the size and configuration of the deck and, to some degree, the difficulty of installation. Plan to spend around $15 to $25 per square foot for pressure-treated wood such as Southern yellow pine and around $25 to $30 per square foot for high-end wood such as cedar and redwood. Both prices include the cost of materials and installation. On the low end of those price ranges, you’ll get a basic deck without benches or a railing.
Let’s say you’re planning to build 16x20-foot deck. Based on the price ranges above, the total cost works out to $4,800 to $8,000 for pressure-treated pine and $8,000 to $9,600 for cedar or redwood.
Wood Decks Pros
- Look - A wood deck appears authentic because it is authentic. It looks, feels and smells like real wood. Most people consider a wood deck more attractive than composite.
- Price - Wood decking generally costs less than composite. Pressure-treated pine sells for about half the price, while premium woods like cedar and redwood cost slightly less than composite.
- Lifespan - Decks constructed using high-quality wood can last 40 years or more with regular maintenance. Although many manufacturers claim composite can last that long or longer, the product hasn’t been around long enough to know for sure.
Wood Decks Cons
- Maintenance - Most decks need to be sanded, thoroughly cleaned and stained or sealed about every two to five years (depending on the type of stain and weather conditions). Left untreated, wood decking will fade and eventually rot.
- Wear and tear - There’s always the possibility that your deck will splinter or warp, particularly in harsh climates. Pressure-treated woods are particularly susceptible to warping.
Composite is a manmade decking product that has gained popularity over the last decade. It is manufactured using a combination of wood fiber and plastic. The planks are designed to look like wood, alth