As composite decking has soared into popularity as wood’s stronger, more eco-friendly counterpart, those looking to add a deck to their homes are wondering how the two materials compare in price.
Though composite is pricier, as you’ll see below, it’s also easier to maintain and lasts longer.
Composite decking costs around $35-$75/sq ft (929 sq cm), whereas wood decking costs between $25 and $45/ sq ft (929 sq cm). This estimate includes material expenses, labor costs, installation costs, and everything else involved in the process. However, these expenses are subject to variations.
If you’re interested in learning more about composite decking vs wood cost, make sure to read on.
Below, I’ll go over the expenses that come with each option and a handy table you can use to compare them directly.
I’ll also answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the topic, so stick around until the end.
Composite decking is known for its premium price point, costing anywhere between $35 and $75 per square foot (929 sq cm), depending on your project’s size, complexity, and quality.
The material alone will set you back $10 per square foot (929 sq cm) on average, sometimes even more.
So, for a 16×20-foot (4.8×6-meter) deck, you’d have to pay between $11,200 and $24,000. However, you might be able to find some better deals if you do your research.
Moreover, many consider the material’s durability, low-maintenance nature, and longevity worth it.
On the other hand, wood decking is more affordable, costing between $25 and $45 per square foot (929 sq cm) on average. So, for that same 16×20-foot (4.8×6-meter) deck, in this instance, you would expect to pay between $8,000 and $14,400. The material alone will set you back around $5 to $7.5 per square foot (929 sq cm).
Here’s a handy price comparison chart that better outlines the cost differences between composite and wood.
Remember that this is just a generalized collection of data and that these numbers can vary depending on several factors, such as location, material quality, and so on.
|Type of Decking Material||Sub-Category||Price Per Square Foot (929 sq cm)|
|Composite Decking (By Brand)||Trex||$7.5 – $12.5|
|Fiberon||$7.2 – $12.5|
|TimberTech||$7 – $12|
|Azek||$8.5 – $12.5|
|Wood Decking (By Type and Brand)||Pressure-treated pine (MasterDeck)||$1.5 – $2.5|
|Cedar (Russin)||$7.5 – $10|
|Redwood (Humboldt Sawmill)||$3.75 – $5.00|
|Ipe (Ipe Woods)||$9 – $10|
By now, you hopefully have a better idea of how pricing differs between wood and composite decking. So, now let’s answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the topic.
Composite decking is not cheaper than wood right now. However, the price of decking materials is highly variable and subject to change.
Moreover, though composite wood is more expensive than its traditional counterpart, it’s usually cheaper to maintain, so deciding which one would cost you less, in the long run, requires further analysis.
A deck can cost anywhere between $3,900 and $10,500 to build in 2023. However, keep in mind that the cost of this project can vary depending on size, materials, design, and labor costs in the area.
However, has composite decking increased in price in 2023? The answer to that question is – yes, composite decking has experienced a slight price increase in 2023 due to inflation.
In 2023, composite is not cheaper than wood to buy upfront; however, it is cheaper to maintain and lasts longer.
That leads us to our next question – how much does a 20×20 composite deck cost? The cost of a 20×20 composite deck can range between $15,000 and $25,000. The cost can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of materials and labor costs.
Decks can increase a property’s value, especially when they’re of high quality. However, is composite decking worth the extra cost?
Some consider composite decking to be worth the extra cost, as it’s more durable, easier to maintain, and lasts longer. However, it all comes down to personal preferences and priorities.
As mentioned, the price of composite decking has gone up slightly over time. So, how much should you expect to pay for a composite deck?
Anywhere between $35 and $70 per square foot (929 sq cm) would be a reasonable estimate, depending on the quality of material you’re using and where you live.
The cost of labor to build a composite deck usually ranges between $7 and $15 per square foot (929 sq cm).
However, it’ll heavily depend on your location and the project’s complexity. Therefore, I think it’s best to be generous in your estimations to cover any unforeseen expenses.
To reduce the cost of building a deck, you can use lower-cost materials, simplify the design, reduce the deck’s size, and do some of the work yourself.
That’s why if you’re wondering, “What is the cheapest way to build a deck right now?” I’d say that using a low-composite material and doing some of the work yourself is the way to go.
A deck can add to your taxes, but not always. This type of impact depends on factors such as the size and quality of the structure, your local laws and regulations, and so on. That’s why it’s important to budget during the construction process.
To save money on composite decking, make sure to buy cheaper materials and get them in bulk. Moreover, as mentioned above, try to learn how to do some of the work yourself.
Patios add slightly more value than decks to a home; however, the differences are often negligible and dependent on a wide array of variables.
For example, the size, quality, and functionality of each structure can greatly impact how your property value changes.
Final Thoughts On Composite Decking vs. Wood Cost
Though composite decking tends to be more expensive than its wood counterpart in most cases, pricing can heavily vary depending on variables such as material quality, geographical location, and so on.
That’s why you’ll want to contact specific contractors and get a direct quote from them. While you’re at it, you can also ask them to take you through your options so that you can make a well-informed decision on which alternative would fit your priorities best.
Moreover, getting different quotes from several contractors is always a good idea to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
If you enjoyed this article, you might find our article about Trex decking useful.