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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck or Porch?

Childhood memories mostly consist of all the times you’d gleefully play with carefree living. You’d bike around the block as your parents watched you and your neighborhood friends play with each other. They’d sit on their seats from a close distance on their porch to make sure that you were safe. 


Remember when your dog would run from inside your home and wait impatiently by the door for you to walk up those steps? Now that you’re a homeowner and have kids of your own, you’ll have to carry on that tradition. Whether you inherited that house or bought it yourself, the front porch is the best place to relax. What better place is there than the front porch to watch your kids enjoy their merry childhoods?


Reminisce those days you’d play with the neighborhood kids as you renew your deck. Here are some costs to build that porch. When it’s all built and ready, indulge yourself by sitting on the stoop with a cold brew by your side. 


Image By Sabahudin Kokic

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How Much to Charge to Build a Deck

The average cost to build a brand new deck can range from around $10349 to $15329. Depending on the materials provided, all of the materials can either average from $12 all the way to $40 per square foot. An average surveyed across the nation is accosted up to $2925, with a range of about $1840 to $3630. A low-end cost can be $50 to about $100. And a high-end cost can be $10349 to around $15329. If there was a brief overview of the average on most wooden materials, the cost is about $25 per square foot. This is the inclusion of both materials and installation costs.


Remember a porch or a deck is a fairly large project. This remodel can be very expensive and your initial investment can range from $16000 to $24000 altogether. Most homeowners will realize that this investment is essential in the long-run when they decide to sell their houses. 


After you sell your home, you may have the opportunity to recoup 70 percent of that large sum investment. Professionals are not only recommended, but often preferred. If you decide to DIY, there may be complications down the road where you may even have to tear down your porch or deck. And since that professional touch is the final push that buyers would want before purchasing and owning a home, most sellers hire a deck contractor.



Labor Costs of Building a Deck

In accordance to size, materials, and the level that the deck is being built on, the deck labor cost can range between $8 to $35 per square foot. But you also need to include the costs of extra add-in options like seating, stairs, railings, etc. Contractors will also quote the cost either by the per-square-foot method or by an hourly rate.


All of the cost effects can also include the structures, the finishes, and all of the components to building your deck or porch. Common inclusions like these also add up to travel time, and time for prepping or setting all the required work up. We, at House Tipster, always advise you to ask what the estimates will be. Some examples of questions to ask is if the contractor charges you for removal, or system installations. In most instances, the contractor will charge you for this.


Other questions to ask: are there permit fees or inspection rates that will be added to my bill? Will you be testing and remediating for any hazardous materials? And will you be charging me for that as well? 


You’ll Most Likely Require Permits

Due to the sheer size and construction of its construction, a permit will most likely be required when putting together a deck. In compliance with local regulations, you’ll be hit with fees and fines for not meeting the standards and specifications of your town code.


Even if you start a DIY construction for a deck or porch, you’ll have to consult your local government on starting the project. Everything you’ll need for the permit will be in the consultation and the common necessities will require you to submit an application for the permit, two copies of your construction plans and a site plan. Even with the hiring of a professional, you as the homeowner have the right and ability to apply for a permit. A building permit for a general building permit can start at around $500.


To avoid having to spend all that needless bureaucracy and the stacks of paperwork, you can just hire a contractor. Besides all the time and work you’ll be saving by hiring a professional, there is the reassurance of a contractor getting everything done correctly and efficiently. Unless you wish to face the upheaval of fines and the tragic loss of your hard-earned labors, you can just find a contractor through House Tipster.


Material Costs of Building a Deck

At the low-end cost of building a porch or deck, there lies the usage of pressure-treated wood. As the most commonly used material for decks, pressure-treated wood is preserved by utilizing a set of chemical agents. It resists the harshness of the ever-changing winds and constant mistreatment of weather. It is also highly effective against the pesky termites that eat through wood and the mold of fungi.


At the high-end cost of building a porch or deck, there lies the usage of composite wood. A nigh-invincible material, composite wood resists all that is listed above, and requires the least amount of maintenance. Although it may seem close to perfection, composite wood has its flaws.


