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  • Garden Decking Cost

    Want to know how much decking costs?

    Here we compare the different decking prices for softwood, hardwood, composite, Trex and uPVC decking. We also break down the costs by materials and labour.

    For al you need to know about decking, read below!

    Average Cost of Supplying and Fitting Garden Decking

    Depending on the complexity of the garden decking, it will usually take: 1-2 days


    How Much Does Decking Cost?

    The typical cost of garden decking is around £1,200 to £1,800 for up to two day’s work. This price will vary depending on the materials you choose, the size of the decking, your location as well as the duration of the job.

    The main material you need is garden decking, which is available in different variations. The most popular materials include pre-treated softwood, which is the least expensive with installation costs up to £1,000 for decking covering 15m². For something more durable, you may want to opt for hardwood which could cost up to £2,000 for professional handy work.

    Another popular material is composite WPC decking which usually costs around £1,600 for 15 square metres. This has the benefit of a modern and low-maintenance. PVC Plastic is another great option which is usually priced at around £30 to £40 per square metre, offering you an aesthetically-pleasing decking material with mould-resistant qualities.

    Other elements you need to consider include weed proof membrane which usually costs around £10 for a 20 square meter roll. To avoid further rotting, a professional will use wood oil or a decking preservative treatment which could add on around £25 or more to your bill.

    You will also need to account for labour costs, which will depend on the time spent on the job as well as the materials used, as some are easier to install than others. However, typical labour costs are priced at £120 to £200 per day.

    You may also need to consider waste removal if the job involves removing your existing garden decking. The cost of this will depend on how much waste needs to be taken away, although a typical removal job would be priced at £10 to £30 per square metre of waste.

    garden decking area

    If you’re on a budget, you may want to opt for a typical decking which can be found in your local DIY store and will cost around £1,000. This includes:

    • Timber decking boards - £390
    • Timber frame - £180
    • Fixings - £20
    • Membrane - £30
    • Preservative - £30
    • Waste removal and disposal - £50
    • Labour and profits - £300

    For something more high end and durable, you could opt for a more expensive option which could cost up to £6,320. This includes the same price for the timber frames, membrane and waste disposal, although other costs include:

    • Premium IPE boards - £3,000
    • Fixings - £240
    • Oil - £80
    • Labour and profits - £3,000

    Garden Decking Prices

    There are various costs you need to consider when hiring a professional decking specialist. Although one of the biggest price factors is the size of your garden. To help you understand the costs, take a look at the below tables.

    Small Garden (15 square metres)

    Decking material Average cost
    Softwood £1,000-£1,200
    Hardwood £1,525-£1,675
    Composite £1,900-£2,050
    Trex £1,350-£1,680
    PVC £800-£1,000
    IPE £2,410-£2,560

    Medium-sized garden (30 square metres)

    Decking material Average cost
    Softwood £1,600-£2,000
    Hardwood £2,250-£2,950
    Composite £3,400-£3,700
    Trex £2,300-£2,960
    PVC £1,200-£1,600
    IPE £4,600-£4,720

    Large garden (60 square metres)

    Decking material Average cost
    Softwood £2,200-£2,800
    Hardwood £3,375-£4,225
    Composite £4,900-£5,350
    Trex £3,250-£4,240
    PVC £1,600-£2,200
    IPE £6,430-£6,880

    Extra-large garden (90 square metres)

    Decking material Average cost
    Softwood £2,800-£3,600
    Hardwood £4,900-5,500
    Composite £6,400-£7,000
    Trex £4,200-£5,520
    PVC £2,000-£2,800
    IPE £8,440-£9,040

    Decking Only Costs

    If you’re planning to install your decking yourself, you could save a significant amount as you will only have to pay for the cost of the materials. To help you decide which decking material to choose, take a look at the following costs:

    Decking material Cost per metre
    Softwood £3 to £6
    Hardwood £4 to £10
    Composite £8 to £12
    Trex £6 to £15
    PVC £5 to £10
    IPE £8 to £15

    Labour Costs and Time Scales

    The average decking installation usually takes around 1 to 2 days to complete, however, this will vary depending on the size of the garden, the materials used and how many tradesmen are working on the job. A small garden of around 15 square metres may only take one day for two or more tradesmen to complete the job.

