So you’re thinking about a new deck? A place to sit and relax after work or maybe a place to gather with friends and family to show off your latest grilled burger recipe. No matter why your considering the new outdoor space, the cost of the project is top of mind.

How much will a treated deck cost? Of course, there are many variables that will affect the final price of your treated deck, but for now, I am giving you the basic formulas to estimate your new deck.

Before we dive in, let’s consider two questions.

Are you building the deck yourself or, are you hiring a deck contractor?

## What will the Do-It-Yourself method cost?

Are you handy around the house or do you have a friend that has built their own deck? If you can answer yes to either of those two questions perhaps you should consider building your own deck. Step one to figure out the cost is coming up with a design.

Once you have decided on the design of your new deck, sketch it out the design on paper. Be sure and include any stairs you may want to include on your deck. It can be as simple as the sketch below.

Now, take the square footage of your deck and multiply that number by $7.00. This figure will give you the material cost for concrete, framing, treated deck surface and all level treated railing. This figure will not include the stairs or stair railing. When using the example sketch above you will find the cost to be $2,240.

Stairs must be estimated separately, and you will need to know the number of stair risers required for your project. If you need help figuring the number of stair risers visit this stair calculator on Decks.com. I have added an image below to show you how I used the calculator for the example deck. Once you have determined the number of stair risers, just multiply that number by $45 per stair riser. This total will cover the framing, stair tread, hardware, and railing for your stairs. The example deck above has eight risers for the steps. If you take 8 x $45, you arrive at $360.

Now just take the two numbers from above and add them together. This total is the approximate material cost for your project. When using our example above the cost for all materials is $2,600.

## Is there anything that can throw the formula off?

- I based this formula on using #1-grade building materials. If you are considering a lower grade of material (which I wouldn’t recommend), you can save a few dollars on your deck project.
- This formula is based on your deck height being no more than five feet off the ground. When using a longer 6×6 post, you will see a slightly higher per square foot dollar amount.
- The formula also was anticipating the deck being fastened to your home by a ledger board and joist hangers. If you are opposed to attaching the deck to your home, you will require more concrete, posts, beams and hardware. Not connecting to your home will result in a higher cost per square foot.

## Should I hire a professional deck contractor?

Maybe you just don’t have the time or perhaps like many homeowners you would prefer to have a professional build your deck.

Now when I say professional, I am not just referring to someone that knows how to build your deck. My definition of professional is a deck contractor that pays taxes, insurance, and workman’s compensation. In a nutshell, a contractor who runs a legitimate business.

If you are considering hiring an individual that doesn’t represent my definition of a professional than my formula will be flawed. I strongly suggest using a professional if you have determined the Do-It-Yourself plan is not for you.

## So how much will a professional charge me?

Take the square footage of your flat deck area with no stairs. In the sketch above the 16×20 deck is 320 square feet. A professional deck contractor in the Cincinnati market will charge between $20 and $22 per square foot. So from our example above you take 320 square feet times $20. This deck would run approximately $6,400. Once again that would include the concrete, framing, hardware, deck surface and level railing. It does not include the stairs or stair railing.

We determined from the online calculator that the stairs on our example above would require eight risers. To find out what the stairs and stair railing will cost, just take 8 X $85 for a total of $680. This figure will cover the labor and material for your stairs.

Based on the formula and adding the stairs, you could expect to pay between $7,080 and $7,720 for a 16×20 treated deck.

## What other costs should I consider?

- You should expect to pay for a building permit.
- Landscaping is often overlooked but is needed to finish off your deck properly.
- Be sure to budget for new chairs and tables to give your deck that finished look.

## What one step can you take today?

If you are planning on a Do-It-Yourself deck project and need my assistance, please reach out through my contact page. If you are looking for a contractor, you will want to read my article on the best deck contractors in Cincinnati.