Materials Costs
Pressure-Treated Wood $13-$25 per square foot
Plastic $13-$25 per square foot
Softwood $20 to $35 per square foot
Hardwood $22-$35 per square foot


Pressure-Treated Wood

Ingredients for pressure-treated wood may include alkaline copper quaternary, copper azole, micronized copper azole, or a mixture of all three. The compounds that are coated into the fibers of the wood slow down the natural process of rot and degradation. It takes quite a large amount of chemicals and the liquids will take several weeks before the drying process is complete. Do not be surprised if the wood is wet when you purchase it in stores. The cost of this material, depending on the brand you’re searching for, will average up to $13 to $25 per square foot.



Plastic is well… plastic. Vinyl materials used for porches and decks are resilient against pests but they’re highly recurrent of heat. This means it absorbs sunlight, making your porch even hotter. Plastic also doesn’t look as appealing as wood. But you do not need the constant maintenance unlike other materials and it is mainly manufactured with recyclables, branding plastic as an eco-friendly resource. The composite material ranges from $13-$25 per square foot.


Although plastic material is UV-resistant and has no need for a finish, you need to find the right brand for it to look like the right kind of application. If mismatched, vinyl decks will look off-putting. What you want should be satisfying to the eye, but what you’re installing will be discontentment in your choices.



Softwood is a lighter weight wood material that often originates from conifer trees. There are many species of softwood, and they all have different ranges of costs. From Douglas Fir to Redwood, softwood is easy to install and easy to carry. They look appealing and they’re a stable resource. The cost of softwood can range from $20 to $35 per square foot, depending on the species you prefer.



This is the tropical route when it comes to decking. An abundant material, hardwood originates from North American dicot trees. In contrast to softwood, hardwood is a much denser material. There are over five hardwood species that are commonly used and they pack an extra cost. Hardwood, depending on the type of hardwood you’ll buy, can cost anywhere from $22-$35 per square foot. The durability on hardwood can last your porch up to 40 years, if maintained properly.


Demolishing an Old Deck

If you already have an ancient structure still standing, you can always tear it down to refurbish. You can be installing a new deck or replacing an old one with the new. Removal of old decks can remove around $500 to $2000 from your pockets. This can cost up to $5 to $10 per square foot. Just remember, removing the whole deck includes all the extra features you’d invested in. This means the removal of handrails, boards, frames, joists, hanger boards, support posts and pulling away the stairs.


Extra Features

A wooden deck isn’t only meant for your porch, you can also install one for your patio area. Although most homeowners look into constructing a concrete patio, a great substitute can be a wooden patio instead. A concrete patio is very alluring to the eye, but a wooden deck is traditional and homely.


Additional Features Costs
Fire Pit $55-$340 per job
Stairs $40 per step
Railings $15-$36 per foot


Cost to Build Fire Pit for a Wooden Patio

Whether you want a concrete patio, or a wooden deck, a key centerpiece to your backyard is a firepit. Imagine your long summer nights with all those fireflies wavering in the air throughout the serene and tranquil setting. Especially in the summer, you’ll want to curl up next to your loved ones as you roast the marshmallows by the campfire. You make a few smores, staring at the stars from up above. The crackle of the firepit is a natural melody that you once yearned for long ago.


An average price to build a fire pit can cost up to $700. With a low price of $300 to a high price of $1400, a fire pit can cost up to $55-$340 per job. Meanwhile the material cost for a fire pit can also cost up to $400. As mentioned previously in the cost of building a concrete patio, a fire pit is the centerpiece of the backyard. Although the furniture will be the icing on top of your sundae, the fire pit is like the cherry at the tip top.


Cost to Build Stairs

On top of your overall costs and calculations of your porch or deck, you may need to think about the additional costs of building a case of stairs. What porch wouldn’t have at least one small flight of stairs? A rule-of-thumb to keep in the back of your mind is to add $150 more. The average is $40 per step.


Cost to Build Railings

Besides the average cost of stairs included, also remember to include the final cost with the price of railings. The installation cost of deck railings will be $20 per foot. Typically, the railings surrounding your porch will not be on all four sides, since one side will be the house itself. Average cost of railings also depends on the material and can cost up to $15-$36 per foot.


Image By VAStateParkStaff from Flickr


How To Hire a Deck Contractor

Now that you’ve researched the information about decks, and the costs of installing them for your porch, consider hiring a professional. As stated above, if you wish to avoid the long, tedious hours spent on applying for a permit and all the work that comes along with a DIY, think about the deck contractors located near you! Check out House Tipster, and find the perfect pro for your home repair needs. How much does it cost to build a deck or porch? Find out from professionals in your area.


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