    While a decking installation which requires a significant amount of excavation, including removal of weeds, shrubs, trees, existing decking and more could take more than four days, especially for a large landscape.

    If you don’t feel confident to install your own decking, then your best bet is to call in a professional who will make sure that the job is done properly. The labour costs will depend on the work that needs completing, so to help you understand how much you will be paying, take a look at the below table:

    Job Labour cost
    Low-end decking installation £20 per square metre
    Average decking installation £33 per square metre
    High-end decking installation £50 per square metre
    Decking repair £150 to £400
    Deck cleaning and maintenance £50 to £100 per hour
    Ready to get a price for your job?

    Additional Costs

    There are plenty of other material costs you need to consider when having decking installed, although this will depend on your preferences. This table sets out the potential prices for all the different decking materials.

    Material Average cost
    Balustrade kits £100 per kit
    Trellis panels £2 each
    Spindles £1-£2 each
    Post caps £2 to £7 each
    Decking lights £15 to £40 each
    Steps £50 to £215
    Decking stringer £12 to £28 per stringer
    Joists £6 to £12 each
    Weed proof membrane £30 per pack
    Postcrete £5 a bag

    Cost Factors of Installing Garden Decking

    When evaluating the costs of garden deck installation, there are various things you need to consider. First, you need to look at the condition of your terrain and determine whether it is flat or not, as sloping or difficult terrain will have a major impact on the cost.

    The size of your garden will also have a massive effect on the price, as the larger your garden is the more materials you will need. Larger decking will also take much longer, which will result in increased labour costs, as professional installers usually charge an average of £33 per square metre.

    example of garden decking

    The material you choose is also a massive price factor, as some decking materials are more expensive than others. So, if you have a low-budget in mind, you may want to stick to timber decking which typically costs around £1,000 to £1,500 to install.

    However, if you are thinking long-term, you may be better off with composite decking which is more expensive with prices up to £10,000 for larger gardens. While this may seem steep, you will definitely get your money’s worth as this can last up to 30 years.

    If you already have decking in your garden that needs to replaced, you will also need to factor in the replacement costs. It may that you only need some of your decking replaced which can cost around £300, however for a full replacement you should expect to pay about £4,000 or more.

    What's Involved in Installing Garden Decking

    Decking is a big job, very labour intensive, but quicker to install than other landscape gardening tasks such as paving. The building of a deck is relatively straightforward, though high decking or decks which are required to fit a hot-tub may need some expert advice.

    Installing garden decking involves several steps, starting with the foundation which consists of pouring the deck pad and securing the decking posts in concrete to hold the weight of the entire garden deck. Professional installers may also install waterproof flashing which will protect both your home and decking from water damage or mould.

    decking frame

    Next, the installers will join the joists and beams to your concrete-secure posts and are used as an anchor to support the rest of the decking. After this, the decking will be aligned in a floorboard formation in whatever direction you choose, making sure that is all straight and evenly proportioned.

    If requested, the installer will then add balusters on each side of your decking which will act as a safety barrier. They will then add on stairs which will add a great homely aesthetic. After all of this is done, they will then seal the decking then add any finishing touches such as post caps or any furnishings such as hot tubs, customised furniture and more.

    Deck Planning

    Decking is a great way to make the most of unused garden space. With decking, you can transform steep slopes and uneven areas into a level space for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors. Decking is particularly good for sloping ground and provides an easy transition between different levels, perfect in conjunction with bi-fold patio doors, helping to connect indoor and outdoor spaces.

    When designing your deck, you need to consider what you need it for. For example, do you want to add decking as another social space in your home or as somewhere safe for your children to play?

    The difference between these two reasons is that the latter will require more safety measures, so many need to add balustrades to prevent any injury. While the former is for aesthetic reasons so is much more flexible In terms of design and materials.

    decking with a slide

    You also need to factor in the size of your garden, as you may only have a small garden, therefore, you should avoid taking up half your space with decking, as this will make your garden look even smaller. If you have a large garden, you may want to incorporate decking to avoid high-maintenance gardening, as decking is much more manageable.

    Popular decking designs now feature hot tubs, so you may want to shop around and measure hot tubs before having your decking installed. Once you’ve chosen the water feature you want, you can then start designing your dream decking.

