How Much Does Decking Cost

Decking cost Calculator, Decking labour rates and decking cost per sq m.

The cost of all types of decking explained, Composite, Softwood and Hardwood decking prices.

Softwood decking, Hardwood timber decking and composite decking information is readily made available from the manufacturers.  The end user should understand the difference in look, quality, longevity and most importantly cost. The costings below pertain to a simple design of a low level decking project to include substructure.

What is the cost of Softwood Decking?

The best decking in softwood for you is one that you can afford and one you will be happy with. Do consider the colour, board length and fixing technique. I wouldn’t get carried away with rebating and plugging holes in softwood or using a hidden fastening system. These methods will add unnecessary costs to what should be an entry-level product.

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.

Softwood Pine timber decking installation will cost from £160.00 to £200.00 per square metre, with balustrade to match costing £120.00 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 £200 to £240 per sq m installed; this would be for Clear Western Red Cedar and using quality Stainless Steel screws. Always use stainless steel screws on Cedar otherwise the reaction between other metals will show an unsightly black blotch around every screw.

How much £ is Hardwood Decking.

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

Accoya®, Ipe, Elondo, Teak, Iroko, Kebony®  These are recommended… Lignia is also now a sensible proposition. 

Cumaru, with very high joists and larger than normal screws due to movement

Massaranduba, Idigbo, Bankirai (Balau) … should really be avoided due to excessive movement

Not all timber is the same…

Certification of timber and Quality as well as price

Please consider FSC and PEFC certified timbers… 

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 wll have a much reduced lifespan and not represent value for money.
BS EN 350-1 recognises five classifications of natural durability for timbers


  • 1 very durable, including Accoya® and Ipe
  • 2 durable
  • 3 moderately durable
  • 4 slightly durable (requires preservative)
  • 5 not durable (requires preservative)

Correct fixings Hardwood decking will add to the cost.

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. Patented invisible fixing system by Exterpark Magnet proving a true interior parquet for outside           

5. There are many other side fixing systems available.

The costs of a hardwood decking system vary tremendously, rather like having a piece of furniture bespoke made; each one is unique and completely different.

The cost for a cost-effective/standard hardwood deck (not ipe) will be from £220 to £280 sq m this will be a simple design, cheaper hardwood material, pre-drilled 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 basic cost, of course, is for a curved design, there is a lot of waste generated here, perhaps as much as 15% 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.                                                                                                                                       
Hidden fixing systems can cost from £280 and also Exterpark at a similar cost (£280 plus). 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 many hundreds per sq m.

Asking for a quotation for your new decking project

Always best for a frank and honest chat prior to asking for a chat. Do a little research on your installer, perhaps look at the Pro Installers register from the specific manufacturer you are considering.

Give the company a call, if they can fit you in tomorrow then consider why? It takes time to correctly design a structure that will be built to regulations and last the expected service life.

Consider what you want, write down roughly how many square metres, how high is it, balustrade and if there are steps. A professional company can soon offer a guide prior to committing to a site meeting.

In Short, please don’t just ask for a quotation unless you have considered the decking you think you want. For a basic  Ipe deck, fully installed with fascia boards, a couple of steps, trim pieces, sanded and oiled correctly, expect the cost to be in the region of £300 plus vat or for 50 sq m £15,000 plus vat (approx’). If you get a quote for this and it looks like £10,000 plus vat then ask yourself how can this be possible. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Remember… there is no such thing as a cheap hardwood deck.

Lets say the designer or client were to specify a hand-selected timber with a particular cut to the timber,e.g. Quarter cut; similarly if the colour of the timber were to be homogeneous within a colour range then the cost would again be very high. This selection process is rare for the majority of timber decking and unless money is no object take the timber as it comes and accept timber for what it is. 

If you are considering a hardwood deck, do understand that there is no such thing as “cheap Hardwood decking”, if you ask for cheap Ipe – you will get what you pay for and in too many cases you won’t be sold Ipe or you will have a substandard installation. Also consider if your “mate Dave” can do a cheap job, this should not be compared to a professionally designed and proposed hardwood decking project.

What is the price for Composite decking

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

TREX, Composite Prime, EcoDek, Millboard … there are many others and costs range from £220 to £260 sq m to include timber subframe and installation. The cost will be more if you add fascia boards, bullnose, lift out hatches and other detailing. Do consider none branded composite and the poor warranty for them and how long they have been around, many of them are cheap for a reason… it could be a reason to stay away.

TREX and Millboard being the market leaders are usually from approx’ £240 for a basic timber framed project, if you add step arrangements, curves, edge detailing and the like to can be at around £300 plus vat. If you require a plastic or composite frame then be prepared to pay over £300 plus vat as a starting point and much much more for the new aluminium frame system. This is only a guide and  this information has been gathered over the last 18 years from hundreds of professionals. If you are offered a lower price from “Chuck in his truck” then walk away… The better manufacturers run training programmes for their Professional Installers. They are detailed and skilled installation courses for their professional contractors.

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

If you are seeking a service with a design and construction in the centre of London, there are additional costs. Also, consider that logistics, additional time taken, restricted working day, parking and congestion will add to the labour costs. This can increase the cost substantially, perhaps multiples more of the figures used as a guide in the above text.

This page is updated on a regular basis

01 January 2021