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Budget Determines Deck Size and Materials

Updated: Apr 3

Your construction budget very strongly dictates the size of your deck and materials. The more you can shell out the bigger and more lavish your deck can be but this doesn't mean it's going to be a direct proportion. If you do some very unwise buying or planning then you can even end up with an exponentially overpriced calculation of your decking.

Budget Determines Deck Size and Materials

Your calculation of a construction budget is basically an equation with three distinct variables:


Cost

How much money it is going to cost in terms of decking and structure per square foot of area


Square Footage

What is the size of the area that you are going to cover?


Quality of Materials

What quality of materials are you going to use? Is it exotic hardwood? Stone deck tiles? Some very expensive and lavish Composite decking? What type of tools are required for the purpose. Do you need expensive diamond saws or even cement mixers? What type of cement, concrete you are going to use and etcetera.


Two of these variables can be controlled which in turn produces the third variable. You can't control all three of these simultaneously. If your Quality of Materials is raised your cost would be raised but this means you can cover the less square footage of the area. Similarly, if we raise the cost we can cover more areas with a higher quality of variables but this would mean the cost becomes more. If you increase the square footage of the area you might increase your cost and decrease the quality of materials.


A deck project is a major investment. Most deck projects can be a substantial investment. Your average decking material ranges from $15-$30 per square foot of area and this only includes the cost of the decking material which varies from decking to decking. So, Stone deck tiles are a bit more costly than wooden decking and so on.


This means a no-frills deck that covers a 350 square foot area would run about 5250 if you plan on using wooden decking and about 10500 if you plan on using composite decking materials.


You've uncovered a design constraint in your deck design if you're experiencing sticker shock right now. Even with bigger budgets, a larger deck isn't always the greatest option. Since larger decks could get harder to plan and empty spaces that serve no purpose are harder to cover in general. After all, empty spaces would definitely look very bad on an overly large deck and would even take the cozy element out of your deck. You'll get more bang for your buck with an intelligent, aesthetically beautiful design. Before you get too far into your design, it's a good idea to select a price range that you're willing to spend.


The price of decking materials varies depending on the type and quality of material you select, where you live, and whose lumberyard you purchase from. Decking, like gasoline, is a commodity with a price. So keep in mind that the price of decking would fluctuate in response to global events leading to decreased supply or demand of decking itself.


Read more: Deck Layout And Space Planning


Pressure-treated wood is a cost-effective option for those on a tight budget, but it doesn't always hold up over time. A big box store will charge between $2 and $4 per square foot for 5/4x6 ACQ-treated decking. To pick the best boards, you should search through the lumber bins. Short lengths of decking shorter than 12' are usually only available at Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards, leaving your deck with more seams. Higher-grade materials with longer accessible lengths are available at a little higher price if you go to a local lumberyard for contractors. Staining your deck on a regular basis will help protect it, but it's not uncommon for pressure-treated decking to split, crack, warp, and rot. It can even turn gray in a few years. Take into consideration the environment that you are in when you are deciding on decking material and whether it would be able to withstand the elements without the need for any special treatment.


There are more run-of-the-mill woods such as cedar and redwood which range from about 3 to 5 dollars per square foot but these can be harder to find depending on the area as climates really affect where what type of timber can be grown and used.


Vinyl, composite, and aluminum decking come in a wide range of pricing thanks to the over 100 brands available. In creative methods, such as borders and inlays, a range of appealing colors and textures can be blended. Low-maintenance decking products should have a warranty of at least 15 years.


Tanzanite Stonedeck tiles are a great solution for all your decking needs as they can plenty withstand all that nature could throw at them and literally last for a lifetime. They also do not cost as much as composite decking. These also offer a very distinct Visual Feature that most other decking cannot offer and are unique to Stone Deck Tiles.


For a better idea of the cost of materials per square foot and the overall budget, you can use our deck estimator to help out with the budgeting of your deck.


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