    For hot tub decking, you also need to consider the level of privacy you need, especially if you live in a semi-detached home where your neighbours are just over the fence. To increase your decking’s privacy, you may want to invest in trellis panels to be placed around your hot tub so you are completely covered from prying eyes.

    Decking Buying Guide

    There are several different types of decking that you can choose from which all have a variety of pros and cons which are detailed below.

    Material Cost per sq. m Lifespan Pros Cons
    Softwood (Pine, Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, etc) £16 10 to 15 years -Resistant to rot
    -Does not warp
    -Authentic aesthetic
    -Low density
    -Regular maintenance
    -Inexpensive material
    Hardwood (Beech, Tigerwood, Maple, Oak, etc) £33 30 to 40 years -Fire-resistant
    -Difficult to install
    -Expensive material
    -Can be hard to source
    Composite WPC (Wood-polymer composite) £66 25 to 30 years -Stain-resistant
    -Flexible application
    -Can look synthetic
    -Susceptible to mould
    -Bends more than wood
    PVC(Polyvinyl chloride composite) £23 20 to 30 years -Easy to install
    -Susceptible to UV damage
    -Difficult to repair
    -Can look synthetic
    IPE wood (Brazilian exotic wood) £26 60 to 75 years -Low-maintenance
    -Durable material
    -Heavy material
    -Difficult to install
    -Susceptible to rust
    Trex(Made from 95% recycled materials) £30 25 to 30 years -Resistant to mould
    -Does not warp
    -Expensive repairs
    -Cannot be refinished
    -Can be expensive
    Plastic Deck tiles Up to £33 per tile 5 to 10 years -Easy to install
    -Cheap replacement
    -Various applications
    -Temporary solution
    -Visible seams
    -Add no value

    Benefits of Raised Decking

    Raised decking is a garden extension that is usually raised about 30cms off the ground and can be used as an outdoor dining area, leisure space or additional plating space. It may also feature balustrades and steps leading up to the decking.

    square area of raised wood decking

    There are a variety of benefits for installing raised decking including the fact that they can be built almost anywhere in your garden, in comparison to normal decking which is usually fixed to your home. This is beneficial for your home, as there is less chance of any water damage compromising your walls.

    A raised deck offers complete flexibility in terms of size, although it is important not to go overboard, as you do not want the decking to take over your entire garden.

    Things to Consider When Having Decking Installed

    When planning a garden deck, there are a few things you should consider before hiring a contractor. First of all, you need to decide on the location then check to see if this will interfere with any drain covers or any other services.

    At this point you should also consider the impact the deck will have on your neighbours, as if you require planning permission, they will get an opportunity to object.

    Consider how you intend to use the decking when deciding on a location, for example, are you looking for sunny exposure or do you prefer the shade?

    At the planning stage, you should also think about whether you are going to add a hot tub or other heavy structure, as this needs to be taken into consideration during the design and build and is much more difficult to change at a later date.

    Building Permission for Decking

    If planning to build a DIY deck, note that building regulations can be an issue even with small decks. It is always worth checking with your local authority before you spend any money on decking or begin any construction.

    If you are going to build a substantial deck, keep neighbours informed and on-side from the start and be prepared to alter your building plans if they object.

    decked balcony

    Building regulations for decking only require you to apply for planning permission if your decking is over 30 centimetres high. You may also need to apply if your decking or other extensions take up more than half of your garden space, as this is classed as a major alteration.

    If you do fall into the above categories, then you should expect to pay around £243 for planning permission. If you fail to pay this, you will be fined and you may also face issues with your local council or neighbours.

    Best Time to Install Decking

    To make the most of your decking, you should consider having it installed in the winter. While this may seem unorthodox it can actually be beneficially as some professionals may offer you a discount for having it installed in the off-season.

    To avoid weathering, you may want to have your decking installed in the spring, however, you should make sure that whatever material you choose is treated before it is installed to avoid UV damage or mould infestation.

    Installing it in the later months will also allow you to utilise your garden and avoid any mess during construction. You should try to avoid installation in the summer, especially if you want wood decking, as the sun can cause damage to the timber.

    Can I Install Garden Decking Myself?

    Decking is too difficult for one person to do on their own, so the assistance of a handy friend (or two) is highly recommended for any decking project.

