How much should I be paying for my new decking installation….

How much should I be paying for my new decking installation….

How Much Does Decking Cost

What cost is a decking board? A common question by many end users is “what is the price difference between hardwood decking and softwood decking”? “why do they vary in price so much”?

Softwood decking, Hardwood timber decking or composite decking information is readily available and the end user can understand the difference in look, quality, longevity and most importantly cost.

Please check the main pricing page here 

What is the cost of Softwood Decking?

The best decking in softwood timber for you is one that you can afford and a decking product that you will be happy with, including the colour and fixing technique. I wouldn’t get carried away with rebating and plugging holes in softwood or using a hidden fastening system, this adds unnecessary costs to what should be an entry level product in any case.

For standard decking the thickness of approx 38mm for pine is acceptable with decking screws simply inserted 2 per timber joists set at 400mm intervals, no need to pre-drill as the timber is soft enough not to split, allow the screw to be inserted slightly under the surface. This allows for a light sand prior to finishing the deck with exterior timber oil to enhance the look and increase the longevity.

Pine is a great decking material

Softwood Pine timber decking installation will cost from £220 to £260 plus vat per square metre, with balustrade to match costing £120 to £170 plus vat per linear metre.

Although Cedar is softwood and in some cases softer than pine should not get confused with a budget installation. Cedar decking is from £300 per sq m installed; this would be for standard Western Red Cedar and using quality Stainless Steel screws. No2 clear and better grade will cost more. This is a relatively “clear from knots” grade. Always use stainless steel screws on Cedar otherwise the reaction between other metals will show an unsightly black blotch around every screw. To be fair this is a rather expensive option for such a soft timber, pine would really be your best bet due to overall cost and performance.

Types of Hardwood Decking.

How much should I be paying for my new decking installation… 

There are many different species of hardwood timber suitable for decking construction in the UK. Ipe being less common (due to certification and cost) decking material, this is due to the extreme durability and hardness, there are others.

Ipe, Teak, Cumaru, Iroko are the hardwoods

They all have their own unique characteristics; some are harder than others and the colour and grain changes with each different species.

The most important process in selecting a hard wood is that it should really have a durability rating of “1”(TRADA refers). Any rating less than this will have a much reduced lifespan and not represent value for money.

It should de stressed here folks that demand has diminished dramatically for these tropical hardwoods. Ipe is a stayer for sure, its durable and works very well, as is Iroko, Teak (if you can afford it). Commercial applications to use Cumaru due to availability in larger sections.

Hardwoods not to consider

Massaranduba, Kurupay, Merbau and Belinga are out… there is very little demand and certification can be an issue…

Classifications of timber durability

BS EN 350-1 recognises five classifications of natural durability for timbers


  • 1 very durable
  • 2 durable
  • 3 moderately durable
  • 4 slightly durable (requires preservative)
  • 5 not durable (requires preservative)

“Did you know the best posts are actually made from recycled plastic and will last for ever, they are 4 x the price of treated timber though”.

Fixing methods for your decking boards

There are various techniques to fixing your deck boards, they will have a cost impact on your chosen decking:

1. Predrilled, countersunk and the surface mounted screw is then visible, this is standard.

2. Rebated holes and plugged for a surface mounted fixing.

3. Side profiled with Ebty or IpeClip (plastic clips) provide an almost hidden fixing system     

4. The market leader in luxury decking is Grad System UK 

4. There are many other side fixing systems available. Please ask for advise on which clip is best suited to your specific deck material.

The cost of a hardwood decking installation

The costs of a hardwood decking system vary tremendously, rather like having a piece of furniture bespoke made. Each is unique is unique

The cost for a cost effective/standard hardwood deck will be from £400 to £450 plus vat sq m. This will be a simple design, cheaper hardwood material, predrilled and countersunk holes. One has to appreciate sanding and oiling will add to this cost. The other additions like fascia, lift out hatches and steps will add more to the cost. The largest cost of course is for a curved design, there is a lot of waste generated here, perhaps as much as 20% and more.

For a rebated and plugged finish the labour does mount up rapidly as this is a slow process, this is for real wood lovers that appreciate the craftsmanship involved with this style of work.         

Decks can cost an unimaginable amount for fine teak or if a thicker decking board is used. For a 35mm thickness commercial deck constructed from Ipe the cost would be in the hundreds per sq m. (This is seldom the case for such a rare timber, due to certification and environmental impact. It would be best using Accoya or Kebony for such demanding projects).

Composite decking

How much should I be paying for my new decking installation… have you ever wondered? Theres much more material under your decking that you may appreciate. 

I am not going to comment on which composite decking manufacturer is best, simply to advise on cost and what’s out there.

TREX®, Millboard, there are many others and costs range from £340 (simple design) to £450 (more complex) plus vat sq m (Do consider that Custom Curved Trex is £300 per board plus fitting) .

The cost of a curved board

If you opt for a curved board, please remember that the cost of the board includes the use of a heater cabinet that is 4.8 metres long. This cabinet costs over £8000 and take about £20 per hour to keep it warm enough to het the boards to curve. The tradesperson then has to create a former to set the curved board out to the correct radius. The boards then have to travel to your site where the setting out has to be prefect. Now, the substructure has to be perfect too, notwithstanding it must be curved to match the curved board but all adjoining joists have to be cost into this curve. Once the curved board is fitted you are (well the tradesperson is) now left with scribing all surrounding decking boards into the same curve.

So whilst you may cost the single curved board as a few hundred pounds, the actual cost is in the region of £1200

This cost will include subframe and installation. You will find a large selection of decking available from Country Supplies in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

decking supplier uk
Decking Supplier High Wycombe

Costs represented are exclusive of vat. Every decking will be a different cost, you must take into consideration the material, shape, elevation, complexity and detailing.

If you have any questions pertaining to your deck. Or wonder “how much should I be paying for my new decking installation”… contact us with your enquiry here.

This blog was first created in 2012 and is update from time to time, Jan 2023 is the latest update.

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