    Everyone involved in the construction should wear protective safety gear, including goggles when necessary and you should ensure you have all the correct tools and equipment to do the job safely.

    To help you fit your decking properly, here are the necessary steps that you need to follow for a ground decking procedure:

    • You should plan the decking to avoid any existing features like trees or posts, as working around them will increase the difficulty and add to the cost as they will require additional sub-structure to frame around the obstacle. If you do decide to work around a tree, you need to leave some space for the trunk to thicken and for it to move in heavy winds.
    • Measure and cut weed proof membrane which will prevent any weeds growing through your decking and add pea shingle on top of the membrane for waterproof protection.
    • If securing your decking with concrete footings you need to make absolutely sure there are no cables or pipes underneath where you are going to excavate. Use a detector to check as damage to cables or pipes could be horrendously expensive and dangerous. You may have to install a hinged trap door to allow future access to the services.
    • You should then fix the joists together to construct your decking frame which will be placed around the perimeter of your decking space. These should then be bolted together with galvanized screws, although if using wood make sure you apply preservative first.
    • You should then attach a ledger board to the existing wall making sure it is straight and there are no obstructions before you secure it to the wall. Before securing it, you should make pencil marks where you intend to drill into the wall with at least a 7cm depth then secure it with screws and anchor bolts which will allow you to attach them to the ledger.
    • Once the ledger is in place, you can fix the joints to the wall on the outer perimeter using joist hangers and galvanised nails.
    • If you plan to have balustrades on your decking, you will need to fix spindles on the outside of your decking where the railing’s rest on. You may need to cut a hole in the bottom of your spindle so they fit properly on the joists.
    • Now the frame is in place, you can add the decking boards by placing the first panel closest to your home. You should then install the next board making sure you leave at least a 3.5mm gap when installing wood decking as they are prone to expansion In wet weather.
    • You should then pre-drill your holes for the majority of materials which will avoid cracks. You should then secure them with making sure that all decking is symmetrical.
    • You can then add the balustrades to finish off the job by marking the spindles with a pencil which will allow you to align the fixtures with the decking frame and saw them if necessary. Once the spindles are in line they should be then pre-drilled and attached to the handrail.

    Costs of Maintenance and Cleaning

    Garden decking will require regular maintenance, the degree of maintenance required depends upon a number of factors such as the quality of the material used, the construction and the location. Well designed and constructed timber decking should last 15 years or more with no requirement to apply preservative treatments as long as basic maintenance is carried out.

    Fortunately, the maintenance required is pretty simple, regular brushing to remove organic debris plus perhaps a water repellent coating used to nourish the wood every other year. However, any decorative stains will also need to be refreshed to maintain their appearance every few years depending on usage and weather.

    When maintaining and cleaning your decking, it is important to understand the level of maintenance required for different materials including:

    Softwood and Hardwood

    This requires yearly maintenance including sanding, staining, and sealing which would cost around £10 per square metre. You should also try to keep on top of it by cleaning it with a decking cleaner which costs around £6 to £15. This will help to keep the wood’s natural colour, making it appear brand new.

    IPE wood

    This type of wood is low-maintenance so would only require you to oil it once a year. The cost of decking oil is around £30 for five litres worth.

    Composite, PVC and Trex

    Composite, PVC and Trex require a simple cleaning procedure which involves soap, hot water and a soft-bristle brush. You should try to clean it a few times a year including after installation and once or twice in spring and autumn. The only cost you may incur is replacements costs, as unfortunately composite cannot be sanded to remove dents, It must be replaced which could cost up to £66 per square metre.

    You should also consider additional repair costs, such as:

    • Damaged deck boards - £950
    • Loose stairs - £100 to £250
    • Mould and rot - £150 to £450
    • Stain and seal - £7 per square metre

    These repairs can be conducted by you or a professional, although for the latter you will also need to consider the labour cost which is usually around £300 for repairs.

    Garden Decking Removal Costs

    If you require new decking or want to get rid of your decking altogether you may need to call in a professional or you could also do it yourself. If you opt to do it yourself you may want to hire equipment to assist you. A shredder for example would cost around £100-£200 a week but would reduce waste removal costs.

    To remove your decking, you should start by removing the stairs and railings with a drill or electric screwdriver. You should then move onto the legs and feet which will most likely be secured with concrete, although they can easily remove using a shovel.

    If your decking is fairly new, the concrete may be harder, so may need to hire a tractor or a similar vehicle to get the job done which can cost around £100 a day.

    pile of decking boards

    Many people prefer to hire a professional for the job, which would take around 2 to 7 hours and could cost around £100 to £500. While this may seem expensive, it may be worth it in the long run as you can install your new decking quickly while also avoiding any mistakes made when doing it yourself.

    Hiring a Garden Decking Installer Checklist

    Before you hire someone to install your garden decking, there are some things you should consider. Below is a checklist for you to follow when you're searching for a garden decking installer.

    • Don't hire the first business to give you a quote. Shop around, even if the price is low, you should compare multiple quotes.
    • Ask your garden decking specialist for references and photos. It's important to ensure that your installer is capable of the job before you commit. Seeing photos of previous work will not only allow them to demonstrate their ability but will also give you peace of mind.
    • Ensure you get a written agreement in place for the work that you need. A written agreement will give you a clear outline of what the job includes and a breakdown of the costs. This could also allow you to cut costs by doing the jobs you think you could do yourself.
    • Check if your decking installer is insured and holds the relevant liability for any unexpected damage to your property.
    • Remember to get a written receipt after making any payments. This will protect you from any disputes in the future.


    Do I Need Planning Permission?
    Many think that permissions are not required with garden decking, but this is not always the case. Consent is required prior to building a deck where the deck platform is more than 300mm from the ground, If covers over 50% of the garden area or where the deck is situated within 20 metres of a highway.

    In addition, building regulations should be assumed to apply to every structure that requires planning permission. Property owners should always check with their local authority regarding planning.
    Can I Install A Hot Tub On My Garden Decking?
    Probably not, unless the deck was purpose designed by a structural engineer to take that weight. If planning to add a hot tub then you must discuss this with the contractor before building the deck.

    If adding a hot tub to an existing deck, then you must contact a specialist builder to check the decking will be able to safely take the additional weight.
    Do I Need A Balustrade?
    Balustrades are not just a decorative feature, they are also a safety barrier and can be useful as supports for less able bodied persons. If the deck is raised above the ground then some sort of balustrade should be used to prevent a fall.

    The height of the balustrade depends on how high the deck is above the ground: For lower decks up to around 2 feet (600mm) above ground level, the balustrade height should be around 3 feet (900mm), but for higher decking, 1100mm balustrade needs to be used.
    How Do I Prevent My Deck From Being Slippery?
    You may find that your decking becomes slippery for various reasons. This could be caused by mould, algae or moss growing on your decking. To prevent anyone slipping over and injuring themselves, you should try to keep your decking as clear as possible by sweeping and cleaning it regularly, especially after any bad weather.

    You should conduct a thorough clean once a year using a pressure washer with a broad fanning nozzle, which will cost around £90 to £200. Using this tool will allow your timber decking to become slip-resistant and will also provide extra traction.

    You can purchase commercial cleaning products for your pressure washer or make up your own using ammonia-free laundry detergent, bleach and water. If you cannot afford or access a power washer, then a wet mop or a pump sprayer will suffice.
    When Will I Need To Replace My Decking?
    Timber decking tends to last around 10 to 15 years depending on how well it is looked after. After this, you will need to decide if you want it to replace it or choose an alternative material like composite, which can last around 25 to 30 years. Again, it can last longer if you maintain it properly, so the more you keep on top of it the more years you will get.
    How High Can Decking Be?
    To avoid applying for planning permission, you will need to make sure that your garden decking is no higher than 30cm off the ground. You should also make sure that the decking extension takes up no more than 50% of your garden, as this will also require planning permission.
    Is Garden Decking Expensive?
    The cost of decking will depend on several factors, including the size of your garden, the materials you use, your location and more.

    The price of your decking will depend on your own budget, although a typical price is usually around £80 per square metre including material, installation, labour costs and more. In comparison to a patio, decking is usually known as the more expensive of the two, although, patios can involve a complicated installation process which would outweigh the costs of decking.

    Sources Last updated by MyJobQuote on 8th February 2022.

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